Latest articles


Young mechanic fixing plow on the tractor

Lack of maintenance could bite you hard this seeding season

Breakdowns hurt even more during a narrow seeding window — here’s some advice on last-minute servicing

Efficiency is likely to be more important this seeding season than ever for many Alberta farmers. To squeeze as many acres into the tight seeding window as possible, the temptation is to jack up travel speed and many wonder if they should invest in higher-tech equipment. Those farmers will be looking in the wrong direction […] Read more


New tool for managing nutrient run-off

Free downloadable tool for assessing phosphorus run-off risk and creating a 
customized mitigation plan will be available this spring

As more and more farmers, politicians and laypeople are coming to understand, nutrient run-off from farm fields into waterways is a very big deal. When not managed properly, nutrients from fertilizer and manure make their way into creeks, lakes, dugouts, and other water bodies. But a new tool to help mitigate phosphorus run-off risk will […] Read more



This is not good — triple-resistant kochia has entered Alberta

Glyphosate-resistant kochia was bad but there’s a new strain that’s much worse

Kochia, one of Western Canada’s most abundant and economically devastating weed species, has won another major battle in overcoming herbicide. This summer, the first known Group 4 herbicide-resistant kochia was identified in a durum wheat field in southwestern Saskatchewan. And samples currently being tested from a farm in southern Alberta are also suspected to be […] Read more


Cattle feeders get proactive with new feedlot animal welfare audit

Rather than wait and see multiple audits imposed by packers and retailers, 
the National Cattle Feeders Association developed an easy-to-use tool

Last April, the Vancouver-based Earls restaurant chain announced it would no longer source its beef from Canada, opting instead for ‘Certified Humane’ beef sourced from the United States. Though pressure from customers loyal to Canadian beef eventually forced the chain to reverse the decision, those most in the know — the feedlot associations and meat […] Read more



The enticing — and sometimes scary — world of alternative crops

Crops like fababeans and hemp don’t command huge acres, 
but have been successful alternatives for Alberta producers

Farmers are nothing if not optimistic — optimistic that Mother Nature will be kind; that prices will be good; and that today’s work will pay off a month, six months, or a year down the road. But for all their hopefulness, only some are willing to stray far from tried-and-true crops. “There is always some […] Read more


Winter wheat not feeling the love

The crop’s backers say there’s a host of reasons to grow the 
fall-seeded crops, but admit it’s been a struggle to convince farmers

The arguments are persuasive: Winter wheat typically requires less crop inputs than its spring-seeded counterparts, yet can yield 20 per cent more and is known to bring greater — sometimes significantly greater — financial returns. The crop also reduces spring seeding time pressure, widens the fall harvest window, and offers environmental benefits. Yet, winter wheat […] Read more



Costly corn planter gives ultra-consistent canola stands

Craig Shaw loved the results, and lower seed cost, 
but the pricey equipment is a major barrier

It’s one of those farming Catch 22s. On the one hand, the high cost of canola seed makes it tempting to minimize one’s seeding rate — on the other hand, a strong and consistent canola stand is key to good returns. In the American Corn Belt, producers have found a solution by repurposing their corn […] Read more


Canada thistle: Meet your worst nightmare

Every rancher hates this hard-to-control weed, but stem mining weevils just eat them up (from the inside)

Every year, Canada thistle takes a big bite out of the productivity of Alberta forage and grasslands. But an increasing number of producers is biting back — in a wholly natural way. In late August, the West-Central Forage Association will once again import hundreds of cartons of little black bugs from an insectary in Montana. […] Read more



Auditor general’s report fires up grazing lease debate

The auditor general says ranchers are scooping up millions in payments 
that should go to the province, but leaseholders say that’s nonsense

A new report on Alberta’s grazing lease system by the provincial auditor general is throwing fuel on the long-simmering, controversial debate. The report estimates the province could be losing up to $25 million annually by allowing ranchers to keep compensation from energy companies when they drill or lay a pipeline. The report also says the […] Read more


pasture field

Variable-rate irrigation on the rise in Alberta

Not everyone is convinced the technology is where it needs to be, but advocates say ‘interest is growing exponentially’

Southern Alberta’s irrigation system is on the cusp of going very high tech. Now that crop yield monitoring is commonplace and variable-rate crop-input technology making inroads, ag equipment companies and early adopters of advanced technology are setting their sights on micromanaging irrigation. “Variable-rate irrigation (VRI) is certainly here to stay,” said Jeff Bronsch, president of […] Read more