Latest articles


Alberta’s most abundant tree species under threat

The reasons aren’t known for certain but the widespread loss of poplars has significant implications for farming

Have you noticed that the poplar trees in your yard and in your bush are dying? You’re not alone. Alberta is experiencing a significant dieback of one of its most abundant species, and while some landowners are skeptical of the cause, evidence points to climate change as one possible contributor. A massive poplar dieback is […] Read more


Timber is a winner for Caroline cattle producer

Custom milling trees from his woodlot pays better than just selling raw logs, says Will Vohs

Cruise the countryside in certain parts of Alberta, and there are bright-yellow signs stapled to power poles advertising that someone is ‘Looking For Wood.’ After reading what Caroline-area farmer Will Vohs has discovered, landowners may want to think twice before signing over their woodlots too quickly. That’s because Vohs says he can manufacture a 12-inch […] Read more



Alberta duo spots opportunity lying beneath their (horses’) feet

Wood shavings isn’t the most exciting product but horses love it and Alberta produces it in abundance

A Sherwood Park-area mother and son knew horses love wood shavings for bedding, and when they discovered that Alberta sawmills generate an abundant supply, they saw an opportunity to play matchmaker. Donna and Alex von Hauff, who operate Strathcona Ventures, have since expanded into a variety of health, dust control, and non-wood-related products for both […] Read more




Alberta project turns manure into liquid gold

Researcher says liquid composting of manure is a viable on-farm process whose time has come

Nick Savidov doesn’t mince words when he talks about relying solely on synthetic fertilizer to feed the planet. “The fact is that if we don’t learn how to recycle nutrients and water, we are doomed,” said the senior research scientist at the Bio-industrial Opportunities Branch of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “We will start dying off […] Read more


Call it a win-win: Curbing pollution with chicken manure

Scientists have found a type of micro-algae that gobbles up greenhouse gas emissions — and it has a taste for nutrient-rich chicken manure, too

Poultry manure and that annoying green slime which grows in our lakes each summer could hold the key to helping the province’s oilsands mining companies and coal-fired power plants clean up their act, while producing a valuable commodity in the process. Researchers have discovered a strain of naturally occurring micro-algae that can scrub 100 per […] Read more



manure processing site

Patents boost Alberta biogas company’s plans for expansion

Himark BioGas can now let potential clients independently assess the engineering of its leading-edge technology

It’s been in the works for about a decade, but North American and international patents have been issued to Alberta-based Himark BioGas International for its unique biogas production technology. It’s a major step for the company, which was created to find a way to use manure from Highland Feeders as a biogas feedstock. “It’s part […] Read more


Sludge a success story for Whitecourt-area farmers

They say great ideas start with the planting of a seed — and that’s precisely what happened after employees at Alberta Newsprint Company noticed tomato plants growing in a pile of pulp sludge. The result is a ‘superfertilizer’ that area farmers can’t get enough of. The phone at the Whitecourt plant rings off the hook […] Read more



bioenergy plant

Southern Alberta farm leading the way in green energy

Chris and Harold Perry have added anaerobic digesters to thermal and solar power generation on their Chin-area farm

Chris and Harold Perry take the power of science and sustainable farm practices very seriously. The southern Alberta farmers call it their “2020 vision” — reduce farm inputs such as water, fuel, electricity, and synthetic fertilizer by 20 per cent while increasing net yields by 20 per cent. And they don’t think small. In November, […] Read more


Worker handling logs in a sawmill

Co-op model a winner for Edson foresters

By banding together, co-op members have achieved the holy grail of a guaranteed wood supply

Logging and sawmilling to supplement either a grain or cattle farm income has deep roots in Alberta. A group of Edson-area farmers has taken that model to a new level with the formation of a timber-based co-operative that provides them with what is often described as the holy grail of a supplemental farm income — […] Read more