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This map, created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, shows the dominant agricultural systems around the world. (The dark-green areas are forests and the grey is desert.)

The complicated calculus of climate change

While Canadian farmers may see a longer growing season, there may be more pests and less rain

Farming and food production will be changed as a result of climate change — but the how is a complicated question. “Agriculture is a unique sector,” University of B.C. Professor Navin Ramankutty said earlier this month during this year’s edition of the Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Alberta. “Agriculture is a […] Read more

Wheat and barley groups eye merger

Committee to investigate pros and cons, with full membership of both groups to vote on the merger bid

After first amalgamating their administrative teams and then their senior management, Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley are now considering a full merger. But the notion of scrapping their individual boards and creating a single cereal crop board is still in its early stages, say the chairs of the two farm groups. “The resolution came up […] Read more


The problem with practices like minimum till isn’t just that carbon sequestration can be easily reversed, but the protocols that allow payments to be made are complicated and costly to produce. But that may soon change because major food companies, input suppliers, and restaurant chains are vowing to shrink their carbon footprint.

Cashing in on carbon: It’s coming, says expert

Big multinationals are vowing to reduce their carbon footprint and this will create an opportunity for farmers

Alberta farmers lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions — they just don’t get paid for it, says an expert in the carbon-credit market. But that’s starting to change, said Jon Alcock, sustainability specialist at Viresco Solutions, a company that develops carbon credits and “carbon intensity scores.” “On a global scene, Alberta has been […] Read more

A $220,000 sponsorship from the TD Bank Group will help support ALUS projects in eight communities, including Lac Ste. Anne County and Red Deer County. Pictured is a fence protecting a wetland on Duane Movald’s ranch in Brazeau County, one of several ALUS-sponsored projects on the fifth-generation farm.

Bank signs on as launch sponsor for ALUS Canada’s New Acre program

“We know that restoring nature on the landscape has many benefits for both farmers and their communities..."

Three hundred acres of farmland across Canada will be transformed into conservation projects thanks to a sizable sponsorship from TD Bank Group to ALUS Canada’s New Acre program. “The TD sponsorship is an indication that the private sector recognizes the value of this kind of work and is willing to put money behind it,” said […] Read more


‘Rare event’ 100 years in the making

It was quite a surprise for Harry Shierman during his 100th birthday celebration in December when his family presented him with a Century Farm and Ranch plaque. Harry’s father had purchased the Kathryn-area farm in January 1919, and it was Quincy Shierman, Harry’s granddaughter-in-law, who applied for the award. “I thought it would be pretty […] Read more

Boyd Mori.

New insect expert introduces himself and advises on key pests for 2020

Cabbage seed pod weevils, bertha army worms and pea leaf weevils the insects to watch for in 2020

The province has gained one new entomologist but has lost its best-known bug specialist. Boyd Mori, a new assistant professor in the University of Alberta’s agriculture department, paid tribute to provincial insect management specialist Scott Meers in his presentation at FarmTech — and urged his audience to lobby the government for a replacement. “Scott Meers […] Read more


Consumers don’t understand the practices of crop farmers, but want to know they are sustainable, said Ted Menzies, chair of the committee developing a code of practices for sustainable crops.

Consumers want proof that crop farming is sustainable

Code of practice expected to be released for feedback this summer, says industry veteran Ted Menzies

Crop producers are practising sustainable farming, but consumers want proof — and that’s why a code of practice is needed, says a veteran industry leader. Consumers don’t understand that crop practices in Canada are sustainable, Ted Menzies said at the recent AGM of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture. “Maybe they don’t need to understand that,” […] Read more

Changes to the cash advance program — spurred by China’s defacto ban on canola seed purchases — has resulted in more farmers using the program and borrowing larger amounts.

Cash advances take a ‘very dramatic’ jump, say administrators

Farmers can now borrow more against crops in their bins, and that’s what they’re doing

There’s been a “very dramatic” spike in applications for cash advances since Ottawa upped the amount farmers can borrow against crops in their bins. “We’ve had probably an extra 500 applications this year, and it’s not just new producers to the program — it’s also increased usage of the program by our existing customers,” said […] Read more


Farm equipment dealer supports college training

Students in Lethbridge College’s agricultural and heavy equipment technician program will be able to get their hands on some leading-edge technology thanks to a gift from the Hanlon Ag Centre. The Lethbridge equipment dealer is providing equipment, installation and training on its precision agriculture system — a CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) network. It uses […] Read more

‘Perfect storm’ hits grain movement

The blockade of CN rail lines by Indigenous-rights protesters has contributed to “a perfect storm” affecting grain movement this winter, say Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley. “An eight-day CN rail strike in late November, followed by a 10-day cold spell in January and heavy rains impacting rail movement and the loading of grain vessels at […] Read more


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