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Evelyn Boddez, Don Campbell and Gordon Perrott (on right) pose with their chicken coop. Their families purchased the coop and the four hens, that were an instant hit at the West Country Hearth seniors’ residence in Villeneuve.

Chickens come to roost at seniors’ home

Reading Time: 3 minutes Urban hens have become popular during the pandemic, but four hens in particular are a hot topic at a seniors’ residence in the hamlet of Villeneuve. The story of Lucy, Louise, Jackie and Melvina — the names of the hens — began when Donna Sheehan, the daughter of one of the residents, received a chicken […] Read more

Cereal merger survey now online

Cereal merger survey now online

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley have launched their online survey to consult members on amalgamating to form a single commission. Since 2018, the organizations have shared a management team but have two boards and separate financial structures. Members of both farm groups passed resolutions at their 2019 annual general meetings calling for a comprehensive review […] Read more


CN’s rail bridge was damaged by the Lytton wildfire on June 30 but has since reopened.

Lytton wildfire has longer-term implications for rail movement

Safety board head calls it ‘a wake-up call,’ railways say they’re already taking great precautions

Reading Time: 3 minutes CP Rail has hit back at criticism that trains are a major cause of wildfires, but rail traffic will continue to be affected — at least in the short term — by the tragic events at Lytton, B.C. Two weeks after a June 30 wildfire destroyed 90 per cent of the small community and took […] Read more

More than a year after being named Alberta’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2020, Mary and Roelof van Bentham finally got to meet some of their OYF colleagues when they hosted a potluck at their farm earlier this month.

It’s a great network — even when you can’t meet in person

Last year’s Outstanding Young Farmers eager to finally get into the swing of things

Reading Time: 4 minutes Mary and Roelof van Bentham were looking forward to a year of learning and creating connections when they were named Outstanding Young Farmers for Alberta. But just over a month later, COVID-19 hit. “That’s one of the things that made the pandemic really hard — we’ve had a hard time connecting with this group that […] Read more


Got bugs in your bins? Researchers want to hear from you.

Crop disease, pest survey needs farmers

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ag Canada’s Prairie Biovigilance Network needs farmers for two surveys, one for leaf disease in wheat fields and another for insects occurring in grain bins. The network is a multidisciplinary group seeking ways to reduce pest problems, insects, weeds, and diseases in western Canadian crops and to raise awareness regarding the prevalence, variability and impact […] Read more

Water safety tips

Reading Time: < 1 minute Hot weather has seen Albertans flocking to lakes and rivers to go tubing, paddle-boarding and swimming. However, there have already been 14 drownings, Alberta RCMP said in a recent statement. Safety tips recommended by the Canadian Red Cross include knowing the swimming area and being aware of sudden drop-offs to deep water, always having an […] Read more


This pasture, photographed on July 14, still had some green but feed is already a huge challenge for many producers. Cattle groups want government to take action on several fronts, and to move quickly.

Cattle groups lay out a four-part drought action plan to government

Livestock tax deferral, AgriRecovery, and quick access to withered crops are all priorities

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and provincial cattle organizations have a plan to help drought-stricken beef producers. But quick action is needed, they say. The groups outlined a four-part strategy for immediate relief measures requested from federal and provincial governments during a CCA virtual Town Hall on July 19. All provincial cattle organizations, including Alberta Beef […] Read more

In normal times, farmers like John Guelly can look forward to a bountiful crop. The Westlock farmer hopes to have a crop after getting a much-needed inch of rain in mid-July but he fears for those who won’t have a harvest but have sold a portion of their crop.

Heatwave wreaks havoc on Alberta crops

Governments are rushing to help but fears are mounting as the crisis grows

Reading Time: 6 minutes July’s devastating heatwave has destroyed crops and pastures across Alberta, leaving producers in all corners of the province wondering what their options are at this point of the growing season. “It’s been pretty hard,” said Valerie Ehrenholz, who runs a mixed operation near Barrhead with her father. “I haven’t been farming that long — the […] Read more


You can’t see the heat in this July 14 photo but the meagre cut of hay from this field west of Okotoks is clearly visible along the smoke from wildfires  in B.C. drifting in over the Rocky Mountains. And this area actually has received more moisture than ones to the south and east.

DISASTER: Hope dries up along with the pastures and fields

Everyone is hurting but the fallout for the cattle sector may be felt for years to come

Reading Time: 6 minutes The effect of the arid spring and the blistering July heatwave will be felt “for years to come.” “On a scale of one to 10, I’d put this at a 10 — it’s extremely severe,” said Melanie Wowk, chair of Alberta Beef Producers. “The herd will shrink — not just out of this province, but […] Read more

Webinar on drought and cattle

Webinar on drought and cattle

Reading Time: < 1 minute With much of the Prairies suffering drought, the Beef Cattle Research Council is putting on a webinar to answer questions about topics such as non-traditional feeds, grazing something new, water quality, animal health concerns and general questions about managing cattle during a drought. A panel of nutrition and animal health experts will answer drought-related nutrition […] Read more


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