GFM Network News


Variable-rate irrigation holds great promise but applying the technology is complicated, says Willemijn Appels, Lethbridge College’s Mueller Applied Research Chair in Irrigation Science. Appels (second from right) is pictured with students and researchers at one of five farms where her study on variable-rate irrigation is taking place.

Precision irrigation has great potential, but it’s tricky

Understanding how moisture moves through parts of the field is one of the goals of the four-year study

Water has always been at a premium in the Irrigation Belt of southern Alberta. “Our water system is closed,” said Willemijn Appels, an irrigation scientist with Lethbridge College. “There is no more extra water that can be withdrawn for agriculture. Our water licences are already allocated. “We need to use water more wisely and make […] Read more

Lethbridge College faculty visits Stamp Seeds.

Lethbridge College makes ag program more flexible

Students in Lethbridge College’s agriculture sciences program will have an extra year to determine their career path. The program is being revamped so there is a common first year focused on basics of agriculture, such as botany, animal science, commodity marketing, soils, sustainable agriculture and communications. Students will then select from one of three majors […] Read more


New centre to help farmers access latest research

Lethbridge College says it will set up a new centre to help farmers and food processors tap into the latest research and the expertise of its staff after receiving a $1.75-million grant. The Integrated Agriculture Technology Centre is one of six new technology access centres being funded by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering […] Read more

Research lead Willemijn Appels and Nathan Linder gather data from a local farmer’s canola field irrigated by subsurface drip irrigation.

Fighting gravity for better underground irrigation

Subsurface drip irrigation can pay off with the right practices and a little patience, says researcher

At first glance, subsurface drip irrigation seems like an obvious winner as it gets water directly to the roots and there’s less evaporation. But that’s not the whole story. Subsurface drip irrigation is a literal fight against gravity — you’re trying to make water go from side to side when it’s inclined to go down […] Read more


Lethbridge College and Farming Smarter form partnership

Farming Smarter and Lethbridge College have signed a 15-year memorandum of understanding that they say will “transform agriculture research in southern Alberta.” “Our two organizations have worked together in the past on innovative and important projects that support agricultural research, education and student success,” Lethbridge College president Paula Burns said in a news release. “We […] 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


Senior research scientist Nick Savidov and aquaponics technician Penny Takahashi work in the college’s existing Aquaculture Centre of Excellence greenhouse.

Grants boost greenhouse research at Lethbridge College

A pair of federal grants will allow Lethbridge College to create a new commercial-scale greenhouse and also to purchase equipment for research work in precision irrigation and in antibiotic identification from native plants. The college is getting $1 million towards its Centre for Sustainable Food Production that will be used for the greenhouse that will […] Read more

The soil monoliths collection is now on display on the third floor of the Cousins Building at Lethbridge College.

This is some pretty special dirt

The unique collection of intact soil cross-sections is both a piece of history and a ‘priceless’ educational tool

A decades-old collection of ‘soil monoliths’ donated to Lethbridge College will be an invaluable tool for teaching students about soil. The 110 monoliths are vertical cross-sections about one metre long that show soil from a variety of regions in its natural state. Long been housed at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge research centre, the soil monoliths have […] Read more


This is part of a publication on hormones put out by Alberta Beef Producers. It says, for example, that the amount of estrogen in a serving of beef is slightly less than the same-size serving of chicken or pork — and much less than a glass of beer or milk. But the message isn’t getting through to many consumers.

Even in Feedlot Alley, consumers don’t trust hormone use

The beef sector has long said hormone implants are safe, but most Lethbridge residents aren’t convinced

It’s a pretty disheartening finding: Nearly two-thirds of residents of Lethbridge — located in Feedlot Alley — oppose the use of growth hormones in cattle, according to a recent survey. “I would suspect that a lot of people don’t understand,” said Roland Cailliau, a cow-calf producer from Valleyview. “They don’t read and they don’t understand […] Read more

College launches ag entrepreneur program

Students to be paired with local industry partners

Lethbridge College has a new program for students interested in agriculture, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program will launch in September by pairing students with local industry partners to solve real-world problems that affect the agriculture industry. All college students are eligible to join the extracurricular AgENT program. At the beginning […] Read more