Latest articles


Crop advisor casebook: Is a local lack of moisture injuring this barley?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 9, 2019 issue of Grainews

John contacted me in late May last year about his barley crop. The plants were coming up yellow in patches across the field. John farms about 2,800 acres near Whitewood, Sask., where he grows wheat, barley, canola and soybeans. It had been a dry spring and John thought environmental stress due to lack of moisture had caused the plant injury. […] Read more


Barley growers impressed with VRT results

Crops hit yield and quality expectations, and bring an easier harvest

Data collected by Decisive Farming from several farms across Western Canada in a program using variable-rate technology (VRT) to produce malting barley crops in 2018 showed considerable production gains over industry averages. Data collected from 17 farms, involving about 9,300 acres of malt barley crops showed on acres seeded with both variable-rate seeding and fertilizer technology an average yield of 85 bushels per acre, […] Read more



Should you spray twice for fusarium?

In a fusarium-filled field, are more applications better?

During a February 28 BASF’s “Protect Your Profits” fusarium webinar, a farmer who was watching asked whether, if you had a fusarium-prone field, it would be a good idea to plan to spray a fungicide twice to control fusarium. Dr. Michael Harding, plant pathology research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, fielded the question. Harding […] Read more


Rural landscape with wheat field on sunset

Slowing growth to prevent lodging

Should you invest in a plant growth regulator for your cereal crops this season?

Where there’s enough moisture and high fertility levels, lodging can still be a major yield constraint. In cereal crops, plant growth regulators (PGRs) have been shown to produce shorter stems to reduce lodging and maintain grain yields. Researchers in Alberta are trying to optimize PGR use to prevent lodging and improve standability and harvestability in […] Read more



It’s a good time to be breeding oats

Oat research and development continues despite industry and government funding cuts

Despite a few stumbling blocks, the Canadian oat industry continues to advance and offer good opportunities for oat growers. The good news is that researchers are looking at new, value-added products that provide increased health benefits to consumers. Thanks to improvements in oat breeding and agronomic practices, Canadian oat yields have increased by 18 per […] Read more


Managing disease in oat crops

Fungal diseases, bacterial diseases and viral diseases each need different management

Oat growers across the Prairies have a number of foliar diseases to watch out for in their fields: crown and stem rust and septoria leaf complexes. Oats can also harbour a lot of different species of fusarium but, to date, fusarium hasn’t become an issue to the point where it has impacted oat yield or […] Read more



Taking a look at CWRS protein levels in 2018

Prairie protein levels higher in 2018 than 2017

Through its harvest sample program, the Canadian Grain Commission collects wheat samples from across the Prairies, grades them, and compiles the results. For the 2018 crop year, the CGC found an average protein level of 13.83 per cent for western Canadian No. 1 CWRS. On average, samples from Alberta and B.C. were higher than this, […] Read more


Crop advisor casebook: What caused the colour banding in this wheat field?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 19, 2019 issue of Grainews

One morning last May, I received a call from Dale, a farmer in Westbourne, Man., who farms around 3,500 acres of canola, wheat and soybeans. He told me he had been out walking his fields and noticed “striped” wheat plants. He said the striping, which appeared as yellow bands on the first and second leaves, […] Read more



Crop advisor casebook: Why is this barley crop patchy in rectangular blocks?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 5, 2019 issue of Grainews

Jim, a Saskatchewan farmer, was unhappy with the establishment of his barley crop — he had expected a more uniform stand. When he contacted me the first week of June last year, Jim said plant populations in some areas of the field were thin, while others were thick and lush. The plants, which were at […] Read more


Dry rolled oatmeal on white background - isolated

Consumer demands driving oat research

From shakes for cancer patients to high-protein vegan foods, oats have potential

Health conscious people are in “the know” about the benefits of eating oats and oat products. Oats truly are a super food, high in dietary fiber that many studies suggest can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and colorectal cancer. At the University of Alberta’s Department of Agriculture, Food and […] Read more