Latest articles


Identifying copper deficiency in wheat

Ieuan Evans looks at 2019 growing conditions, including areas where copper levels are low

In early August in central Alberta I was still seeing yellow fields of canola. Honeybees and mosquitoes were having an extended nectar flowing season. I will stick my neck out as usual and make a few observations and prophecies across the Western Prairies. Crops are late in the northern part of the Western Prairies, but […] Read more


New barley breeding efforts aim for a replacement for AC Metcalfe

Breeders have recently focused their efforts on the craft brewers

Aaron Beattie is a barley breeder at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre. Beattie is looking for a replacement for AC Metcalfe. AC Metcalfe is a high enzymatic variety, so it’s suitable for large-scale brewers. A new variety, CDC Fraser, is also high in enzymes and offers more in terms of disease resistance and […] Read more



New malting barley variety acceptance an uphill battle

While the industry works to market new varieties, farmers seed the old standbys

Farmers choosing malt barley seed in the spring of 2019 would have seen CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe at the top of the list of recommended varieties published by the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC). CDC Copeland was registered 20 years ago, in 1999. AC Metcalfe was registered in 1997. While the list includes newer varieties, barley […] Read more


Crop advisor casebook: Pigtailing barley presents a problem

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the July 16, 2019 issue of Grainews

Dwayne farms around 4,500 acres of red spring wheat, canola and malt barley near DeBolt, Alta. He gave me a call late last June because of a recurring problem in one of his barley fields. When visiting the field, I found some barley plants located in a concentrated area — around five acres — had […] Read more




Crop advisor casebook: Is fertilizer burn yellowing this wheat crop?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the May 14, 2019 issue of Grainews

I received a call from Tom mid-June last year after he noticed his wheat crop was yellowing and there was a reduction in plant stand following his in-crop herbicide application. Tom, who owns a 2,500-acre mixed farm in the Meadow Lake region, thought the stand loss could be the result of an injury from the […] Read more



Emptying the tool box on fusarium head blight

There are no silver bullets, but these 11 agronomic practices can help

While there is no so-called cure for fusarium head blight a whole series of proper agronomic practices can be applied to stave off the impact of the disease, say Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers. Using FHB-resistant cereal varieties and applying registered fungicides is part of the story say Kelly Turkington, plant pathology researcher in Lacombe, Alta., and […] Read more


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