Latest articles

Intercropping research catching up

Researchers are taking a look at the intercropping combinations farmers are trying at home

When most farmers think about intercropping, peas and canola come to mind, which has to date probably been the most common pairing for an intercrop system. But research by Lana Shaw at the South East Research Farm (SERF) in Redvers, Sask., has shown that other combinations — like chickpeas and flax or mustard and lentils […] Read more

Making your grain marketing plan

Getting started with the basics of basis and futures

Trade wars, weather delays, low-quality grains, lower-than-hoped-for prices. When your crop is finally in the bin, this might be a good year to learn more about marketing so you can make the most of what you have. There are many different ways to market grains and some are better suited to certain crops. Some crops […] Read more

Satellites and drainage a good partnership

Farmers Edge and NextGen Drainage Solutions team up to advance tile drainage tech

One of the most common questions farmers ask about tile drainage is, “Will it work in our area?” As probably one of the most expensive investments a farmer will make, next to purchasing land, it’s understandable that farmers want to make sure tile drainage will work and give them some tangible benefits before they take […] Read more

The science behind intercropping

When plants can share nutrients, they can yield higher together than separately

Just as the adoption of no-till agriculture on the Prairies several decades ago was farmer-driven, the current shift to ecological (sometimes called regenerative) agricultural practices is no different, says Dr. Martin Entz of the University of Manitoba. “In this fascinating carbon world, we’re now moving beyond just crop rotation and beyond just grazing management all […] 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

Insuring intercrops in Manitoba

Manitoba farmers can now insure intercrops and also get incentives to grow them

In response to requests from producers for some kind of insurance on unconventional crops such as quinoa or multi-species crops like intercrops, Manitoba Agricultural Insurance Corporation (MASC) has introduced a new insurance product for what it calls ‘novel crops.’ At a recent intercropping workshop at Brandon in November, Robert Manastyr spoke on behalf of MASC […] Read more

Pulse and soybean diseases to watch

Dry conditions in 2018 gave pulse growers a break, but there’s lots to watch for in 2019

While dry conditions during the 2018 growing season didn’t stop all instances of foliar, stem and root rot diseases across Western Canada, pulse growers didn’t see the high levels of pulse or soybean diseases associated with warm, moist conditions. But that doesn’t mean scouting won’t be necessary in 2019. The main diseases in pulse and […] 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

Reducing inputs through intercropping

In Part 2 of a 2-part series, a panel of farmers discuss the benefits of intercropping

Many producers who adopt intercrops and cover crops are looking to increase soil and plant health and reduce the need for inputs such as synthetic fertilizers. That effect often becomes clearer the longer they manage the system. The three producers on a panel at an Intercropping Workshop in Brandon, Man., last November shared how they […] Read more