Latest articles

A new species of midge lands on the Prairies

Researchers say this 
new “anonymous” midge is not an imminent concern, but it’s worth watching

An anonymous midge species has been identified in Saskatchewan and central Alberta. The new species is similar to Swede midge (a species already present in Saskatchewan), but to this point does not appear to have caused significant, widespread damage in canola crops. Researchers are still trying to find out more about the as yet unnamed […] Read more

Producing clean bison genetics

New ‘washing’ techniques could benefit cattle industry as well

Genetic research in wood bison may have wider implications for wildlife conservation and for the Canadian livestock industry. Scientists have developed tools using assisted reproductive technologies such as cryopreservation (freezing), artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer which could help increase dwindling wild bison populations and prevent the spread of disease. Canadian wood bison is an […] Read more

Tillage is tempting, but treacherous

While tillage can get you in the field faster, it can also disrupt networks in your soil

Many farmers across Western Canada have been struggling with wetter than normal conditions over the past few years. This spring many will again be facing soils that are close to the saturation point and puzzling over how to deal with them. Some farmers may turn to tillage to help dry them out, or at the very least to smooth […] Read more

Poor quality cereal seed on deck for 2017

Cereal quality is down across the Prairies, but pulse and soybean seed looks good for 2017

Farmers across the Prairies will remember 2016 as the year when they had frequent, above-average moisture right through the growing season, delaying both seeding and harvest in many cases. All that moisture means there will be some poor quality cereal seed around for the 2017 season, although the quality of pulses like peas and fava […] Read more

Wheat seedlings growing in Petri dishes

How do I interpret my seed test?

Know what you’re looking for before you take your seed to the lab for spring testing

Following a wet growing season that caused all kinds of disease issues across the Prairies, which reduced the quality of cereal seed in all three provinces, seed testing is coming to the forefront as seed growers and farmers want to find out what they can expect from their seed for the upcoming season. “Although everyone […] Read more

Coping with all those wet spring soils

After last fall’s moisture, spring seeding is going to require patience and flexibility

Patience is a virtue, but it’s not an easy one to practice, especially when it involves waiting for saturated fields to dry up so you can get out and seed this year’s crop. Last fall left many Prairie fields already saturated thanks to late fall rains and early snowfalls, and after a winter with heavy […] Read more

The profit potential of selective grazing

High stocking density, short-duration grazing helps put carbon back into the soil

No matter where he speaks in the world, Ian Mitchell-Innes carries a message to beef producers about achieving optimal animal performance, reducing costs, and ultimately becoming more profitable. Animals instinctively know where they can get the highest level of energy — from the top third of the plant, Mitchell-Innes, a South African rancher, told producers […] Read more

Hand going through the field

Farmers a hit on international crop missions

Buyers of Canadian grains had some questions that only actual producers could answer

If you want to know about Canadian agriculture you ask a farmer. That was the simple reality that farmers who accompanied industry experts on the 2016 Canadian Wheat New Crop Missions learned fast. “Meeting a producer, and seeing and hearing how the wheat they are buying is grown, stored and delivered are essential parts of […] Read more

Managing your hail damage

Hail rescue products show little impact in new trials; hail timing is the key damage driver

[Updated: March 28, 2017] The Prairies suffered a record number of hail events in 2016, which means hail insurance claims are also at record levels, with more than $528.6 million paid out to western Canadian farmers. Manitoba has set records for hail insurance claims two years running. The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) received 3,747 […] Read more

The brave new world of Prairie wheat

A look at the research funding and marketing development behind this rotation staple

Wheat is a staple crop in most Prairie farmers’ rotations, and it’s not likely to be displaced any time soon. It’s still one of Canada’s most important crops, and contributes more than $11 billion to the Canadian economy every year. Although wheat prices may not always get farmers excited, the potential for the crop does, […] Read more