Latest articles

Play it safe with pre-harvest glyphosate

Follow the label and consult grain buyers for guidelines

When it comes to pre-harvest perennial weed control, Prairie farmers need to play it safe this fall. As of this year, grain from crops treated with glyphosate might have market access concerns, according to the Keeping it Clean program, a joint initiative of the Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada. “Glyphosate residues […] Read more

Soybean Field

Beneficial bacteria getting close

New products may promote plant growth and protect crops from disease

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are present in the root nodules of the majority of legumes, like soybeans and alfalfa. Other “beneficial bacteria” can be found in symbiotic relationships with crop plants that promote growth, increase stress or pest resistance, or increase nutrient solubility. Only in recent years have scientists been able to point to specific bacteria that […] Read more

Use those fusarium maps

Know your risk: fusarium maps offer another metric for spraying decisions

What if farmers could predict Mother Nature’s moods in the growing season? The idea is becoming less and less far-fetched with advances that help producers put a number on disease risk. But fusarium head blight (FHB) risk assessment maps are only one factor among many influencing spraying decisions. FHB risk assessment maps have been available […] Read more

Palmer amaranth continues to spread north

Producers should learn to spot the tall, fast-growing 
weed before it becomes a problem

Amaranth is extremely nutrient-rich. It was important to the Aztecs, and is still cultivated in South America and Mexico. It germinates easily, grows rapidly and produces huge numbers of seed. But the crop that sustained the Aztec economy famously wreaked havoc on the American cotton industry, and is now affecting corn and soybean producers in […] Read more

Kochia not confirmed ‘triple resistant’ — yet

Producers should take action against kochia based on threat severity

Triple-resistant” kochia — kochia resistant to herbicides in Groups 2, 4 and 9 — hasn’t yet been confirmed in Alberta despite recent media reports, says Hugh Beckie, a weed scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Surveys have turned up two-way resistant kochia, specifically Group 2 plus Group 4, and Group 2 plus Group 9 resistant weeds, but […] Read more

Creativity on the farm

Bonny MacNab is a woman of many talents

When Bonny MacNab got off the train to visit her grandparents in northwestern Saskatchewan in the early ’80s, she only expected to stay for a short visit. Raised in B.C., MacNab was heading to Toronto to pursue a career in the arts. But the Prairies, which she’d loved since she was a child, surprised her […] Read more

russet potato in Idaho

GM potatoes are going in the ground

Genetically engineered potatoes could claim acreage in Canada in 2017

In 2016, no acres were seeded to J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered first-generation Innate potato lines in Canada — but industry experts say 2017 will be a different story. “Other than plot-sized production there was no commercial production in Canada this year because of the timing,” says Kevin MacIsaac, general manager at the United Potato Growers […] Read more

The benefits of sex-free agriculture

With crop breeding by apomixes, seed-saving could change up the seed industry

Apomixis is a disruptive technology.” These was the oft-repeated phrase of Tim Sharbel, Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) research chair in Seed Biology, at the recent Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation annual conference in Saskatoon. Sharbel was speaking on the topic “Eliminating sex from agriculture to feed the world,” an overview of his research at […] Read more

Apomixis 101

Apomixis could be called the Holy Grail of plant breeding. According to Rob Duncan, a canola breeder at the University of Manitoba, scientists have been working on it since the 1840s. Even Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, caught the apomixis bug, analyzing the apomictic properties of hawkweed species in the 1860s. What is […] Read more

On-farm 3D printing still a pipedream

Ag Technology: So far, the plastic parts that can be printed are only short-term farm solutions

When a non-standard equipment part breaks during harvest or spring planting, most farmers don’t have time to wait a few weeks for a replacement to arrive. What if they could print a new part right on the farm? That’s the dream being peddled to agricultural industries by a burgeoning 3D printing market, and it’s close […] Read more