Latest articles


Controlling traffic to improve your soil

A new test offers another way to test soil quality improvements

It can be called “fractal hierarchical aggregation” or just “fractal aggregation.” Whatever the moniker, the new method of soil health testing promises to offer an important way to assess soil quality and land stewardship, says Guillermo Hernandez, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. Hernandez is the lead researcher on a suite of projects […] Read more


Nematodes: they’re molecular mimics

Nematodes are tiny pests with big impacts: parasitic cyst nematodes are quickly becoming a major economic concern for soybean, corn, sugar beet and potato producers. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) made its grand entrance in the U.S. in the 1950s, and since then has become soybean producers’ top pest, causing significant yield losses annually. In Canada, […] Read more



Measuring soil’s benefits from CTF

A new test offers a way to measure improvements from controlled traffic farming

It can be called “fractal hierarchical aggregation” or just “fractal aggregation.” Whatever the moniker, the new method of soil health testing promises to offer producers an important metric for assessing soil quality and land stewardship, says Guillermo Hernandez, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. This spring he published a research paper demonstrating that […] Read more


Acreage low, stewardship high for GE potatoes

This year’s Canadian acreage of J.R. Simplot’s genetically engineered Innate potato will be “very small” to non-existent, according to a company spokesperson. Kerwin Bradley, director of commercial innovation for Simplot, says the company’s marketing strategy for new varieties is based on customer polls and identification of marketing channels. “We don’t plant potatoes, or give seed […] Read more



Wheat midge 101: the basics of scouting

Growing soft white wheat or a non-midge-tolerant variety? Get ready to scout

It’s smaller than a mosquito, but more of a headache for Prairie farmers — wheat midge might look innocuous, but it can cause significant crop damage in Western Canada. Since midge-tolerant spring wheat varieties have become widely available, midge scouting has become a thing of the past for many Prairie farmers. However, with only one […] Read more


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