Latest articles


Herbicide diversity tackles kochia

As the weed works hard to outmanoeuvre chemicals, farmers expand the toolbox

Joe Wurz takes kochia control seriously. The southern Alberta farmer at the Lathom Hutterite Colony takes all weeds seriously, but a few years ago when he observed some healthy-looking kochia plants standing in a patch of dead kochia on farm fields near Brooks — all had been sprayed with glyphosate — he suspected herbicide tolerance […] Read more


Calgary vet school ready to go ranching

Gift of a fully functioning ranch takes teaching and research to a new level

It’s not every day a 19,000-acre working cattle ranch lands in your lap, but that’s the very welcome problem the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine School (UCVM) is dealing with this fall as a gift from an Alberta ranching family propels the 13-year-old school into a league of its own among vet schools in North […] Read more



NAFTA-USMCA

The USMCA is stupid

Only four words on this trade deal: bad, bad, bad and very bad

I hate to say that anything that comes out of Donald Trump’s U.S. government is a good thing, so I will wait for more feedback before I decide if the new NAFTA agreement — now known as the new USMCA (U.S., Mexico, Canada-Agreement) is a really good thing or not. Maybe since my facts are […] Read more


Canola going down for the count

Like Goldilocks: you don’t want too few or too many, but the count that’s just right

It’s a message being delivered with all western Canadian field crops these days, but canola seed suppliers such as BASF’s InVigor line (formerly Bayer products) are clearly making the point — know the seed count going through the air seeding system and follow that up with a plant count in the field. InVigor, for the […] Read more



2018 weather—just part of cycle

Maybe there is climate change, but farmers figure this really isn’t out of the ordinary

Many farmers across Western Canada are counting on October to be a decent harvest month after combines in many areas came to a screeching halt about mid-September as daily rain showers, snow flurries and in some cases snowfall terminated what had largely been a hot, dry summer. But producers contacted in late September for this […] Read more


Species diversity is key to year-round grazing

Annual seedings provide important support to perennial pastures

Ben Stewart believes in using a diverse mix of annual, biannual and perennial forages in his summer pasture and winter feeding program to improve rates of gain on his cattle, reduce winter feeding costs and improve soil health. The fact that he also works with a company that sells forage seed might make him a […] Read more



Well here is a game changing concept

Profitable crop production with little or no added inputs. Is someone talking nonsense?

Talk about an interesting contrast in messages! In one week during my summer travels I attended a first-in-Canada Soil Health School in Manning (Alberta Peace River region) and a few days later I was eating dust at a tillage demonstration at the Ag In Motion farm show at Langham, Sask. My old brain had to […] Read more


A high clearance sprayer on a field in a prairie landscape

Ontario report backs value of glyphosate

Thirty years of crop data support economic and environmental value

The value of glyphosate to the agriculture industry, the economy and the environment is getting a bad and uninformed wrap from critics, say two long-time experts in agronomy and pesticide regulation fields who have reviewed a mountain of data compiled by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) which shows just the opposite. […] Read more



You never know who’s out there

From a small town in the Basque country to the passenger seat of Lee Hart’s car

I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers. Partly because I really don’t see that many on the roads I travel, and largely because I usually have so much stuff — snacks, drinks, assorted wrappers, garbage, camera bag, briefcase — piled on my passenger seat that it becomes a major project to make room for someone. But I recently made an […] Read more


Ray Dowbenko changing hats

Retirement came earlier than respected, but he still plans to contribute

Western Canadian farmers aren’t losing a valuable resource, but a long-time soil fertility specialists and agronomist will be heading off in a new direction this fall, as Ray Dowbenko wraps up a 30-year career with a major fertilizer company. Dowbenko, who spent more than 20 years often recognized as the frontline man who figured out […] Read more