Latest articles


Despite the headlines, ag does a good job

Hart Attacks: It’s a challenge to produce crops and livestock and manage consumer perception as well

The good name of agriculture has taken a few hits this spring. They don’t necessarily link to Canadian farms, but I’m sure even a global event making headlines has some impact with consumers wondering about what goes on with their food and the environment. First, JBS meat packers in Brazil — the worlds largest meat […] Read more


Farmers facing mixed bag of conditions

Farmer Panel: Most farmers are on track for seeding, but many are dealing with last year’s crop

On schedule with one-third of the crop seeded, still about a week away, and scrambling to get some of last year’s crop harvested while working to get the 2017 crop in the ground — these are the range of reports from western Canadian farmers as of early May as they look at the cropping season […] Read more



Raw chicken breasts on cutting board

On the upside, no plucking necessary

Hart Attacks: Get ready for designer chicken, and cultured steaks. Meat technology has arrived

I knew when Case IH rolled out that robotic tractor that didn’t need a driver, it was only a matter of time before technology produced meat without an animal. And here we have it — Memphis Meats, a food science company with headquarters in Transylvania has just launched “the world’s first Clean Poultry”… that’s chicken […] Read more


Spring is the new fall: harvest time crunch

Many areas are still dealing with unharvested crops; wet weather is delaying seeding as well

As of April 6 Jason Craig had combined about half the wheat that had been left out under snow all winter on his central Alberta farm. He only had about 120 acres in total of both wheat and canola left out, but it is still a considerable investment. Combining the swathed wheat that was on […] Read more



Rape field, canola crops

How’s your moly doing out there?

Molybdenum was once known as ‘poor man’s lime’ for a good reason

Under the category “if it ain’t one thing it’s another” when it comes to crop nutrient requirements, the question is now being asked, “have you thought about the molybdenum levels in your canola and pulse crops?” Cereals need it too, but canola, peas, beans, lentils, faba beans, soybeans and others all have higher molybdenum requirements. Molybdenum, also often […] Read more


The wacky world of decision-making

Hart Attacks: When there is too much information, there must be an app for that

Here’s one “flypaper” email list you want to avoid — the Conservative Party of Canada. I made the mistake back in Stephen Harper’s days as prime minister — it might have even been during his first term — but I sent a donation to the Conservative Party. The pitch was if I sent even a […] Read more



So much more than just a rain gauge

Farmers Edge weather info 
service connects the dots of 
precision farming data

If you thought GPS and auto steer was a step forward in farming, check out the precision farming package Farmers Edge is launching this spring in Western Canada based around its on-farm, “field-centric,” precision weather data system. The weather station is just part of an overall integrated data collection package called Smart Solution. Weather information […] Read more


How good or bad is that unharvested crop?

Hart Attacks: Farmers and processors won’t really know until quality is tested

I am sensing a muffled drum roll in parts of Western Canada right now as a few thousand farmers across central and northern B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan are waiting to see what this unharvested crop looks like, when they do have a chance to get it combined. There were several thousand acres — about 10 […] Read more



Tips for hitting malt barley grade

It’s pretty hard to argue with the experience of growers as well as researchers

Tom Hewson admits while there is always room for improving agronomic practices, his track record for producing malt barley has been quite respectable. Hewson, who farms with family members at Langbank, in southeast Saskatchewan, says he has grown malting barley for many years. “I estimate on average about two-thirds of the years, about two-thirds of […] Read more


Contracts a good idea with malt barley

Any farmers planning to grow barley for malting purposes, should try and line up contracts before they seed and know the barley specifications malting companies are looking for, says a grain procurement specialist. For most malting programs a high yielding, high quality barley with plump kernels, 13 per cent seed moisture, with a 95 per […] Read more