Latest articles

From barley seeding to beer sipping

Long-time Alberta farmers tap into vertical integration with malt barley

The photo above may look like some Alberta grain farmers taking a break in a barley field, but they are really brewery executives collecting inventory for an inter-national microbrewing industry. These are members of the Hilton family (Hilton Ventures) a fifth-generation farm near Strathmore, Alta., (just east of Calgary) and they are farmers having a […] Read more

Winter wheats get better and better

New winter wheats improve on yield, disease and quality; some with specialty appeal

Several promising new lines of milling winter wheat are coming along for cereal crop producers across Western Canada over the next couple of years, says an Agriculture Canada winter wheat breeder. Rob Graf, based at the Lethbridge Research Centre says producers in all parts of the prairies should be watching for a new line called […] Read more

Ventilation system takes chill off

Capturing the heat from stale air helps reduce this barn’s heating bill

Capturing at least some of the heat from stale or “old” air being exhausted from poultry and hog barns is one more step in developing intensive livestock operations with net zero energy barns. The net zero term means a barn is producing as much energy as it is using. Two poultry barns in Alberta, for […] Read more

Landscape featuring a harvested grain field.

Interesting twist on high cost of farmland

These high prices are great news for sellers, but they leave buyers out of the game

Just about every farmer I talk to in all parts of the country has a common buyer’s complaint — they want to expand their farming operation but land prices are high. It is difficult for established family farms to grow and new farmers are finding it almost impossible to get into the business on land […] Read more

red spring wheat

Niche market wheats are coming soon

Reduced-gluten wheat just the first of several geared to consumer tastes

While your everyday, even high quality, hard red spring wheat isn’t doing so well in the marketplace right now, a biotech company in Davis, California, is launching a new reduced-gluten HRSW. Arcadia Biosciences also has other wheats with distinctive health-benefit traits in its pipeline. Arcadia is hopeful that introducing these non-GMO traits into wheat will […] Read more

Tragedy helps us find sense of community

Tragic accident brings back memories of communities, and a new search for them

With the nation and a good part of the world riveted for a couple of weeks on the tragedy of the bus crash north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, in early April that resulted in the death of 16 members of Humboldt Broncos hockey club, there was one uplifting message: Canadian and, perhaps more broadly, human compassion […] Read more

Farmers hoping for a balance in moisture

As spring finally takes hold, producers report a wide range of seeding conditions

The 2018 seeding season is starting out as a Goldilocks year for many western Canadian farmers — with conditions ranging from too dry, or too wet, they are looking for that middle ground that is “just right.” Producers in parts of Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan are reporting enough moisture to get the crop started, but […] Read more

Edge herbicide approved for use with hemp

Established chemistry increases weed control options in specialty crop

Will Van Roessel may be reducing hemp acres on his southern Alberta farm this year, reflecting market signals over increasing world production, but he will be using Edge herbicide to help control pre-emergent weeds. Van Roessel who along with family members operates Specialty Seeds near Bow Island, just west of Medicine Hat, says Edge is […] Read more

We’re going somewhere in a handbasket

We could take the train to get there, but unfortunately there are no rail cars

The movement and marketing of natural resources vital to western Canadians isn’t that important — oil and grain can wait. Let’s focus on the real priority — getting cannabis into the hands of consumers. And maybe that’s the strategy. Get people high on marijuana and then they won’t really notice that governments aren’t doing anything. […] Read more

What’s the impact of agricultural business mergers?

Are these companies merging to get stronger, or prepare for changing trends?

Are big agriculture company mergers a good or bad thing for the ag industry in general and for farmers specifically? “It is a big question that doesn’t have any real clear cut answers,” says Murray Fulton, a business professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Historically mergers haven’t been all that favourable in industry in general, […] Read more