Latest articles


Just for the record, I do have three readers

Hart Attacks: And if you need a climate change speaker call Bruno for a good time

My walk down memory lane through the pages of a 1938 Country Guide magazine (in the Feb. 7, 2017 issue of Grainews), and my deep analysis of the climate change/global warming issue (Jan. 24 issue of Grainews), drew some feedback from several readers. I figured this update would show just how this column can change […] Read more


Producers focus on herbicide rotation

Farmers figure it’s better to avoid herbicide resistance than manage around it

John Berger and Spencer Hilton are southern Alberta farmers doing all they can as part of their crop and herbicide rotation programs to reduce the risk of weeds developing herbicide resistance. Berger, who along with son Brad, crops about 5,000 acres near Nanton, south of Calgary, actually stockpiled some particularly effective chemistries when Monsanto sold […] Read more



Mallards next on the U.S. no-fly list

Hart Attacks: We Canadians cannot control our ducks, and what they carry with them

With a Twitter-happy president south of the border, I predict it is just a matter of time before Canada — and migrating Canadian ducks specifically — receives nasty tweets for pooping out weed seeds on U.S. farms. That would almost be a joke except that President Trump appears to be such an unpredictable character, with […] Read more


Earlier seeding has advantages

Seed according to conditions to optimize moisture, 
root development and nutrients

It is difficult to have a conversation with plant pathologist and soil fertility specialist Dr. Iuean Evans without hearing the word “copper” and the important role it can play in development of a healthy, high yielding crop. But he also has recently noted that early-bird agronomic practices are important for optimizing soil available nutrients and […] Read more



A goldilocks year, and few found it ‘just right’

Early winter, in the middle of harvest, definitely took its toll

Here’s what you learn when you ask a sampling of western Canadian farmers how 2016 went and what’s ahead for the coming seeding season: Corn and soybeans did very 
well in 2016. Looking ahead, disease pressure on cereal and pulse crops could change the cropping landscape. An early spring would be a blessing considering there […] Read more


Human-pig chimeras! Who knew?

There’s never a dull moment around the old biotech R & D table

Ever since I met my first computer in about 1980, I’ve had this sinking feeling that science and technology is slipping away from me. There I was as a new kid in the Lethbridge Herald newsroom. I had used a typewriter all during my early career, and here I was sitting in front of a […] Read more



Garden Peas

94 is out there — don’t settle for average

Agronomics, fertility and overall nutrition can raise field pea yields as high as 94 bushels per acre

It was only a plot, and it wasn’t necessarily a realistic crop nutrient program most producers would consider following, but an ATP Nutrition demonstration at a Saskatchewan farm show last summer, showed Prairie farmers it is possible to produce an 94 bushel field pea crop. That 94 bushel yield, on plots at the Ag In […] Read more


In praise of old tractors and horses

Hart Attacks: It’s been a long journey from horses to tractors to aerial drone technology

I was just catching up on my reading, going through the January 1938 issue of Country Guide magazine and I’m sorry I missed out on a contest to win a brand new Massey Harris tractor in a contest sponsored by Gillett’s Lye. All you had to do is to get every family member, friend, neighbour […] Read more



Soil nutrients are in deficit after 2016

Consider the toll 2016’s big crop took on NPKS when planning for 2017 fertility

Make sure you have a late fall or early spring soil test as a guide to plant your 2017 crop fertility program. After the 2016 growing season, this is even more important than usual, says Rigas Karamanos, a long-time soil specialists who is now a senior agronomist for Koch Fertilizer Canada. Karamanos says his message isn’t […] Read more


Fertilizer expert discourages winter application

While winter application can even out workload, losses are high and pollution is a risk

Considering how the 2016 growing/harvest season went, there may be a real crunch this spring to first find and then get fertilizer applied at seeding, but if you’re thinking it might be a good idea to get a jump on workload and apply fertilizer this winter on snow or frozen ground — DON’T. That’s the advice […] Read more