Latest articles


Good to be mixed up, in the right order

The sequence of the herbicide tank mix matters. Get it right with W.A.L.E.S

With more interest in recent years in tank mixing different herbicide products to provide more effective control of weeds, and reduce the risk of selecting weeds for herbicide tolerance, producers need to follow the proper mixing procedure. It’s not just a matter of which products can be safely tank mixed, but also what order different […] Read more


Elections can only make things better

But to get there, first you have to define what “better” means

With an Alberta provincial election coming up in mid-April and a federal election likely to happen in the fall of 2019, I know it is just a matter of days before all my problems will be solved. With either new or re-confirmed governments in place in both jurisdictions all my troubles will be lifted. Everything […] Read more



Barley growers impressed with VRT results

Crops hit yield and quality expectations, and bring an easier harvest

Data collected by Decisive Farming from several farms across Western Canada in a program using variable-rate technology (VRT) to produce malting barley crops in 2018 showed considerable production gains over industry averages. Data collected from 17 farms, involving about 9,300 acres of malt barley crops showed on acres seeded with both variable-rate seeding and fertilizer technology an average yield of 85 bushels per acre, […] Read more


Spornado could give heads up on disease

Collecting airborne disease spores could offer growers an early warning

An Alberta seed testing company has crop disease monitoring technology in the works that could provide some of the answers as suggested in the old Bob Dylan song about what’s “Blowin’ in The Wind.” 20/20 Seed Labs, based in Nisku, just south of Edmonton, is continuing its field testing in 2019 using fairly simple-looking equipment to collect the windborne disease spores such […] Read more



Holding an Earthworm in Hand

Don’t underestimate the power of soil bugs

Save money, increase profits by getting billions of little creatures working for you

There’s that message again — learning to farm without inputs. It is a pretty compelling concept: being able to grow a crop without $200 or $300 per acre invested in added fertilizer and crop protection products. Is it a myth? Does it work? What are these guys trying to sell me? Kevin Elmy says it works. […] Read more


Are you leaving water on the table?

New app and service gives producers a better handle on moisture

Since technology so far can’t make it start or stop raining on dryland farms, it is obviously important to make the most efficient use of moisture that is available during the growing season. But how much moisture do or will you have for that crop? Depending on the year and location, spring seedbed soil moisture can range from […] Read more



You never know what readers are thinking

Despite mention of canola, cheese, carrots and fish this is not a recipe

Once in a while I try to respond to the proverbial “mailbag” to acknowledge comments, updates and sometimes criticisms of my wide-ranging observations. So here are a few thoughts that readers shared, in no particular order: Clubroot reminder I had to tone this down a bit, but after a few articles I wrote on risk […] Read more


Celebrating Agriculture Day with food

The important things you can learn at a free industry luncheon celebration

Well that was a party and a half. There I was on Canada’s Agriculture Day in mid-February at a Calgary luncheon table with Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Pulse Growers and Alberta Dairy Producers. Talk about shoving, pushing, name calling and aggression. It wasn’t over any philosophy of who had the best source of food protein… […] Read more



Elmer unveils its biggest grain cart yet

Elmer’s Manufacturing’s newest cart has a profile with greater capacity and sophisticated technology

[UPDATED: Mar. 15, 2019] With 40 years of experience in the farm equipment manufacturing business, Elmer’s Manufacturing of south-central Manitoba has unveiled its largest and improved grain cart, available for the 2019 harvest season. With a nearby diesel tractor running, the front-end loader was raised to draw back the large white tarp to unveil a […] Read more


Some seed may be in short supply

Last fall’s ‘winter’ took a heavy toll on seed quality for 2019

Seed people are saying the 2018 harvest season was one of the toughest in decades on seed quality across parts of Western Canada. If you do have seed make sure it’s germination tested before seeding, and if you haven’t lined up certified seed you might be disappointed — certain crop types and varieties may not […] Read more