Latest articles

horizontal image of five round steel grain bins sitting in a yellow canola field under a very cloudy sky in the summer.

New blackleg resistance labels for canola

The canola industry has agreed to voluntarily enhance blackleg resistance labels on canola seed. Seed companies will still use the current R, MR, MS, and S labels. But they will also start adding information indicating which major genes are present in a blackleg-resistant variety. Each blackleg-resistant variety leans heavily on a single major gene for […] Read more

Ed Seidle learns on the job

This on-farm research program generated info about everything from aphanomyces to root rot

How can producers make sure their on-farm trials produce useful results? Or perhaps a better question is whether growers can, or need to, run trials as rigorously as researchers? Most farmers don’t have the time or patience to run the types of on-farm experiments that scientists do, says Ed Seidle. But that doesn’t mean they […] Read more

Mustard is on the menu

There are many ways to use mustard. Smear it on rink burgers and hot dogs. Grind it. Use it in flour. Add it to tuna casserole. “We took it one step further when we looked at mustard components,” says Carol Ann Patterson. “Protein, the oil, the bran itself or the dietary fibre and fibre. Where […] Read more

Leaving your livestock to a farm-sitter

Reporter's Notebook: Before you get on the plane, you're going to have to find someone to feed and watch those cows

How do cattle producers manage to leave for winter holidays if they aren’t working with extended family? It’s a conundrum producers have likely faced since they first domesticated cattle-beasts. Several years ago, while I was still living in Edmonton, I remember hearing about a guy, Frank Campbell, who was setting up a farm-sitting service. Basically […] Read more

Pain management in cattle

Several products are effective, but pay attention to timing

There’s no doubt that some routine procedures such as castration are painful for cattle. Fortunately, researchers are figuring out how producers can mitigate pain with products on the market today. Dr. Eugene Janzen of the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has been studying pain mitigation in beef cattle for several years. He says […] Read more

Understanding temperature inversions

Those calm, cloudless days may not be 
the perfect days to get out the sprayer

If you’re planning to spray, beware air temperature inversions on calm, cloudless days. That was the message from Andrew Thostenson during the Canola Council of Canada’s CanoLAB at Vermilion’s Lakeland College this winter. Thostenson is an extension pesticide specialist with North Dakota University. Avoiding pesticide damage during an inversion comes down to understanding how inversions work and recognizing the environmental conditions that cause them, Thost­enson […] Read more

The need for better record keeping

Reporter's Notebook: It’s not one of agronomy’s most exciting issues, but it’s a need that’s not going away

At CanolaLAB in Vermilion in February, record-keeping kept popping up during the agronomy sessions. Murray Hartman of Alberta Agriculture and the Canola Council’s Dan Orchard facilitated an interesting session on plant stand establishment. Target plant stand recommendations have dropped a little, but before farmers cut seeding rates, they need to know how many plants are […] Read more

Elgin ND wheat meets sellers’ claims

This Canadian northern hard red wheat gave growers high yields and better returns

Elgin ND promises high yields and better returns. Do those claims hold up in farmers’ fields? Two growers who tried out the new variety last year share their experience. North Dakota State University plant breeders developed Elgin ND as a high-yielding milling variety. They first distributed it south of the border in 2013. In Canada, […] Read more

Lower canola target plant stands

With newer canola varieties, farmers can hit optimum yields with lower plant counts

New canola varieties and changing economics have pushed target plant stands lower, says Murray Hartman, oilseed specialist with Alberta Agriculture. The “economic sweet spot” is now four to six plants per square foot, Hartman told farmers and agronomists at the Canola Council of Canada’s CanoLAB in Vermilion, Alberta. Hartman recently reviewed published trial data looking […] Read more

Would faba beans fit in your crop rotation?

Faba beans have potential, but markets are still feeling facing growing pains

As diseases take a bite out of western Canadian crops, farmers are looking for new rotation options. “Faba bean is not susceptible to root rot. Quinoa is not susceptible to fusarium. So it’s two crops that we can grow over here that may fit well into our rotation,” says Brad Goudy, owner of Goudy Ag […] Read more