Latest articles


New barley breeding efforts aim for a replacement for AC Metcalfe

Breeders have recently focused their efforts on the craft brewers

Aaron Beattie is a barley breeder at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre. Beattie is looking for a replacement for AC Metcalfe. AC Metcalfe is a high enzymatic variety, so it’s suitable for large-scale brewers. A new variety, CDC Fraser, is also high in enzymes and offers more in terms of disease resistance and […] Read more


New malting barley variety acceptance an uphill battle

While the industry works to market new varieties, farmers seed the old standbys

Farmers choosing malt barley seed in the spring of 2019 would have seen CDC Copeland and AC Metcalfe at the top of the list of recommended varieties published by the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC). CDC Copeland was registered 20 years ago, in 1999. AC Metcalfe was registered in 1997. While the list includes newer varieties, barley […] Read more



Grasshopper isolated on white background

Saskatchewan bugs to watch for in 2019

Low survey results in 2018 could be good news for Saskatchewan farmers this season

The 2018 pest survey results for Saskatchewan look like good news for the 2019 season. Grasshopper, pea leaf weevil and diamondback moth populations were all low in 2018. Large numbers of Bertha armyworm moths were caught in the Outlook and Watrous areas, but these do not necessarily predict 2019 populations. Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture integrated […] Read more


Three crop pests to watch for in Alberta in 2019

Grasshoppers, bertha armyworms and cabbage seedpod weevil

Each winter, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry entomologist Scott Meers and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry insect research technologist Shelley Barkley host #ABbugchat on Twitter, drawing the attention of growers across the province. This year, the pair released forecast maps for three pests: grasshopper, bertha armyworm and cabbage seedpod weevil. Here’s what you missed. Grasshoppers The forecast […] Read more



Two diseases to watch for in peas

Ascochyta blight and aphanomyces root rot occur in dry years as well as wet

If you’re growing peas for the first time this year, of if you haven’t grown them in a while, you’ll want to watch for these two diseases in your fields: ascochyta blight and aphanomyces root rot. The disease that is perhaps most concerning, most visible and most likely to cause yield loss is ascochyta, or […] Read more


Australian chaff decks show promise

From Down Under: a chemical-free tool to help manage post-harvest weeds

A new weed management tool that’s taking Australia by storm could be a good fit for Canadian farmers as well. Chaff lining, or the practice of concentrating the weed seed-bearing chaff material in confined rows behind the harvester, has helped Australian farmers to better control weeds. While it’s too early to tell if the system […] Read more



Managing Saskatchewan’s toughest weeds

You’ve seen these weeds before, and you’ll probably see them again

No matter which crops Saskatchewan farmers grow, the same weeds appear year after year. While the culprits are consistent, how you manage them is not, especially as herbicide resistance cases mount. For nearly 50 years, Canada thistle, wild oats, wild buckwheat and green foxtail have appeared in the top-five list of problematic weeds in Saskatchewan. […] Read more


Identifying those tough-to-ID weeds

Some hard-to-control weeds look a lot like less invasive weeds

In the spring when weeds seem to be popping up by the minute, knowing exactly what you have in the field will help you determine the best course of action. But some weed species and their doppelgangers are tough to tell apart. Clark Brenzil, Saskatchewan’s provincial weed specialist, outlines some of the trickier species and […] Read more



Soybean protein levels on the decline

What’s causing lower protein levels in soybeans grown in Western Canada?

Soybean protein levels in Western Canada are on the decline and lower than those found in Eastern Canada and parts of the United States. Although researchers aren’t certain of the cause, they suspect that selection for yield at the breeding and genetic levels may have something to do with it. Cassandra Tkachuk, production specialist at Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, is one of […] Read more


Managing grasshopper outbreaks

Provincial forecast maps show mixed levels of grasshopper risks

Grasshopper forecasts, based on last summer’s population counts, weather data and recent trends, are now available in all three Prairie provinces for 2019. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry entomologist Scott Meers warns that a dry spring could lead to major risk of grasshopper outbreaks in 2019. In southern Alberta, consecutive dry summers have resulted in an increase in grasshopper […] Read more