Latest articles


Canaryseed for the people

Nine agronomic facts about growing canaryseed, Canada’s newest food product

In 2006, the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan (CDCS) formed around a single purpose: to gain approval for the use of canaryseed for human consumption. Checkoff dollars and government programs funded extensive research led by food microbiologist, Carol Ann Patterson. For a decade, canaryseed was put through thousands of hours of toxicological, nutritional, and compositional […] Read more


There’s a new processing giant on the block

Change is in store for farmers with the sale of Legumex Walker's Special Crops Division

On November 9, 2015 Legumex Walker shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept The Scoular Company’s offer to buy its Special Crops Division for $94 million. The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of November. This marks the end of Legumex Walker’s journey as one of […] Read more



17 crop disease prevention strategies

Fungicides are key, but there are many other parts to an effective long-term strategy

As you can tell by the fact that this article includes 17, yes 17, strategies for crop diseases prevention, there are no quick fixes. Crop disease prevention is going to be an ongoing struggle. 1. Use multiple strategies: Understand that multiple strategies are the way to go. There isn’t one big hammer, rather lots of little hammers with […] Read more


Are plant infection rates increasing for crops?

Prairie farmers are spending more time and money on disease prevention than ever before

Farmers are staring down a legion of diseases these days. Whether it’s scouting for this or spraying for that, they are scrambling like never before to keep them under control. On the cereal front, says Tim Gardner, senior market development specialist with Bayer CropScience, leaf diseases have always been around but now fusarium head blight […] Read more



organic wheat

Transitioning to organic farming

It’s not for everyone, but if you’re wondering if going organic might be for you, here are nine tips to get you started down the path

While the number of Canadian farms dwindled by 17 per cent between 2001 and 2011, the Census of Agriculture shows a whopping 66.5 per cent increase in the number of organic farms during the same period. In 2012 farmers planted about 720,000 acres of organic field crops across Canada, 78 per cent of that was […] Read more


Men in doorway of barn

How to fire farm employees

Nobody wants to fire employees. Learn how to do it kindly

Farms are unique places of employment: they are often family businesses, they are not unionized, the work is often seasonal, they sometimes house their employees, and they are exempt from some provincial employment standards. As grain farms on the Prairies grow, so do their number of employees. While some farms still get by with a […] Read more



Green Barley Ears

A smut by any other name

Smut is one of the few diseases that’s not a hot button issue this winter. But true loose smut can cause headaches for barley growers. Here’s how to keep it out of your fields

Covered, loose, false, true, stinking, stem, common. Apparently, a smut exists for every occasion. Smut is a broad term that refers to a variety of fungal diseases that affect cereal grains on the Canadian prairies. Each smut is caused by a specific fungi which attacks a particular grain and produces slightly different effects. One thing all smuts have in common: […] Read more


Perennial ryegrass

Grass seed industry has solid niche

Not everyone seeds forage, but moving into grass seed production may be beneficial for some

At least 8,000 years have passed since humans first started harvesting grasses. In that time, cereal grains have become quite different from their grassy ancestors. They still have enough similarities though, that farmers can incorporate grass seed into their cereal and oilseed operations fairly easily. For instance, there’s no need for specialized equipment. They still […] Read more



combine harvesting

Getting into growing grass seed crops

Growing grass seed can fit well into a rotation. Here are seven tips for beginning grass growers

Terry Andersen seeds about 25 per cent of his 2,700 acres at Anderseed Farms near Bon Accord, Alta., to grass primarily for reclamation. He first planted grass seed in 1992 because he was told that he could make more money with it than with grain. While prices haven’t always been good, Kowalchuk confirms that they’ve […] Read more


Re-building buckwheat production

Buckwheat is difficult to grow and hard to market. But there is money to be made when things go well

Buckwheat is a curious crop. It’s not new or exotic; it was planted in Western Canada as early as 1925. It’s familiar to most Canadians in its various forms — pancakes, soba noodles, or groats (also known as kasha) to name three. There is high demand for it on the Japanese market yet only a […] Read more