Latest articles


PHOTOS: Les Henry: Wildlife on my Blackstrap farm

Almost all of my encounters with wildlife have been positive and occasionally photos have been possible. This is what I’ve learned

For 25 years I have owned land just a half hour drive south of Saskatoon, just east of Blackstrap Lake. In that time, I have had many wildlife encounters and observed several cycles of Mother Nature and her creatures. Wildlife conservation Some city slickers like to think farmers are bent on destruction of Mother Nature. […] Read more


Les Henry: Water information in Western Canada is flowing nicely

Look to these sources for information on where to find water during dry spells

The past few years, growing-season rain on many Canadian Prairie farms has been much less than needed for a good crop. From 2005 to 2014 high snowfall plus much above-average rainfall provided more than enough moisture for crop growth. The excess rain and snow filled the soil and raised the water table by as much […] Read more



Les Henry: My 1980 visit to China and an outlook for China’s future

Forty years of change in China is nothing compared to the country’s long history

China has been very much in the farm media in Western Canada in the past months. In September 1980 it was my good fortune to be part of a mission to China from Saskatchewan. Our team of four was charged with the task of determining the feasibility of establishing a dryland demonstration farm in China to display Saskatchewan […] Read more


Les Henry: Is your slough water safe for cattle?

If you’re looking to sloughs for water, screen them with an EC meter to be safe

As the drought drags in many parts of the Prairies, there is great concern about crops. Many areas started the season with little subsoil moisture reserve and most areas have had too little rain. In some cases it is almost none — at my Dundurn farm, the total rainfall for the year to date as […] Read more



Les Henry: Water quality and herbicides

You know your herbicides. But what’s in the other 999 gallons you put in the tank?

As we gear up to fill the sprayer and begin killing weeds maybe we should take another look at what is in the other 999 gallons in the sprayer. It is well known that the water should be clean with no silt or debris present, but this piece deals with the dissolved “goodies” you cannot […] Read more


Les Henry: CO2, global climate and crop yields

It’s not all bad news: research shows higher yields from higher levels of CO2

About one year ago I began searching the scientific literature to determine the impact of increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere on crop yields. It was a frustrating experience. Most of the articles seemed to have the pre-determined conclusion that CO2 was a villain rather than the major nutrient in all of our crops. A […] Read more



Anhydrous Ammonia tanks

Les Henry: Anhydrous ammonia and the 4Rs

Time to bring back what should be the cheapest form of nitrogen fertilizer

Almost all farm press of late that talks about fertilizer use emphasizes the 4R concept. That means that we will take each nutrient and decide what is the “right” source to use, what is the “right” application rate, what is the “right” placement and what is the “right” time to apply that nutrient. The nutrient […] Read more


Les Henry: Mourning the loss of the International Plant Nutrition Institute

Information will be lost with the end of this valuable organization

To my great disappointment I recently learned of the impending demise of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), an organization funded by primary producers of fertilizer products. IPNI was involved in a wide array of activities to further the efficient and effective use of fertilizers to keep farms profitable and to feed the people of […] Read more



Les Henry: Soils, grassland and bush

Manage your soils based on what’s going on underneath the soil

I penned a piece with this same title in 1989. Since then, we have learned some new things about how grassland and bush soils function. In the old days the actual 35 mm slides of the soil profiles had to be sent by snail mail to Winnipeg and the captions were in the paper copy […] Read more


Les Henry: A pretty little slough, a picture story

Sloughs are affected by the underground as well as surface features

Be patient. This piece does have a punch line and it does relate to farming — but it comes at the end. Carry on and read. No peeking! In 2007 I was involved in a hydrogeology study of a new subdivision in southeast Saskatoon. The real work was done by an engineering firm who hired […] Read more