The biofuel industry is pleased that Ottawa has decided to separate liquid fuel from gaseous and solid fuels and to develop that standard first.  |  File photo

Biofuel sector hopes for big role in clean fuel strategy

Environment Canada is scheduled to release details of its proposed clean fuel standard this week. It is holding meetings with stakeholders in Ottawa, where it will disclose particulars, such as what share of the 30 million tonne reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 will be allocated to each fuel stream. “That’s something that people have […] Read more

Recent data indicates that the major railways are fulfilling the majority of their orders in a timely fashion.  |  File photo

Grain supply network performing smoothly

An early harvest slowed farmer deliveries to the elevator, but movement picked up during week four of the new crop year

Canada’s grain handling and transportation systems look to be operating smoothly despite smaller-than-average export shipments during the first month of the 2018-19 crop year. “So far, so good,” said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corp., the Edmonton company contracted to monitor commercial grain movements in Western Canada. “We were a little bit concerned (in late […] Read more

Manitoba producers planted 64,100 acres of potatoes this year, up about 1,200 acres from the previous year, while Alberta producers planted 55,410 acres, up about 1,800 acres from 2017.  |  File photo

Potato yields not expected to hit record again

Acreage increased in Manitoba and Alberta this year, but prairie growers are not expecting production to follow suit

The potato acreage may have increased this year in Western Canada, but it doesn’t look like it will be the same for yields. “I think overall, it’s too early to tell because we haven’t started the main harvest, but we are not expecting as big of yield as the last couple of years,” said Dan […] Read more

The Town of Sylvan Lake installed 30 cigarette collection receptacles along its waterfront this summer with plans to install more throughout the town. The butts are broken down into components of tobacco and paper, which are composted, and filters, which are melted, pelletized and combined with other plastics to be made into new products such as pallets and lumber.  |  Maria Johnson photo

Alta. town organizes cigarette butt collection

SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. — It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. The “it” refers to cigarette butt recycling. The central Alberta town of Sylvan Lake has installed 30 cigarette butt collection receptacles along the waterfront this summer and plans to install more throughout the town. The lake is a popular tourist destination […] Read more

Farmer Julimar Pansera inspects plants during the soy harvest near the town of Campos Lindos.  |  Ueslei Marcelino photo

Soy boom devours Brazil’s tropical savanna

Permissive land-use policies and cheap farm acreage have helped catapult Brazil into an agricultural superpower

CAMPOS LINDOS, Brazil, (Reuters) — When farmer Julimar Pansera bought land in Brazil’s interior seven years ago, it was blanketed in tiers of fruit trees, twisted shrubs and the occasional palm standing tall in a thicket of undergrowth. He mowed down most of that vegetation, set it ablaze and started planting soybeans. Over the past […] Read more

Prescribed burns are part of a five-year research project conducted by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan at the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area.  |  Nature Conservancy of Canada photo

Controlled fires can prevent wildfires: research

Prescribed burns at a conservation site in Saskatchewan help researchers understand importance of fire on the prairie

Bone-dry conditions have put a damper on further research using fire at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area in southwestern Saskatchewan. A prescribed burn this fall, organized by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and University of Saskatchewan, was cancelled. “We’re not considering a burn right now. It’s just not safe. It’s […] Read more

A farm succession expert says too many families fail to consider the long-term consequences of transitioning all or most of the operation’s equity to one child.  |  Getty Images photo

Make tough decisions now

The demographics of Canada’s family farms are changing. That means there’s a need for new attitudes toward farm succession planning, said Brent DeKoning, a farm succession expert with Lorkovic Wealth Management. “Over 50 percent of the farmers in Canada are … 55 and older,” DeKoning said during a recent web seminar, sponsored by Farm Management […] Read more

Farmers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are waiting nervously for damage reports from frost that hit September 4. | Twitter/@JasonRanger1 photo

Prairie canola likely avoids frost damage

Mother Nature got hearts racing last week when temperatures dipped below freezing across the Prairies. Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan experienced frost the morning of Sept. 4. The following morning the mercury dropped below zero in a number of locations from the Peace region right through to western Manitoba. About half the crop was still standing […] Read more

Canola, wheat outlook smaller than expected

WINNIPEG (Reuters) — Canadian farmers will harvest less canola and wheat than expected and fall short of last year’s production, an Aug. 30 Statistics Canada report showed. Hot, dry weather across the Prairies was expected to curb yields, although patchy rain left crops in better shape in some areas. In the government’s first report on […] Read more

U.S. wheat growers revive old trade gripe

CHICAGO/DEVILS LAKE, N.D., (Reuters) — Gordon Stoner, who grows wheat in Montana near the Canadian border, would like to sell his wheat to grain elevators in Saskatchewan. However, due to a quirk in Canadian law, the high-protein variety he raises would be automatically downgraded by government inspectors to feed quality. “When I cross the border, […] Read more