Beet growers eye road de-icing market

Beet juice can beat snow and ice in winter road conditions, but the stuff being used in Calgary and elsewhere in Western Canada does not come from Alberta-grown sugar beets. Alberta Sugar Beet Growers would like to change that because another use for their product could mean more acres and higher economic returns. “We believe […] Read more

Seneca Valley Virus a growing problem

Seneca Valley Virus, an illness in pigs, is on the rise in parts of the United States, and that should put Canadian hog producers on alert. Dr. Julia Keenliside, veterinary epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture, said the U.S. reported 200 cases of the virus in 2015, but in 2017 there were 300 cases reported in Wisconsin […] Read more

Producers offered help with on-farm research

Alberta Pulse Growers wants to ensure that farmers carrying out 
their own research follow correct procedures

Crop research works well in small plots but do the results translate to field scale? That is a common question farmers ask when considering research results. Alberta Pulse Growers has a project underway to help farmers undertake their own field-scale research and get reliable results despite the variables. “Definitely farmers can be skeptical of small […] Read more

Agent Orange rumour shows depth of misinformation

Rumours still persist that a powerful defoliant used in the Vietnam War is still used today and can found on food

The postings appear periodically on social media, placed by people critical of chemical manufacturers or who promote organic food or reduced chemical use in food crops. The postings are about Agent Orange, and they suggest that the powerful Vietnam War-era defoliant is being used today and can be found in food. Not true, says Joe […] Read more

When livestock get in traffic accidents

Emergency preparedness and first responder training can make it easier to work with animals in emergencies

The sight lives in Trevor Coleman’s memory. It is a horse standing untethered on a flat deck trailer being pulled with a pickup truck down a major highway during a forest fire. “It was one of those things, just a head shaker,” said Coleman, fire chief for the Municipal District of Willow Creek. Coleman, a […] Read more

Alberta sets out loans for wildfire compensation

Producers don’t feel the government consulted enough with them while developing a plan they call inadequate

Farmers and ranchers who suffered losses in the Oct. 17 prairie wildfires near Hilda and Acadia Valley, Alta., can apply for interest-free loans in the new year. Alberta Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier announced the program Dec. 20, noting the loans can be used to provide working capital, pay expenses and help replace assets lost in […] Read more

Higher seeding rate helps grain corn

Increased interest in growing grain corn in southern Alberta has prompted Farming Smarter, an applied research group, to study some of the crop’s agronomic aspects. The three-year project, one of the last to be funded by the former Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund, experimented with row spacing, number of seeds per acre and fertility. Ken […] Read more

A revolution is coming

What is the future of agriculture? Disruption and chaos. There’s a revolution coming, according to agricultural innovation experts, but it will come with opportunities. By Barb Glen, LETHBRIDGE BUREAU

“Farmers of the future will be innovators,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer at Alltech, a U.S.-based company with interests in animal nutrition, meat and distilling. “In the future, my recommendation to farmers would be, buy yourself a passport, go travel the world, read as much as you can, learn as much as you can, […] Read more

Hands-free field test

Researchers showcase ‘the future of farming’ using autonomous vehicles to plant, treat and harvest one hectare of barley

The mission: to plant, treat and harvest one hectare of barley using only autonomous farm equipment. Mission accomplished. The feat occurred this year in a field at Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom, and university researcher Jonathan Gill, one of the self-professed geeks behind the project, considers it a rubicon in the future of […] Read more

Researcher understands farmer doubts about hands-free farming

Farming by robot? Remote control? Laser-sensing technology? Drones? Canadian farmers don’t believe they will make major use of autonomous farming methods for at least another five years, according to a survey undertaken by Glacier FarmMedia. However futuristic it may sound, hands-free farming methods exist and have successfully been used in the Hands Free Hectare project […] Read more