Agricultural researchers and technicians were among those cut, further signalling the department’s intentions to exit the research field. | File photo

Alta. ag layoffs called ‘a pretty significant change’

There was plenty of warning but that didn’t ease the shock for about 135 Alberta Agriculture employees who got notice last week of pending job loss. The recent cuts were phase one of a two-phase “workforce transformation” that will see the provincial government eliminate 247 union positions in agriculture and forestry, with the second phase […] Read more

International hydrotechnical consultant Wim Veldman provided data showing that Alberta has not used its full licence allocation of water since 1988 but has increased its irrigated area by 40 percent since 1976. | File photo

Alberta has adequate water supplies to grow: panel

One member of a recent discussion says the environment will suffer if water use in the province expands too much

The question is apt: does Alberta have enough water to grow? The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy put that question to a three-member panel Oct. 20. Two said the answer is yes. The third said maybe but there will be trade-offs. Earlier this month the federal and provincial governments announced an $815 million […] Read more

Sugar beets are harvested near Lethbridge and will be trucked first to a piling station near Coaldale, Alta., and then to the sugar factory in Taber, Alta. Wet field conditions required the truck to be pulled through the field by a tractor on this day, Oct. 16.  |  Barb Glen photo

Alta. sugar beet producers have bumper year

A bountiful crop is especially welcome given disastrous weather last fall that resulted in half the beet crop unharvested

Southern Alberta sugar beet growers are harvesting one of the best crops of the last five years. Farmer reports indicate yields of 28 to 29 tonnes per acre, well above the average of 26 tonnes, and sugar content of more than the average 20 percent, said Alberta Sugar Beet Growers president Gary Tokariuk. “It’s a […] Read more


Slaughter weights rose duri ng the backlog in both Canada and the United States as cattle remained on feed longer awaiting a processing spot.  | File photo

Slaughter backlog slow to disappear

American processors are having an easier time because producers placed fewer cattle in feedlots in March and April

The backlog of slaughter cattle that developed when many North American packing plants slowed or shut down in early days of the COVID-19 pandemic might be gone by December in the United States. In Canada, it might take a little longer. In a fourth quarter update organized online by meat and livestock analysts J.S. Ferraro, […] Read more

Ranchers and college officials were on hand recently to mark the donation of Red Angus heifers to Olds College: Garth Cutler, Circle G Angus; Cole Dodgson, KC Stock Farms; Phil Bernie, WRAZ Red Angus; Darnell Fornwald, First Class Cattle Marketing; Mark Matejka, Matejka Farms; Bryan Mackenzie, Brylor Ranch; Sean Thompson, manager of Olds College’s Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production; Blake Morton, Shiloh Cattle Co.; Darcy Olesky, Shiloh Cattle Co.; and Jeff Fraser, Fraser Farms.  | Olds College photo

Producers donate cattle to college program

Olds College’s Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production will use the 10 Red Angus heifers for feed research

Old College has gone into the red — Red Angus, that is. Last week 10 Red Angus heifers stepped off the truck and onto Olds College property and entered a research project on residual feed intake and feed efficiency at the college’s Technology Access Centre (TAC) for Livestock Production. Ten Red Angus producers from Western […] Read more


One expected technological change is enhanced genetic testing, which could allow more accurate predictions of animal performance and carcass attributes and allow the formulation of optimum rations based on that data.  |  File photo

New technology to change feedlots

Technology is already hard at work in the Canadian cattle feeding industry but there is potential for far more, says a global leader in feedlot management. Dr. Kee Jim, founder of Feedlot Health Management Services, said technology can lead the way to improved sick animal detection, enhanced use of ultrasound and better practical management aspects […] Read more

Alta. research agency looks for proposals

Results Driven Agriculture Research chair Dr. David Chalack made good on an earlier promise last week by announcing the initial call for research proposals to the new entity. RDAR plans to allocate $4 million in its call and has targeted four priorities: soil health and quality; water quality and efficiency; feed production; and plant and […] Read more

Funding from the Alberta government will help post-secondary schools transfer provincial research programs and staff to their institutions.  |  File photo

Alta. gives agriculture research a makeover

Government provides funding as its moves work and staff to colleges and universities that have agriculture departments

A flurry of funding announcements last week and early this week left no doubt about the direction of agricultural research in Alberta. The provincial government is getting out of the research business, shifting its work and some of its staff to colleges and universities that have agricultural programs. The department’s Field Crop Development Centre operating […] Read more


Last week, the Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) entity released its list of four focus areas for research that were deter-mined through consultation with producers, industry, academia and applied research organizations. | Screencap via rdar.ca

Alberta agency sets priorities for agricultural research

Productivity, profitability and competitiveness top the list of priorities for future agricultural research in Alberta. Last week, the Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) entity released its list of four focus areas for research that were determined through consultation with producers, industry, academia and applied research organizations. The other three are: sustainable and responsible agriculture; market […] Read more

Federated Co-operatives Ltd. officially opened its $42.8 million fertilizer facility Oct. 6 near Grassy Lake, Alta. The distribution facility is capable of loading a super-B trailer in six minutes and dispense up to 400 tonnes of fertilizer in an hour.  |  Barb Glen photo

FCL opens new fertilizer terminal in Alberta

The terminal near Grassy Lake is the third such facility opened by Federated Co-operatives Ltd. in the last three years

GRASSY LAKE, Alta. — Speed and volume are key points of emphasis at the new fertilizer terminal that officially opened Oct. 6 in southern Alberta. The Federated Co-operatives Ltd. facility is the third it has opened within the last three years. The new terminal between Purple Springs and Grassy Lake, Alta., along Highway 3, can […] Read more