Daniel Visser of Western Solar, left, helped three southern Alberta farming operations set up a 300 kW solar system to operate irrigation pivots. Among the farming partners are Ron Lamb, centre, and Ben Fankhauser. The irrigation system draws water from nearby Clear Lake.  |  Barb Glen photo

Irrigators co-operate on solar power

STAVELY, Alta. — Three separate farming operations east of this southern Alberta town have co-operated on a 313.56 kilowatt project that will use the sun to power pumps for their irrigation pivots. Lamb Farms Ltd., Roemmele Farms Ltd. and Lilybrook Herefords Inc. turned the key last week on an installation designed and erected by Western […] Read more

About 40 volunteers converged on the 80-year-old barn to give it a new coat of paint. The project was initiated by Federated Co-operatives’ Communities in Full Colour program.  150 gallons of paint, donated by General Paint, were needed to give the old barn a new look.  |  Barb Glen photo

Volunteers collaborate to keep crimson in countryside

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — It’s a lot of paint — 150 gallons of it — and it was all needed to cover the 14,500 sq. feet on the Zoeteman barn during a painting bee Aug. 9-10. Most of the paint did indeed end up on the barn itself, which is noteworthy considering the job was […] Read more

Mark Kuehn of Trimble explains how farmers can use a Soil Information System to get soil and topographic information that can be used for future decision-making.  |  Barb Glen photo

Mapping soil beneath the surface has benefits

LANGHAM, Sask. — The session at the Ag in Motion farm show near Saskatoon was titled “Uncover the secrets below your soil’s surface.” Mark Kuehn, project manager with Trimble’s Ag Business Solutions sector, was tasked with explaining how that can be done and how Trimble has done it for various clients. The company uses a […] Read more


Health Canada proposes to end the use of strychnine to control ground squirrels and is seeking public input on the matter until Sept. 27. | File photo

Strychnine ban for gophers pondered

Health Canada proposes to end the use of strychnine to control ground squirrels and is seeking public input on the matter until Sept. 27. The proposal stems from a regular review of pesticides under the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. In its consultation document, Health Canada said strychnine kills ground squirrels, also commonly called gophers, but […] Read more

Researchers are attempting to determine if a parasitic wasp called peristenus can become a natural control for the pests.  |  Agriculture Canada/S. Bauer photo

Wasp may take sting out of lygus damage

Researchers in Alberta are studying if a parasitic wasp will attack lygus bugs and protect canola and alfalfa crops

Lygus bugs can adversely affect many types of crops and work is underway to see if a parasitic wasp called peristenus can become a natural control for the pests. Hector Carcamo, research scientist at Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge, said peristenus successfully attacked lygus in laboratory-grown canola and alfalfa. Now he is studying how and whether […] Read more


The Alberta Alfalfa Seed Commission is conducting research on the use of plant growth regulators to see if they result in a more upright crop that is easier to harvest for seed.  |  Barb Glen photo

Alta. researchers on the hunt for shorter alfalfa

Shortening the distance between nodes on an alfalfa plant reduces its height but produces the same number of flowers

BROOKS, Alta. — Researchers are testing four types of plant growth regulators on alfalfa this year to gauge their potential for shorter stands and reduced lodging. Brad Alexander, in charge of research and extension with the Alberta Alfalfa Seed Commission, told growers on a July 24 summer tour that PGRs had shown promise in greenhouse […] Read more

Cow-calf pairs need about 90 litres of water per day when it’s hot, so dugout or water source capacity has to be calculated accordingly.  |  Mickey Watkins photo

Heat stress requires extra animal care

Prevent heat stress by providing adequate water for outdoor dwellers and air movement for indoor dwellers

Dairy cattle and pigs breathe harder, beef cattle lie around and eat less, and all of them drink lots of water when temperatures rise above 25 C. Those physical responses aren’t surprising but the potential for heat stress in livestock should be monitored, according to veterinarians. Cooler nights are the saving grace for most western […] Read more

At least five swift foxes are now resident in southeastern Alberta, a species that was declared locally extinct within Canada in the 1930s. | Nature Conservancy of Canada photo

Swift foxes found in Alberta

At least five swift foxes are now resident in southeastern Alberta, a species that was declared locally extinct within Canada in the 1930s. Cameras erected on property managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada photographed the foxes in an area south of Medicine Hat and about 50 kilometres west of the Saskatchewan border in late […] Read more


Producers may be forced to look for strychnine alternatives

Health Canada proposes to end the use of strychnine to control ground squirrels and is seeking public input on the matter until Sept. 27. The proposal stems from a regular review of pesticides under the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. In its consultation document, Health Canada said strychnine kills ground squirrels but it also kills non-target […] Read more

Traces of PED a ‘serious heads up’ for Sask. hog farmers

Two positive samples of the virus were found last week in the province on a livestock trailer and a truck wash

The truth is out there: evidence of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus continues to appear. Two positive samples found last week in Saskatchewan serve as a reminder that hog producers should be vigilant about biosecurity. No Saskatchewan pigs had contracted the virus as of July 30. The samples were found in a truck wash and on […] Read more