COVID creates problems for prairie farmers

Man. research manager worries about input supply chains, child care disruptions and threats to older farmers


The COVID-19 pandemic is a Friday the 13th scenario that threatens spring seeding and supply chains for inputs, a crop specialist says. It also puts at risk the storehouse of knowledge kept by farmers, most of whom are up in years and most vulnerable to the illness, said Scott Chalmers, manager of the Westman Agricultural […] Read more

Recent research on the Prairies has found that intercropping can increase yields and reduce pests and disease. This crop of yellow peas and oats was grown last year at Agriculture Canada’s research centre in Swift Current, Sask.  |  File photo

Sask. researcher sees intercropping on the rise

Three of last year’s top crop combinations were canola and peas, peas and oats (for silage), and flax and chickpeas

An old farming practice is winning new adherents across the Prairies. Intercropping — the growing of two or more types of plants in the same row or field, such as peas and canola — is catching on as good yields and lower production costs improve the bottom line. Crop specialists say healthier soils are another […] Read more

The short videos, shot last year, were shown recently at Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon and helped to generate a good panel discussion, said Carson Callum, the group’s general manager.
 | Screencap via mbbeef.ca

Videos turn spotlight on grasslands

Manitoba Beef Producers has made two videos to help the public understand the importance of beef production to grassland and wildlife preservation. The short videos, shot last year, were shown recently at Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon and helped to generate a good panel discussion, said Carson Callum, the group’s general manager. One of them […] Read more


Given the markets and a wet, late harvest last fall, a lot of producers are uncommitted, a veteran crop specialist says. | File photo

Producers struggle with seeding decisions

If you’re uncertain about what to plant this spring, you’re not alone. Given the markets and a wet, late harvest last fall, a lot of producers are uncommitted, a veteran crop specialist says. “It’s kind of up in the air,” said Scott Chalmers, manager of the research farm in Melita, Man., who has worked there […] Read more

Manitoba farmers planted 6,766 acres to buckwheat last year, down significantly from more than 100,000 acres in the 1980s.  |  File photo

Buckwheat offers advantages in right situation

Acres have fallen drastically in Manitoba, but proponents say the crop can still play a role in farmers’ rotations

Many farmers may have dismissed buckwheat as an option for their rotations. After all, in terms of yields and markets, buckwheat can’t compete with canola, soybeans and wheat. From a high of 100,000 or more acres seeded in the 1970s and 1980s in Manitoba, buckwheat fell to 6,766 acres last year. However, that’s still an […] Read more


Bill Klassen has based his business on a dual passion for people and machinery.  |  Bill Klassen photo

Farm changes watched from auction podium

Manitoba auctioneer moves from clipboards to computers and farm sites to websites after 50 years in the business

Every day at noon, Bill Klassen huddled with his father near the big floor-model radio in the kitchen to hear the farm report from Fargo, North Dakota. It was music to his ears and held the boy in rapture — not the prices of hogs and heifers, but the staccato rhythm of the auctioneer whose […] Read more

A capacity crowd listens to Rex Murphy deliver a thought-provoking and light-hearted look at Canada’s political and social life during Manitoba Ag Days held late last month in Brandon.  |  Sandy Black photo

Farmers warned about losing public support

Rex Murphy points out similarities between western farmers and the east coast fishery during Manitoba Ag Days


A CBC icon praised producers at Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon late last month, noting their “absolute genius” on the land and calling them the inheritors of a great tradition of hard work and helping one’s neighbour. However, he warned that Canadians are losing appreciation for farming and other key industries that built this country, […] Read more

Floods drive rats out from countryside

DELORAINE, Man. — Rats are on the increase in parts of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Even Alberta has had flare-ups, a pest control officer says. Forced from their nests by flood waters near Winnipeg, the rodents are infesting granaries, buildings and dumps. Rats can carry disease and fleas and are a public health nuisance. In […] Read more


Reunion recalls long distance snowmobile rally

BOISSEVAIN, Man. – Bill Hammond remembers well the first long-distance snowmobile rally in Manitoba. It took place in February 1970 and lasted five sometimes-painful days, from the International Peace Garden at the United States border to The Pas in northwestern Manitoba. Hammond remembers the sore butt, the big supper steaks and the great fun with […] Read more

South Africa battles locusts

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – Farmers in South Africa’s Northern Cape province are fighting to eradicate swarms of locusts that threaten corn and grape vines. “In some places there are swarms up to 10 kilometres long, but we have started spraying to get the situation under control,” said Hoffie Joubert, speaking for the Northern Cape […] Read more