Minister of Rural Economic Development Nate Horner said

Alta. plans rural development meetings

The Alberta government wants to hear from rural leaders about how to best promote economic recovery and development following what has been the province’s worst downturn in nearly a century. More than 20 online meetings will be held from late October to December targeting more than 900 different stakeholders and organizations, said Associate Minister of […] Read more

Although municipalities agreed to provincial tax breaks in 2020 to help Alberta’s ailing energy industry, some oil and gas companies have simply refused to pay any of their municipal taxes.
 | File photo

Rural finances remain precarious

Alberta’s rural municipalities are once again about to calculate how many millions of dollars in unpaid property taxes they are collectively owed by oil and gas companies. It will likely be more than the $245 million announced in February, said Paul McLauchlin, president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. However, he hoped the increase isn’t […] Read more

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society says it believes the recent transfer of coal exploration lease applications from Peace River Coal Corp. to Cabin Ridge Project Ltd. means activities are occurring behind the scenes between coal companies and the provincial government. | Mike Sturk photo

Coal lease transfer alarms conservationists in Alberta

Three lease applications covering almost 5,000 acres changed hands between July and August on the Eastern Slopes

(Editor’s note: This story was corrected from an earlier version – 09:15 22/10/2021) A conservation group fighting to protect public lands in Alberta is sounding an alarm about the transfer of existing coal exploration lease applications in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It goes against the spirit of provincial promises about halting such […] Read more

As part of his work as the chief technology officer at Olds College, Alex Melnitchouck is helping to put into practice the agriculture of the future. | Supplied image

Melnitchouck’s digital dreams

Will scientists one day be able to download and replicate any crop seeds they want from a bank of digitalized DNA patterns on a computer, both preserving and transforming the 12,000-year-old agricultural heritage of humanity? Alex Melnitchouck of Olds College in Alberta says that is a cautious, maybe. As part of his work as the […] Read more

Sunterra Greenhouse is building a 20-acre facility near Acme, Alta. | Sunterra Greenhouse photo

Sunterra sold on greenhouses

A company is demonstrating its faith in what it sees as Alberta’s bright future in high-tech greenhouse agriculture by launching a nearly $40-million facility to raise produce during the winter. “Especially right now, it’s more relevant than ever,” said Amanda Hehr, president of Sunterra Greenhouse. “Food security is definitely on everyone’s mind. Climate change and […] Read more

Canadian households each waste an average of $3,500 per year of their groceries, says research from the University of Calgary. | Getty Images

New report finds 58 percent of food is wasted

University of Calgary researchers determine that most waste occurs at the consumer level rather than in agriculture

Canadians need to change their culture of disposability and stop wasting an estimated 58 percent of the country’s food each year, says an expert. The annual value of this wasted food has been estimated at about $49.5 billion, said Kerri Holland, an affiliated researcher at the University of Calgary’s Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food […] Read more

Honey production likely fell by 20 to 30 percent in Alberta this year, making it the third consecutive season of lower than average totals in the province. | Alberta Beekeepers Association/Demetrios Giannitsios photo

Drought expected to affect honey production

Bees were forced to find other sources of food this summer, such as weeds, which could change honey’s colour and taste

Heat waves and drought that decimated crops such as canola this summer likely caused honey production to decline by as much as 30 percent in Alberta, says an industry leader. The harsh conditions even affected the appearance of the honey, said Connie Phillips, executive director of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission. Bees were forced to forage […] Read more

An analysis of 27 years of herbicide evaluation trials from 1992- 2018 found that when weed control was less than 94 percent over the entire weed community and growing season, it exacerbated the effect of heat or drought on corn yields. | File photo

Weeds may compound effects of climate change impact

Study says corn yields are expected to be reduced as weeds compete for fewer water resources in the American Midwest

A U.S. study has found that weeds will likely deepen the negative impact of climate change on corn yields, says a scientist. Such results likely extend to other crops, said Marty Williams, an ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “I think what this tells farmers is that going forward, more than ever, we really […] Read more

Katie Morrison, conservation director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Southern Alberta, said the stakes are high for producers because the Eastern Slopes contains the headwaters for rivers relied on by much of Western Canada. | Laura Laing photo

Coal lease transfer alarms Alta. conservationists

A conservation group fighting to protect public lands in Alberta is sounding an alarm about the transfer of existing coal exploration lease applications in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It goes against the spirit of provincial promises about halting such exploration in sensitive Category 2 lands in the region, said Katie Morrison, conservation […] Read more

Greyhound bus service stopped in Canada in 2018, leaving few affordable, and in many cases no, options in Western Canada for inter-community and interprovincial travel.  | Reuters/Blair Gable photo

Funds earmarked for better rural transit

Inter-community transit fund creates new transportation options after Greyhound and STC strand rural passengers

A federal fund of $250 million is being seen as a first step in the creation of better transit services for everyone from rural communities and Indigenous people to farmers. The loss of inter-community bus service, including Greyhound Canada’s decision to pull out of the prairie provinces and British Columbia in 2018, “has been devastating […] Read more