Find forage seed supply early, expect to pay more

Seed grower says acres are down for almost all forage and grass seeds, creating a supply shortage and sending prices up

LEDUC, Alta. — Strong cattle markets, a strong U.S. dollar, dry weather and dwindling forage acres have pushed grass and forage seed prices to some of the highest levels in years. Heather Kerschbaumer, president of Forage Seed Canada, said her family’s Golden Acre Seeds paid growers 11 cents a pound for sweet clover seed when […] Read more


Living life of ancestors gives insight into future

Surviving off the land has sparked panic from not knowing if the food will last, and satisfaction in learning how to make do with less

VIKING, Alta. — Are we as tough and resourceful as our pioneer ancestors? It’s a question farmers Danny and Shannon Ruzicka asked. After six months of eating like pioneers, they know they aren’t even close. “What sucks we are today,” said Shannon Ruzicka, whose family launched a yearlong quest of buying nothing, including food. Instead, […] Read more


VIDEO: Excitement heats up over electricity generating farm

BROWNFIELD, Alta. — Alberta’s first solar farm is set to be built and hooked to the power grid by the end of the year. The proposed 12-acre farm is expected to generate one to two megawatts of electricity, enough to power 400 homes, said Jordan Webber, Starland County’s economic development officer. “The people in the […] Read more



More grants, lower costs spark interest in solar

DELIA, Alta. — It took some arm-twisting to convince Bob Sargent to install solar panels on his farm. However, the central Alberta farmer now plans to triple the number of solar panels generating electricity on his farm. “I’m really happy. It has been really good for me,” said Sargent, who farms near Delia. Four years […] Read more


Alberta crop insurance changes include winterkill for alfalfa

Alberta has introduced several major changes to crop insurance coverage and made changes to premium rates. The annual insurance program has been changed to include winterkill as a designated peril for pedigreed alfalfa seed production. Coverage will be available for the year in which winterkill occurs. Winterkill has caused alfalfa seed producers serious economic loss. […] Read more



Meat horse prices increase

A second meat buyer for horses in Alberta is pushing the price of horses at the auction higher. Doug Verstraete, manager of Beaver Hill Auctions, said the price of loose horses averaged 55 to 60 cents a pound, but some prices reached as high as 70 cents per lb. “Just having another buyer alone helps […] Read more


Transition to organic production takes planning

OLDS, Alta. — Switching from conventional farming to organic doesn’t need to happen overnight, or in one year, or the entire farm, two farmers told an Organic Alberta conference. It took a few years, but Brian Luce’s central Alberta cattle farm, Lucends Ranch, is now certified organic. What began as a traditional mixed farm in […] Read more


Farmers urged to fight GM alfalfa

LEDUC, Alta. — Alberta farmers need to lobby their local politicians to keep genetically modified alfalfa out of Alberta, said the president of Forage Seed Canada. Heather Kerschbaumer isn’t against genetically modified crops, but said the detection of any GM alfalfa in export hay or seed sales could cost Canada billions in lost sales. “Our […] Read more



Alta. farmers should lobby to keep GM alfalfa out: forage group president

LEDUC, Alta. — Alberta farmers need to lobby their local politicians to keep genetically modified alfalfa out of Alberta, said the president of Forage Seed Canada. Heather Kerschbaumer isn’t against genetically modified crops, but said the detection of any GM alfalfa in export hay or seed sales could cost Canada billions in lost sales. “Our […] Read more


Breeder pleased with herd of curvaceous, beefy girls

CORONATION, Alta. — Meagan Schwenk-Gattey doesn’t think of her cattle as livestock. To her, they’re “her girls.” As Schwenk-Gattey wanders through her 500-head herd or her 1,500-head feedlot, she can rattle off a cow’s breeding, point out its sister, look around to find its calves and know which cows produce calves with high weaning weights. […] Read more