Ardelle and Roger Kerr turned a corner of their Quilting From the Heart store in Camrose, Alta., fabric store into a studio to teach classes online after COVID-19 changed the way businesses are run. The studio’s backdrop is a series of quilts that the couple made. | MARY MACARTHUR PHOTOS

Dairy producers transition to quilts

Alberta couple says their new business shares many similarities with the farm where they once ran a dairy operation

CAMROSE, Alta. — Running a quilting store and a dairy farm have plenty in common, according to Roger and Ardelle Kerr. A store ties you down, just like a dairy. It’s hard work that can be as never-ending as you want, it’s a large investment and both places encourage families to work together, they said. […] Read more

Farmers across the Prairies face significant yield losses this year because of heat waves and lack of rain. Now they may not be able to fill earlier-signed production contracts. | Randy Vanderveen photo

Contract squeeze worries farmers

CAMROSE, Alta — As heat and drought burn up crops across the Prairies, many farmers wonder if they will have enough crop to fill what they thought were modest production contracts. “I worry about my barley because my barley is 70 percent priced and my canola is at 50 percent priced. A lot of farmers […] Read more

Most crops emerged well in Alberta’s Peace River country this spring but have stalled this summer due to lack of rain. | Randy Vanderveen photo

Extreme heat wave takes toll on Peace country crops

What started as a promising spring with good crop emergence is now looking like it may be one of the worst crops ever in Alberta’s Peace River country. “It is the hottest, driest, without-rain year we have ever seen,” said Rycroft farmer Bryan Woronuk. “Without rain at this point we will suffer large yield losses.” […] Read more

The Resistant Wild Oat Action Committee has rented a Kuhn 152 plow as part of its efforts to find new ways to deal with herbicide resistance, especially in wild oats. | Supplied photo

Will resistant wild oats bend to the plow?

The Resistant Wild Oat Action Committee uses an inversion plow as it seeks answers to a growing problem on the Prairies

CAMROSE, Alta. — Tackling herbicide resistance in wild oats may require a look back to farming methods long ago discarded, including plowing. “It takes a while to wrap your head around plowing when you have not tilled for 35 years,” said Nathan Eshpeter, project manager for the Resistant Wild Oat Action Committee, a subcommittee of […] Read more

 Neil Kimmy of Millet, Alta., holds a bundle of Canadian lynx furs. He said the money he earned from trapping made a down payment on his farm. | Mary MacArthur photo

Alta. farmer spends winters on the trapline

Neil Kimmy says the money earned from trapping isn’t what it used to be; now the incentive is spending time in the bush

MILLET, Alta. — Neil Kimmy loves the land and loves the bush. For nine months of the year Kimmy farms with his family near Millet. But from November to January he works on his traplines near Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta. His passion for trapping started early, and it didn’t take long for […] Read more

Duane Shelstad of Sylvan Lake, Alta., makes short work of a Versatile swather. | Mary MacArthur photo

Treasure can lurk in the junk pile

CAMROSE, Alta. — There are always a few buried treasures to be found among the old machinery, tin cans and busted trailers scattered across the prairie landscape, says Tru Green scrap metal worker Jody Topley. The former Saskatchewan farm kid and retired oilfield worker often spies treasures hidden in the grass during his work picking […] Read more

The DJI Agras T20 drone sprays water as part of an in-crop demonstration. The rotors force the spray to a wide width.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Drone spraying research promising

Autonomous agricultural spraying with unmanned flying vehicles is being refined for practical prairie applications

CAMROSE, Alta. — Spot spraying weeds in a field, killing a tough patch of tansy in a pasture, beating back brush along oil and gas well sites are all potential locations that would be ideal for drone spraying. But there is plenty of research required before spraying with drones gets beyond a good idea. In […] Read more

Einar Franson plans to give away more than two dozen of his 1:12 model grain elevators. | Mike Sturk photo

Replicas of grain elevators help preserve prairie history

Each miniature prairie sentinel took 150 to 200 hours to build, some from photographs and others from blueprints

CAMROSE, Alta. — Twenty-five prairie grain elevators will be permanently remembered, thanks to Einar Franson. Each of the scale model elevators Franson built over the past 15 years holds a memory for the 91-year-old, former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool grain buyer. However, a move from his acreage north of High River into Calgary means the elevators […] Read more

Cheryl Wozny fills the nesting boxes with straw while Angela Balgobin and her children, Annabelle and Nathaniel, look on. | Mary MacArthur photo

Want a chicken? Why not kick its tires first

Alberta company rents laying hens for the summer to those interested in backyard chickens but would like a trial run first

RED DEER — Scared of a commitment to chickens? In Alberta, you can now rent a chicken and see if you’re ready for full-time chicken ownership. Angela Balgobin and her family are renting chickens for the summer to see if they want chickens full-time. “It was as easy as ordering a pizza,” said Balgobin. She […] Read more

Betty Ann, Jentre and Francois Brault of Wetaskiwin, Alta., stand in front of their gift shop home. The house was built in 1914 and was where Betty Ann was raised and where she and Francois lived when they were first married. | Mary MacArthur photo

Vegetable farmers share passion for rocks

On the Farm: A seven-acre market garden business grew out of excess produce the family grew in their home garden

WETASKIWIN, Alta. — The directions to Franbeta Farms are clear. It’s the place with the rocks and trees. Massive rocks the size of vehicles act as sentries along the driveway. Rows of towering pine and spruce line the curved driveway directing traffic into the farm. In the yard, hundreds of rocks create boundaries around the […] Read more