Horse owners can reduce costs of caring for their animals while still ensuring proper treatment.  | File photo

Horse ownership doesn’t need to break bank

RED DEER — Horses don’t have to be money pits and drain their owners’ bank accounts, an American veterinarian told a group of horse owners. There are ways horse owners can reduce the bills that come along with caring for the animals, Dr. David Ramey told the Alberta Horse Conference. “We want to do what […] Read more

The increasing consumer demand for organic products has created financial growing pains for Alberta’s organic organization.
 | File photo

Organic group sees exciting times ahead

OLDS, Alta. — The increasing consumer demand for organic products has created financial growing pains for Alberta’s organic organization. However, difficulties paying the bills while expanding the industry have forced the organization to become stronger and more focused, said Ward Middleton, president of Organic Alberta. “This was by far the most challenging year,” he said. […] Read more

Laminitis vaccine shows promise but funding proves difficult

RED DEER — Researchers have found a solution for equine laminitis but are waiting for a white knight to ride up with a bucket of cash to develop it. Equine lameness, which is also known as founder, affects only three to five percent of horses. However, it is usually career ending and often life ending […] Read more

Tailor-made insurance for organic sector

OLDS, Alta. — Alberta’s organic farmers will have access to crop insurance this year. Ester Bemile, a product development analyst with Agriculture Financial Services Corp., said crop insurance for conventional farming didn’t work for organic producers. She hopes a program specific to organic agriculture will give farmers a risk management tool. “We will expect some […] Read more

Organic growers get new option with fertilizer made from plants

The fertilizer produced in Alberta will be sold as pellets or crumble and initially will be available to greenhouses and market gardens

OLDS, Alta. — Canadian organic farmers now have access to a new organic fertilizer. The fertilizer, which is manufactured at Wetaskiwin Co-op’s Country Junction processing plant in Wetaskiwin, Alta., is made from organic peas, alfalfa and other plants. “It’s from the same quality products as organic feed,” said mill manager Jay Crandall. The fertilizer analysis […] Read more

BioRefinex plans to take waste from packing plants, called specified risk materials, and process it into fertilizer and biogas.  |  File photo

Biowaste plant gets go ahead

A month long extension to get financing in order turned into a one year delay, but Lacombe, Alta., city council has finalized a land sale with a company that plans to turn specified risk material into safe byproducts. BioRefinex Canada completed a land sale of 12.2 acres in southeastern Lacombe for its proposed $35 million […] Read more

Horse owner charged with animal cruelty

An Alberta man prohibited from owning horses for five years has been charged with causing injury to animals after three horses were found dead and 82 others in distress. Gary Sparshu of Fort McMurray has been charged with one count of cruelty to animals, two counts of causing an animal to be in distress and […] Read more

Thinking of raising bees? Here’s some help

Interest in beekeeping is growing; newcomers are advised to start with two colonies to compare the health of each one

This year, Deb Krause hopes to dip her toe into beekeeping The Thorhild, Alta., market gardener wants a colony of bees to pollinate her garden and offer a bit of honey for her Community Supported Agriculture boxes. “I’m hoping it will give an extra boost of pollinators around,” said Krause, who hand pollinates the squash […] Read more

It’s the middle of February and no snow is in sight in this field of round bales north of Shaunavon, Sask.  |  William DeKay photo

Warm winter a mixed blessing

Ryan Mercer expects to begin seeding in early April if the warm weather continues. High temperatures and drying winds have melted the snow and started to suck moisture out of the ground at his Lethbridge-area seed farm. “I expect it will be an early spring unless things change,” said Mercer. Temperatures hovering above 10 C […] Read more

Last season for horse racing at Northlands

One of Alberta’s largest agricultural societies has announced it is getting out of horse racing. Tim Reid, Northlands chief executive officer said this would be the last year of horse racing at Northland’s racetrack in Edmonton. “It is with mixed emotions today that we talk about our partnership with (Horse Racing Alberta). What we do […] Read more