The Pillar Disc Hoe Drill offers robust ground engagement along with precision seed placement and higher operating speeds. The 18-inch disc cuts through heavy trash, while the hoe delivers consistent placement and capacity for the double-shoot system.  |  Michael Raine photo

Hybrid, 18-inch, disc-hoe opener offers speed with precision

LANGHAM, Sask. — Pillar recently released a cast-steel-constructed opener that’s more rigid and has better trash clearance compared to its previous offering. The Mark 3 is a double-shoot opener that’s a hybrid between a disc and hoe opener. “We have a disc that runs up front cutting a deep trench and moving the soil. Then […] Read more

The machines are custom built, but this one is set up as a 60-foot-wide single tool bar that sits on tracks and has been fitted with a commodity and liquid tank on the planter’s main frame. The tank holds about 100 bushels of on-frame storage of seed, which is usually enough for corn or canola.“You can get 200 acres of corn in, no problem, and canola you can go for days. But when it comes to soybeans that works out to be about an 80-acre fill. But in Western Canada, a lot of our fields are much, much bigger than that,” Frank Prince said.  |  Robin Booker photo

Customized planter handles the really big jobs

Broad-acre, seed-singulating seed unit combines the productivity of an air drill and the accuracy of a planter

Growers have been vexed by a difficult choice for decades. The tradeoff between the productivity of an air drill and the accuracy of a planter. For broad-acre growers in Western Canada, a large one-pass system capable of applying a massive amount of fertilizer and seed between fills seems an obvious choice. But the in-the-row spacing, […] Read more

For Prairies commodities to be competitive on the world market, rail and port capacity in Western Canada has to be enhanced. | File photo

Blog: To tidewater or bust

Western Canada is suffering from inadequate infrastructure to get commodities to tidewater, but the path to address the shortcoming is unclear. In 2012, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved to fast track the approval process for large infrastructure projects in Canada by giving cabinet ministers discretion on the scope of environmental assessments needed for developments. […] Read more


Image sourced from Twitter.

BLOG: Looking at construction through the gender lens

During the G20 meeting at Buenos Aires, Argentina, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau discussed why it’s important to look through a gender lens when considering large infrastructure projects. “You might not say what does a gender lens have to do with building this new highway or pipeline. Well, there are gender impacts when you bring construction […] Read more

Josh Lade drives his John Deere S680 combine with the Seed Terminator installed near Osler, Sask. |  Josh Lade photo

Seed terminator installed on combine

An Australian now farming in Canada is using the hammer mill to reduce his dependence on herbicide applications

A Saskatchewan producer brought in a Seed Terminator from Down Under to test its pulverizing abilities on prairie weed seeds this harvest. “Nick Berry, who is also my first cousin, invented it,” said Josh Lade. “We were both pretty apprehensive on how it was going to go, like the tough conditions are a lot different […] Read more


Gov’t tries controlling the message

Agriculture Canada tried to impose media talking points on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the public release of a study that examined glyphosate levels in Canadian food. Before the study’s release, CFIA provided the Grains Roundtable an overview of the study’s findings on April 10, 2017, according to an Agriculture Canada internal report obtained […] Read more

The surge of counterfeit honey into global honey supplies has been devastating for Canadian beekeepers. | WP graphic

Faking it – the great honey robbery

The great honey robbery | Canadian producers are forced to react as the burgeoning trade in counterfeit honey threatens to upend their industry. | BY ROBIN BOOKER

ROBLIN, Man. — The surge of counterfeit honey into global honey supplies has been devastating for Canadian beekeepers. “It’s been twisting my hand because I can’t stay here,” said Tim Wendell of Wendell Honey. “I don’t know if the price is coming back or how long it’s going to take. It always has come back, […] Read more

Cameron Nykoliation relies on his skid steer unit for a wide variety of farm activities, including feeding.  |  C. Nykoliation photo

Producers finding skid steers essential to farm

I asked producers through social media where skid steers fit on Canadian farms and it quickly became apparent that many farmers are very fond of the little loaders. “Chop off your right arm and that’s what life would be like without a skid steer,” said Brain Barnett, who farms near Moose Jaw, Sask. Matching equipment […] Read more


North Star Robotics has developed a system capable of turning machines, including small tractors, lawn mowers and snow plows, into robots capable of performing tasks autonomously. The lawnmower in this picture is equipped with the company’s technology and is capable of completing precision mowing jobs without operator intervention. |  North Star Robotics photo

Man. company helps turn tractors into robots

A package from North Star Robotics enables farmers to more easily embrace autonomous operation of farm equipment

Spotting driverless-tractors working a Canadian field will be commonplace in the near future. Canadian growers are already retrofitting equipment with technology that enables machines to works autonomously, such as Brian Tischler’s Ag Open GPS and Matt Reimer’s tractor that pulls a grain cart up to his combine. These solutions require a fair amount of tech […] Read more

Prairie farmers have seen tough harvests before such as the fall of 2016.   |  WP file photo

Spring combining not the end of the world

Farmers say sometimes it’s better to call it quits in the fall and get back in the field in the spring

Millions of acres of crop remain unharvested across the Prairies, and while there is still time for good harvest conditions, it’s a safe bet winter harvest is going to be occurring again this year. “Unfortunately, the last three falls we’ve had snow we’ve had to deal with one way or another. Two years ago was […] Read more