Free access to Canada Land inventory soil maps

The Canada Land Initiative and National Soil Database hold massive volumes of valuable agriculture information. Unfortunately, nobody could access it until agronomist Simon Knutson took matters into his own hands. The Manitoba entrepreneur didn’t like the idea that a valuable, publicly funded database was not available to the public. There were no legal restrictions on […] Read more


Chlorine meets dugout water

Farm dugouts typically contain a lot of organic matter because they aren’t in a flowing river or lake with an inlet and outlet. Runoff feeding the farm dugout often comes from high organic sources such as cultivated land or pasture. Although there is no firm number documenting how many rural residents depend on dugout water, […] Read more


Putting big data on your digital dashboard

The problem for farmers isn’t a lack of information; the major challenge is retrieving data from the cloud as it’s needed

Farmers use an ever-expanding database, covering their soil, inputs, growing season, harvest conditions, storage and markets. Pulling it all together in a meaningful and accessible format is a Herculean challenge. Formula One engineers got a grip on the problem years ago by incorporating data manipulation and controls into the steering wheel. The buttons, display screens […] Read more



Federal government further relaxes NH3 tank restrictions

Farmers who rely on their own NH3 nurse tanks received good news April 23 when Transport Canada changed its rules. Fertilizer Canada received a revised Equivalency Certificate (SH12501.2) and a revised Temporary Certificate (TH 0651.1) to provide short-term compliance relief on nurse tank hydrostatic testing requirements. Fertilizer Canada and the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers (CAAR) […] Read more


AAC Cameron extreme disease resistance in field trials

AAC Cameron had the lowest fusarium damaged kernel and DON levels of all spring wheat varieties in 2015 trials. In 2017, FDK nearly fell off the chart. DON actually did fall off the chart. The chart depicts disease data from the 39 varieties field tested in a project called Assessment of Fusarium Head Blight Resistance […] Read more



One independent seed grower likes to go short on varieties

Mastin Seeds has made rescue crops for crisis management situations a big part of its lineup. Farming in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, Bob Mastin has learned a lot about short season agriculture over the past 40 years. Although Mastin is acutely aware of the compressed 2018 growing season facing his customers and his […] Read more


Permanent polar vortex preys on Prairies

Our prairie ecosystem evolved in merely 15,000 years following the Pleistocene glacial meltdown. Today, the Arctic cap continues melting. Will that plunge our prairies back into a big freeze, forcing rapid evolution of our farming systems? People who study the animated depiction of Arctic jet streams think the cold fronts we’ve experienced in the past […] Read more


Goodbye canola, hello wheat and hay

No matter how you cut it, we’re having a short growing season. Rotations that looked good last autumn, when the first seed and fertilizer were purchased, don’t look so hot today. Given the investment in land and equipment, it’s not likely that many growers can afford to chemfallow. The economic realities of 2018 demand cash […] Read more



Feds further relax NH3 tank restrictions

Fertilizer Canada received a revised Equivalency Certificate (SH12501.2) and a revised Temporary Certificate (TH 0651.1) to provide short-term compliance relief on nurse tank hydrostatic testing requirements. Fertilizer Canada and the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers (CAAR) have been in negotiations with Transport Canada since 2017 to secure a set of nurse tank regulations that they say […] Read more


Bullet provides low-cost alternative

BRANDON — Tile drainage may be the best solution to managing saturated soils, but the cost is prohibitive for many producers. However, a low-cost mechanical mole boring temporary tunnels may serve the same purpose. Imagine a torpedo-shaped four-inch diameter slug of iron being pulled through your field at a depth of two or three feet. […] Read more