Kubota's M7 was the largest tractor the company had ever produced, until a new larger line debuts later this year, built in collaboration with Versatile.  |  file photo

New Versatile-Kubota tractor now in production

Rumours that have been swirling for five years can finally be put to rest. Yes, Versatile and Kubota are jointly building an all-new tractor to be marketed in both colours. Both companies made announcements in mid-March, briefly outlining the design of the new machine and the OEM manufacturing agreement. Although the rumour mill has been […] Read more

A team of international researchers has sequenced the durum genome, an accomplishment that will contribute to the development of new and more productive durum wheat varieties for growers in Canada and around the world. | File photo

Durum genome project hailed as key accomplishment

A team of international researchers has sequenced the durum genome, an accomplishment that will contribute to the development of new and more productive durum wheat varieties for growers in Canada and around the world. “It’s a big accomplishment,” said Curtis Pozniak, a University of Saskatchewan durum breeder who played a key role in the project. […] Read more

This mobile sensor platform built by agricultural engineers at the University of Arizona uses a host of sensors on its front boom to monitor crop plots. | Robin Booker photo

Researchers use sensors to track crops

The University of Arizona’s agricultural department uses sensors to enhance high throughput genotyping of crop varieties


MARICOPA, Ariz. — Sensors installed on a homemade mobile platform at the University of Arizona’s Maricopa campus helps researchers quickly understand the response of a diversity panel to a specific set of conditions. A diversity panel is a collection of genetic material, in this case germplasm of an agricultural crop. “It is a moving platform […] Read more


The PAMI combine calibration system collects 30 feet of representative crop on the green/yellow catch trailer.  The catch trailer has two conveyor belts feeding into the Challenger processor.  Material from the Case combine separator goes to the top straw belt.  Material from the cleaning shoe goes to the lower chaff belt.  The processor handles them separately in order to collect precise data.  |  PAMI photo

Inside PAMI’s magical mystery combine

BRANDON — It’s likely that every prairie farmer has heard about PAMI’s combine calibration machines, but few have ever seen one in person, much less in action. Well here’s the scoop. There are only about 20 such processor combines worldwide, the majority of which were designed and built by PAMI in Humboldt, Sask. Sooner or […] Read more

PAMI engineers Zach Kendel, left, and Joel McDonald check a swath that is scheduled to run through the PAMI combine calibration processor.  In his recent presentation to the Combine College in Brandon, McDonald told growers that bushels per hour is a more significant factor than acres per hour.  |  PAMI photo

Do you combine acres or bushels per hour?

Your grain loss monitor is a valuable tool, but it must be calibrated to ensure good data is driving decisions

BRANDON — When discussing combines, farmers typically compare acres of ground covered per hour. Isn’t it more logical to discuss performance in terms of bushels of grain per hour in the tank? Talking about acres per hour is misleading. It distracts from the real issue of how many bushels your combine can harvest in one […] Read more


Prairie farmers will have more opportunities to see and learn about biobeds this year as the Agriculture Canada Biobed Working Group builds more of them and shares information on research findings from studies conducted over the past several years. | Barb Glen photo

VIDEO: Ag Canada researchers focus on biobeds

Rinse water from sprayers can be applied to a biobed, where the residual chemicals are digested by bacteria and fungi

The biobed recipe for handling pesticide rinsate is surprisingly simple: take soil from your fields, mix it with straw, woodchips or peat moss, put it in a large open bin or bed, add sprayer rinse water collected in a holding tank, and wait. That’s the process at its most basic, although a dual bin or […] Read more

Bayer announced in February that farmers in France and Germany were turning over thousands of hectares of rapeseed crops after traces of a GMO variety grown in Canada were detected in batches of seed sold in Europe. | Flickr/Miwok photo

French rapeseed farmers destroyed 18,000 hectares over GMO risk – Bayer

PARIS, (Reuters) – French farmers destroyed a total of 18,000 hectares of rapeseed, more than double the area initially expected, following the discovery of a non-authorised genetically modified organism (GMO) in seeds, German group Bayer said. Bayer announced in February that farmers in France and Germany were turning over thousands of hectares of rapeseed crops […] Read more

Steve Heckeroth has spent 25 years installing electric motors in cars, trucks, race cars and tractors. The fact that an electric motor has only one moving part makes it energy efficient and low-maintenance according to the inventor. This 40 h.p. motor is being installed in a Ford New Holland look alike tractor from India. | Solectrac photo

Buying electric implements for the right reason

Every month, another e-tractor announcement comes across our desks here at The Western Producer. Environmental factors drive this trend, along with energy efficiency, lower maintenance, noise level and motor longevity. But even when purchase prices come down, will it ever be practical to run a big battery powered 4×4 to replace your Versatile? Steve Heckeroth […] Read more


This 20 kWh battery pack is standard on the smaller eFarmer tractor and is the optional quick-change replacement pack for both tractors. Both tractors are all-electric, not hybrids. | Solectrac photo

Solar power pulls Canadian cultivator

The first Solectrac eUtility sold in Canada was delivered to Ontario vegetable farmer Tony Neale last August, giving him plenty of time to try the electric tractor before winter set in. Until August, Neale had been running his WheelBarrow Farms operation with a 30 horsepower Kubota. There was nothing really wrong with the orange tractor, […] Read more

Phosphorus shortages not OK

I fear phosphate is the nutrient that is most deficient on farms across the Canadian Prairies and the northern U.S. Great Plains. It doesn’t act like nitrogen, which shows visual deficiency symptoms across the field when missed. Instead, phosphate deficiencies are more subtle and usually not noticed. In fact, I have seen what I would […] Read more