Swathing will produce the green lentil colour attributes some markets are looking for, but chasing the premium comes with significant risk. | File photo

Swath or desiccate? Risks and reward at lentil harvest

Colour brings a premium, but wrinkles and sprouts can quickly downgrade a crop and wipe out any potential gains

Harvest season is often a race against time and for lentil growers looking for optimum quality, timing is everything. Seedcoat colour, particularly for green lentils, is a quality factor that may earn a premium, but obtaining that premium depends on, yes, timing. Seeding early, using varieties that retain colour better and paying attention to disease […] Read more

University of Saskatchewan dry bean and lentil breeder Kirsten Bett says this new navy bean stands taller and with higher pods, similar to CDC Blackstrap black beans. | Debra Marshall photo

New navy bean designed for Sask. fields

A navy bean that offers better yield, shorter season, and higher pod height is coming on stream just in time for farmers to take advantage of a push to increase irrigated acres in Saskatchewan. Ken McDougall said the bean should appeal to farmers that have been reluctant to grow dry beans due to the challenges […] Read more

Kochia, such as these examples thriving among a lentil crop, has adapted to survive drought, saline soils, and increasingly, most herbicides. | File photo

Keeping ahead of kochia can be a challenge

Managing the tough, adaptable weed takes all the tools that are available in farmers’ integrated pest management toolkit

It is possible to reclaim fields where herbicide-resistant kochia has the upper hand, but it takes long-term planning for crop and herbicide rotations, as well as patch management. Group 2 resistant kochia was first found on the Prairies in the late 1980s and within two decades it spread across the region. “That type of resistance […] Read more


Multibillion-dollar trade is growing as pet owners demand high-quality food formulations. | Getty Images

Pampered pets provide profitable market for pulses

As Fido and friends have moved from the doghouse to the people house, pet nutrition has been elevated to big business and big opportunity for pulse producers. “There has been an emergence of high-quality pet food products,” said Colin Young of Mid-West Grain near Moose Jaw, Sask. “The pet has moved from being an animal […] Read more

Pulses lack taurine. Dogs’ bodies naturally manufacture taurine in their livers and nervous systems, but they need two other amino acids, cysteine and methionine, in order to make it. Pulses are short on these as well. An easy fix, at least in the interim, is to add taurine to the recipe for doggo’s dinner. | Getty Images

Read the label to keep your doggo healthy

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about pulse-based dog foods in 2018, it put a damper on the market. The formulations were associated with increased incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart, a condition that, left untreated, results in a dog’s heart failure and death. The chief candidate as a cause is […] Read more


Mexican agriculture minister Victor Villalobos assured U.S. agriculture chief Tom Vilsack earlier this year that imported genetically modified corn for animal feed would be exempted from the proposed ban. However, there are signs that Villalobos and his moderate allies have not yet won that battle and may be losing. | Reuters/Edgard Garrido photo

Clashing visions of Mexico’s GMO corn ban cloud impact

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (Reuters) — A clash at the top of Mexico’s agriculture ministry over the scope of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s push to prohibit genetically modified corn has cast uncertainty over the industry. If liberally interpreted and successfully implemented, the new rules could ban imports of GM corn by 2024, ending a dependence […] Read more

Topsoil moisture for Saskatchewan's cropland was rated as eight percent adequate, 39 percent short and 53 percent very short, the province's latest crop report said. | Government of Saskatchewan map

Sask. soil moisture levels come up short

More than nine out of every 10 acres of cropland, pasture and hayland in Saskatchewan are either “short” or “very short” on topsoil moisture, according to the province’s latest provincial crop report released earlier today. In the crop report for the week ending July 19, Saskatchewan Agriculture said the province’s crops remain “extremely stressed from […] Read more

A coalition of farm groups is asking Manitoba producers to consider all options before harvesting a drought-damaged crop this summer. | File photo

Greenfeed and silage needed in Manitoba

There’s an abundance of poor-looking crops across Manitoba this summer. Many cereal and oilseed crops are short with thin stands and low yield potential because of a drought that stretches back to the fall of 2019. That problem, though, represents an opportunity to help livestock producers in the province who are facing a shortfall of […] Read more


Hybrid wheat varieties have been planted on limited acres in Europe and the United States for decades but this time it is different due to breeding advancements, according to Josh Sosland, editor of Milling and Baking News.
 | File photo

Hybrid wheat makes a splash

Hybrid wheat is finally making a splash after decades of dipping a toe in the water. Syngenta’s first four X-Terra hybrid wheat varieties are on the road to commercialization in France. Two of them could be registered in the fall of 2021, according to a translation of the company’s French press release. “These varieties mark […] Read more

 Cereals east of Saskatoon were short and stunted last week with yield potential in the single digits or less. | Brian Cross photo

Writing on the wall for prairie crops

Crunch, crunch, crunch — that is the sound of parched prairie crops burning to a crisp under an intense summer heat wave that continued to bake western Canadian crops this week. It might also describe the financial situation that some farmers will face this year as yield and income prospects dwindle quickly and the full […] Read more