Organizations say they are encouraged by the resumption of agriculture-specific negotiations. | Screencap via

Farm groups support WTO reform

Recent meetings held by the House of Commons’ international trade committee garnered responses from farm organizations expressing broad support for efforts to continue reforming the World Trade Organization. The country’s chief negotiator, Steve Verheul, told committee members in early March that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, “the multilateral trading system was facing an increasingly challenging […] Read more

Lethbridge and District Exhibition board chair Bev Lanz, left, chief operating officer Mike Warkentin and Alberta premier Jason Kenney participate in the March 31 sod-turning ceremony for the $70.5 million Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre, scheduled for completion in about 20 months. | Barb Glen photo

Lethbridge Ex starts expansion

A ceremonial sod turning March 31 marked the construction start of a Lethbridge and District Exhibition project 18 years in the making. The $70.5 million project involves building a 268,000 sq. foot building dubbed the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre. It is expected to create about 400 construction jobs in the short term and 50 […] Read more

A 16,000 acre grassfire that raged across parts of southern Alberta March 28 destroyed four homes as well as many farm buildings and fences.  | Mike Sturk photo

Fire’s aftermath – photo essay

Four homes were burned to the ground and many farm buildings and fences destroyed March 28 when people were evacuated from their homes due to a massive grass fire that started west of Highway 2 south of Claresholm, Alta., and headed east, jumping the highway. The fire covered 16,000 acres. | Mike Sturk photos

High winter bee losses and pandemic-related import challenges that prevent some beekeepers from obtaining new queens have revived interest in producing queens domestically. | University of Lethbridge photo

Alberta research project focuses on improving queen bee health

Shelley Hoover of the University of Lethbridge receives a grant 
to examine ways to re-queen hives and store locally produced queens

The queen bee is crucial to honeybee hive production, health and pollination activity. A funding grant of $496,513 from Alberta’s Results Driven Agricultural Research (RDAR) will allow bee researcher Shelley Hoover to undertake a four-year project on queen bees and their colonies. Hoover is a biological sciences researcher at the University of Lethbridge. Her project […] Read more

The trucking industry has indicated a shortage of Class 1 truck drivers for years but the cost of training at $6,000 to $10,000 is a barrier for many. | Screencap via

Alberta funds training costs for truck drivers

Another 500 Albertans can receive partial government funding to obtain a Class 1 commercial truck driver’s licence this year. The provincial government has earmarked $5 million to cover up to 90 percent of mandatory entry-level training costs for eligible unemployed Alberta residents. The trucking industry has indicated a shortage of Class 1 truck drivers for […] Read more

A University of Saskatchewan study is comparing different field management practices that may lower pesticide use and wetland contamination while enhancing farmland biodiversity. | File photo

Study looks for marginal cropland solutions

University of Saskatchewan professor hopes farmers will work with her as she researches wetlands and marginal areas

Working with farmers, a University of Saskatchewan study is looking for ways to better manage unproductive land in the province and improve the environment. “We’re looking to recruit 10 more grain producers for the study this year that have marginal cropland or wetlands,” said Christy Morrissey, professor in biology at the University of Saskatchewan who […] Read more

Cervus Equipment works on the Smart Farm at Olds College during last year’s harvest. | Olds College photo

Smart Farm helps make high-tech agriculture a reality

Olds College is showing how computers will revolutionize the way modern prairie agriculture is about to be carried out

A computer control room isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when people think of farming, but Stuart Cullum says such technology is already sort of here. “I mean, a lot of what’s happening on the farm can be seen on a computer in a control room, so to speak — a person […] Read more

The Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve is a 34 sq. kilometre protected area west of Rocky Mountain House, Alta. It is an example of montane ecology. | Duane McCartney photo

Kootenay Plains crucial part of Alberta history

The region is one of the largest unspoiled montane eco regions left in the province and the driest area in the Rockies

The Kootenay Plains of central Alberta stretching between two mountain ridges about a two hour’s drive west of Rocky Mountain House is one of the largest unspoiled montane eco regions left in Alberta. These plains, situated on the banks of the upper North Saskatchewan River, are the warmest and driest areas in the Rocky Mountains. […] Read more

Scientists discovered that cereal roots with a certain genotype have a greater concentration of lignin, which gives them greater tensile strength and more bending force at their tips. | File photo

Strong plant roots can penetrate compact soil

Researchers conclude from this discovery that plants with stronger roots will be better able to deal with climate change

A newly discovered trait has shown that some cereal plants have roots tough enough to punch their way through hard, compact soil. This suggests that crops with strong roots will be better at dealing with a changing climate and drier conditions in the future. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have found that roots with a […] Read more

Finding a skunk under the porch was bad enough, but then the school inspector made a visit. | Getty Images

Black and white threat was cause for alarm

The arrival of the school inspector was almost as dreaded an occasion as a skunk making itself at home on the farm

Skunks made regular calls to our chicken house, cranky old clucks notwithstanding. I went to gather eggs one day and as I approached, there was a black and white “kitty” we didn’t own looking out at me from the hen house. I beat a hasty retreat with my basket, while the skunk just ambled off […] Read more