A look at sustainability and its implications for farming

Last year in this space I wrote that agriculture has the potential to change the world. This year in our “Issue 52” edition, we focus on what it will take to change the world in a sustainable manner. These approaches to agriculture — sustainable, regenerative: what they mean and why they matter — are partly […] Read more

Precision ag = sustainable ag?

We had phosphorus for Christmas dinner. I had phos. You had phos. Everybody filled up on phos. It’s an old tradition among people who eat — any time, anywhere and not just at Christmas. If you went south for Christmas and ate tacos in Tijuana, you had phos. If you went north to Baffin Island […] Read more

Jake Leguee manages a 15,000-acre family owned grain farm near Fillmore, Sask. Sustainable production is a top priority at Leguee Farms. | Brian Cross photo

Growing for a sustainable future

What does sustainability mean to your farming operation? Is it a core value that influences your production and management decisions? Or do you see it as a concept dreamed up in a far-off corporate board room — an idea that will ultimately place more restrictions and conditions on how you produce food? To Saskatchewan grain […] Read more


J.P. and Marlene Monvoisin of Gravelbourg, Sask., are certified sustainable beef producers. They hung their sign at their bull display during Canadian Western Agribition to promote their commitment to the program of sustainability.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Cattle producers opt for sustainability certification

Grocery and restaurant chains make a financial commitment to encourage beef producers to become certified

Becoming certified beef producers reaffirmed the Monvoisin family’s commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement. JP and Marlene Monvoisin run a herd of about 450 purebred and commercial Angus cows near Gravelbourg, Sask. They were strong believers in the Verified Beef Production Plus program, which covers food safety and quality, environmental care, animal welfare and biosecurity. […] Read more

By maximizing forage yield through grazing management, producers get more pounds of beef per acre.  |  File photo

Grazing management pays off

Alberta cattle producer Sean McGrath has been employing intensive grazing methods for more than 20 years. Steve Kenyon has been doing it just about as long, and Alberta Agriculture grazing expert Grant Lastiwka has been studying it. All of which is to say that high-intensity grazing is sustainable. If you do it right. “From an […] Read more


This aerial shot shows Big Marble Farms, soon to be 10 acres larger. Plants are set up to grow on a high wire system in the greenhouse.  |  photo courtesy Chasing Autumn Photography

Greenhouse strives to be responsible planetary tenant

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword at Big Marble Farms. The largest indoor vegetable production greenhouse in Alberta practices sustainability at every stage, operating year-round to supply cucumbers and tomatoes. Beginning as a four-acre farm 10 years ago, subsequent small expansions followed by a 20-acre addition in 2016 and another 10 acres […] Read more

What we eat and how we produce it contributes to climate change: expert

The global food system is the largest employer in the world. It engages thousands of people and enterprises in agriculture, and millions are employed in processing, transportation, distribution, marketing, and sales. But questions about food industry sustainability recently asked at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, which is headquartered in Cali, Colombia, led to a […] Read more

Intercropping is a popular concept among farmers these days, although not many do it on any sort of large scale. There are still many variables, wrinkles and complexities to be worked out before the system will feel comfortable to the average farmer. | File photo

Sustainability finding home in mainstream agriculture

It’s pretty easy to scoff at the term “sustainable” when it’s bandied about by urban hippies. It’s harder to laugh off when hardcore agronomic and marketing professionals embrace the terms. And in finding ways for commercial farmers to embrace both profitability and sustainability, professionals such as Lana Shaw and Brenda Tjaden are also discovering a […] Read more


At up to 400 horsepower, the GridCON from John Deere is a few cable lengths closer to reality in the field. Deere’s autonomous platform relies on plenty of extension cord, not unlike some mining equipment, to get it back and forth in the field.  |  John Deere photo

Are we ready for electric tractors?

Car and truck manufacturers are falling off the fossil fuel bandwagon in droves and jumping on the electric train. Now add tractors to that list. Every month, another e-tractor announcement comes across our desks. Environmental factors drive this trend, along with energy efficiency, lower maintenance, lower noise level and motor longevity. There are more e-tractors […] Read more

Global warming could be boon for prairie crops

Canada is one of the few regions of the world where crop yields will benefit from global warming, according to a recently published Agriculture Canada research paper. The benefits will be particularly pronounced for prairie crops like canola and wheat versus Ontario corn. Yields were simulated by three crop modelling systems using 20 global climate […] Read more