Young lettuce plants grow hydroponically in an automated robotic rail system that limits the need for any human hands to touch the plants. Each lettuce head goes into its own bag with roots still attached. Marketed as Inspired Greens in many locations across North America, the lettuce lasts longer than traditional lettuce available in the marketplace.  |  Barb Glen photo

Robot-raised lettuce

COALDALE, Alta. — At first, people thought the massive greenhouse being built east of this southern Alberta town was destined for marijuana production. The timing seemed right, 18 months ago, when talk was rampant about cannabis legalization. Today, an estimated one million plants flourish under 5.5 acres of glass. They are lettuce plants — leafy, […] Read more

Intercropping with peas and barley has been shown to yield well and provides support of the pea crop.  |  Bill Biligetu photo

Intercropping research explores benefits, downsides

More and more prairie producers are showing an interest in intercropping, the practice of growing two or more crops together in the same field. What crops grow well together and under which circumstances are still being determined by a growing number of research projects across the Prairies. In 2015, Saskatchewan Agriculture planted a pea-cereal intercrop […] Read more

There is no established technique for CBD harvest on a broad-acre scale. One harvest option for large-scale production includes full plant use where the entire plant is harvested, possibly by being cut and baled. Another harvest method could have the top of the hemp plant cut off and taken by conveyors to a cart and later dried. More research is needed.  |  Getty image

The hazards of harvesting hemp

THC


Legalization of cannabis for recreational use has made way for a cannabidiol (CBD) industry to take root in Canada. There is currently more demand for this cannabis extract than supply, which means it could be lucrative for at least a few growing seasons before supply catches up. The problem is that little is known about […] Read more


Canadian agriculture can do little to combat greenhouse gases on worldwide scale, but it can take some steps.

Small efforts can make a big impact on public opinion

Canadian agriculture can do little to combat greenhouse gases on worldwide scale, but it can take some steps

Canada’s agriculture industry cannot save the planet. About 8.5 to 10 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from farming, depending on the method of counting, and agriculture produces 60 million tonnes in carbon dioxide equivalents, based on federal government data. In comparison, China produces about nine billion tonnes annually. If Canadian farmers reduced their […] Read more

Bin monitoring system detects everything from heat to humans

The new GrainViz technology is so sensitive, it can identify and trigger alarms when it detects anything from the smallest bug to a trapped human in a grain bin. The latest version of GrainViz technology was unveiled in Winnipeg Dec. 12. At the same news conference, GrainViz co-founder and vice-president Boyd Koldingnes announced that his […] Read more


The GrainBall includes temperature, moisture and CO2 sensors plus a radio transmitter to relay data out to a weather station.  |  GrainViz image/Getty photo

Stay on the ball when storing grain

Not everyone stores grain securely in big well-engineered bins. In many parts of the world, including North America, grain gets piled on the ground, sometimes with retaining rings. And sometimes there’s not even a steel or concrete retaining ring, says GrainViz entrepreneur Boyd Koldingnes. When he and the marketing team were in California recently to […] Read more


North Dakota’s NDAWN forecast network is giving farmers customized weather information.

There’s a better way to predict the weather

Your farmyard weather station is good at predicting weather you’ve already experienced. It predicts history. And your rain gauge is only accurate within a radius of about eight inches. These encouraging words come from Daryl Ritchison, chief meteorologist at the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network called NDAWN. He says your weather station and rain gauge […] Read more


Why do fierce thunderstorms sometimes leave very little moisture on the ground? It’s a riddle that’s puzzled humankind for thousands of years. 
| File photo

Climatologist explains the fickle nature of thunderstorms

Why do fierce thunderstorms sometimes leave very little moisture on the ground? It’s a riddle that’s puzzled humankind for thousands of years. University of Missouri climatologist Neil Fox wanted to solve the riddle. To get at those answers, he turned to a relatively new research tool called dual-polarization radar. Farmers beyond a 30-mile radius (48 […] Read more