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TOP: Southwestern Alberta is known for its strong westerlies, but there have been an unusually high number of wind warnings across the south this winter. Here, several irrigation pivots were damaged along Highway 22 north of Lundbreck, Alta. Above, left: A semi-trailer and a holiday trailer lie on their sides along Highway 22 Jan. 4, the day after winds gusting to 180 km-h blew them off the road.   MIDDLE: Stop might well have been a word on the lips of the person driving the truck when the fifth-wheel holiday trailer it was pulling was blown into the ditch along Highway 22 Jan. 3.   RIGHT: This equipment shed on a farm along Highway 22 in southern Alberta sustained damage during high winds Jan. 3. Otherwise, relatively minor structural damage was reported.  |  Barb Glen photos

Alta. wind challenges drivers

The wind warning sign along Highway 3 in southern Alberta, west of Lundbreck, read 181 km-h when it blew down. The locals, accustomed to strong winds typical of the region, appreciated the irony. The few semi-trailer drivers and people pulling holiday trailers, who took their chances along that highway and the north-south route of Highway […] Read more

The above normal temperatures Western Canada has experienced since the fall were not necessarily caused by an El Nino. | File photo

El Nino likely not responsible for warm, dry conditions

The above normal temperatures Western Canada has experienced since the fall were not necessarily caused by an El Nino. Rather, to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada the phenomenon that’s likely affected the weather was a ‘blob’ that formed off of the coast of British Columbia. “It’s a big warm pocket of ocean water and that seems […] 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


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



As Canadian farmers start thinking about what to plant next spring, global trade patterns and weather will play into decision making. | File photo

Trade, weather to determine acres

As Canadian farmers start thinking about what to plant next spring, global trade patterns and weather will play into decision making. “It’s very difficult to decide where this all is going. That obviously also has implications on where the futures prices go and what signals the farmers are taking from that,” said Marlene Boersch of […] Read more

Tightly managed potato supply means processors will struggle to replace the missing spuds when 4.3 percent of acres are lost.  |  File photo

Bad harvest weather causes potato shortage

Four percent of the national crop was not harvested this year, and potato processors are facing a shortfall

From Prince Edward Island to Alberta, this fall was a massive migraine for potato growers. Rain, snow and unseasonably cold weather prevented producers from digging potatoes out of the ground. As a result, about four percent of the crop was not harvested and potato processors are facing a shortfall. “This has been a very difficult […] Read more


Drought persists on the Prairies

Thanks to a rainy and snowy October, soil moisture conditions have improved across much of the Prairies. While things are better, compared to a month or 60 days ago, many parts of Western Canada remain in a multi-year drought. “Conditions have improved, is the short version,” said Patrick Cherneski, manager of the national agro-climate information […] Read more

The Canadian Crop Hail Association released its hail summary November 1, noting lack of moisture in many areas this summer resulted in fewer storms than average. However, severity in terms of crop damage was high in the few storms that did gather. | File photo

Severe hailstorms drive up claims

Every cloud has a silver lining, as the saying goes, but for the prairie growing season of 2018, the silver lining came without many clouds — hail clouds in particular. The Canadian Crop Hail Association released its hail summary Nov. 1, noting lack of moisture in many areas this summer resulted in fewer storms than […] Read more