Month: July 2014

Foreign Workers Develop into Skilled Labourers. Why Send Them Home?

The federal government can do something to help Ontario’s $900-million mushroom sector — that is, extend or change the temporary foreign worker program. Such a change might help other agri-food sectors too and give new skilled Canadians a productive place in our society. The agri-food sector’s struggle with labour is widely known. Canadians like to… Read more »

Hypro Duo React Nozzle Adds Spray Versatility

One nozzle type rarely does all jobs well, and it’s tempting to find one or two general purpose nozzles and switch them out between jobs. Hypro has a better idea, and is rolling out its Duo React nozzle body that allows farmers to choose — automatically — up to three configurations from one nozzle body…. Read more »

Winners of National Farm Photo Contest Announced

Winners have been announced in the Farm & Food Care Foundation’s inaugural Farm Photo Contest. The contest which ran from early May until the end of June gave photographers the chance to enter their farm photography in six categories – All About Animals, Canadian Farm Scenes, Crazy About Crops, Farm Faces, Farm Fun and Farm… Read more »

Soybean School: The Precision of Soybean Breeding

Ever wonder how soybean crosses are made? How long it takes for a new soybean variety to go from pod to variety? Each crop type requires unique field work to come up with new and exciting lines that balance higher yield potential with the strong agronomic traits farmers are looking for. In this Soybean School… Read more »

Pulse School: The Root Cause of Yellowing in Peas

With flash flooding and saturated soils affecting much of the prairie provinces this year, it’s no wonder producers are finding pea crops with serious symptom development. Unfortunately, distinguishing nutrient deficiencies, nodulation issues (read more: Nodulation No-Show? Tips for a Rescue N App) and disease presence from other stress-inducing factors can be incredibly difficult. A few key signs peas may be… Read more »

Spray Tips with Tom Wolf — Ep. 9: What’s with Dew?

When warm air is cooled, it loses some of its moisture-holding capabilities.  This change often occurs at night, when plants (and other objects) cool. Once the temperature of the surface of the leaves, for example, drops below the dewpoint, it causes water to condense, forming the shiny dew that causes so many to question early morning spray applications. Related: Spray Tips with… Read more »

Gaining Ground: Managing On-Farm Fly Populations

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he persistent buzz and tickle of tiny feet on my face early this morning as the sun rose reminded me that fly season has reached our part of the country once again. Hopefully, most of you will have started your fly management activities months ago, but for those a little slow off the bat, or… Read more »

Wheat School: Being Proactive with Cereal Leaf Beetle

Cereal leaf beetle was first discovered in Alberta in 2005, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba finding populations shortly thereafter. As its name suggests, the insect prefers to feed on cereals, though it may extend its host range to grasses, even occasionally feeding on corn. Both adults and larvae feed on the leaves in strips between veins, causing a… Read more »

Corn School West: Scouting Tips for Corn Borer (Yes, Even in Resistant Varieties)

The corn borer is a relatively low-level pest in much of the corn crop in Western Canada, but it certainly poses a risk. What’s more, just because you planted a corn borer-resistant variety doesn’t mean you get out of scouting — every farmer who grows corn should be scouting for the pest, says John Gavloski,… Read more »

A Ban on Bans — Should Farmers Fight to Enshrine, in Law, Access To Tech?

Consumers are farmers’ customers…eventually. But in between the farmer and the consumer is an entire supply chain, from processor, to transporter, to wholesaler and retailer, each taking their pound of flesh. Yet, if consumers demand certain items, production systems or products, it’s largely farmers, not the entire supply chain, that must adapt and shoulder much… Read more »

Canola School: A Prairie Swede Midge Update

Since being found in Ontario in 2000, swede midge has had a rather hasty spread, with adults being found as early as 2007 in some areas in Saskatchewan. Until the past couple of years, however, western Canadian farmers reported finding few symptoms of swede midge damage, which can include anything from fused flower petals to… Read more »

Kickin’ Tires — Ep. 3: The Value of Cab Comfort

The evolution of farm machinery has occurred incredibly fast, with the first engine-powered tractors showing up in the mid 1800s. Driven by steam engines, these tractors were loud and, compared to today’s standards, far from comfortable. In the late 19th century, the first gasoline-powered tractor was built, no doubt impressing the farming community. Today, machinery… Read more »

Hive Health Requires Management & Surveillance — Why Bees Are Thriving in the West

Bees, pollinators and honey-makers alike, are enjoying some much deserved attention right now. There was a time not too long ago when many consumers had no inkling of the importance of pollinators in our food supply. Unfortunately, much of the added attention stems from recent bee deaths, the mysterious colony collapse disorder (CCD) and controversy… Read more »

This Week in Markets — Is a Bounce Too Much to Ask For?

Favourable weather continues to hover like a dark cloud over the grain markets as they continue to trek lower, just as meat prices are going the opposite direction. While most prices are relatively unchanged week-over-week, soybean prices did find a bit of a bounce on very strong U.S. export sales (as they say, the cure… Read more »

Managing Saline Soils the Perennial Way

We all have them or have seen them —  the areas where crop productivity falls near null, and foxtail barley encroachment begins. Areas affected by high salinity are often referred to as alkali sloughs, and are considered for remediation. Years of no- or minimum-till farming across the prairies has certainly helped the situation, says Kelly Farden,… Read more »