Category: Crop Production

Fighting straw? Managing wheat height with a plant growth regulator

Semi-dwarf varieties of wheat that were introduced during the Green Revolution changed farming in many parts of the world, and changed the way people could farm. Before these shorter varieties came along, if you were lucky enough to grow a big crop, it would probably lie down. New semi-dwarf varieties didn’t lodge as easily, enabling… Read more »

Alberta Wheat to launch “FarmCash” cash advance program

There’s new competition coming in the area of farm cash advance administration in Alberta. The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) has announced it will be launching its own program called “FarmCash” to administer advances for Alberta farmers and ranchers through the federal government’s Advance Payments Program. Starting September 1, 2018, FarmCash will offer interest-free and low… Read more »

Canola School: What a combine loss monitor can (and can’t) tell you

Combine loss monitors are useful for understanding whether the amount of grain being thrown out the back of a combine is increasing or decreasing, but they’re not a great tool for quantifying those losses, according to research conducted by PAMI (Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute). The recent project focused on understanding the accuracy of combine loss… Read more »

Just Imagine: Glyphosate use is banned in North America

A fictional look at life without glyphosate in the year 2028. Due to pressure from consumers and decisions by the courts, glyphosate use has been banned in Canada and the U.S. Only three years removed from the complete ban of glyphosate, North American farmers are still dealing with the changes to their farming practices. The… Read more »

Farm groups call proposed neonic ban “very concerning” and “disappointing”

Agriculture industry and farm groups are voicing strong concerns about Health Canada’s proposed ban of two neonicotinoid (neonic) crop protection products announced on Wednesday. Citing risk to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and midges, not bees, the federal health department’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is looking to phase out all agricultural uses of thiamethoxam… Read more »

Understanding the legal implications of the California jury decision on glyphosate

Glyphosate — commonly known as Roundup — suffered a blow in the court of public opinion following a California jury decision last week, but the actual legal implications of the verdict are still to be determined in court. The jury found Monsanto liable in a case where former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson alleges exposure to… Read more »

PAMI takes bin sensors to a whole new level

When bin sensors first came along it was a huge improvement over simply shoving a metal rod through the bin door in some ways. Because sensors are tethered though, you still end up with a linear — rather than a randomly distributed —set of measurements. This means you are not actually measuring a good portion… Read more »

Health Canada proposes ban of remaining two main neonics

Health Canada has proposed banning two of the most commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) used in Canadian agriculture in the next three to five years following a review of their impact on aquatic insect species. The proposal published on Wednesday would end outdoor agricultural and turf uses for clothianidin, and all outdoor agricultural and ornamental uses… Read more »

Diverse, with high value: a look at B.C’s evolving agriculture sector

While the total land area isn’t necessarily the largest in Canada, B.C.’s agriculture industry tops the list when it comes to diversity and total economic impact, depending on the sector. RealAgriculture founder Shaun Haney recently got a chance to interview the Honourable Lana Popham, British Columbia’s agriculture minister. The conversation is a part of RealAgriculture’s… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, Aug 15: Corn disease risks, a sudden potash deficiency, and cloudy conditions

As the summer days stretch and the forest fire smoke settles in over huge areas of the country, farmers are wrapping up wheat harvest in the east and starting harvest in earnest in the west. Late-season agronomy typically centres on harvest management, but diseases and insects are still lurking, especially in the corn crop. In… Read more »

Wheat School: How do we fund wheat research?

Over the last decade, the average yield increase for corn tips the scale at five bushels per acre, per year. During the same period wheat yield gains have averaged a meagre one bushel per acre, per year. What is the future of wheat if it can’t match the yield gains of crops like corn and… Read more »

Veteran agri-coach Elston Solberg encourages young agronomists to ‘think like a plant’

Agriculture has a knack for keeping you humble. Just when you figure one thing out, you realize behind every door there is an entire room of unknowns. Sure Growth Technologies recently had their field day at Aberhart Farms, just north of Marchwell, SK. One of the presenters was Elston Solberg, currently a senior agri-coach with… Read more »

Be cautious when buying in hay, says forage specialist

If you’re running low on forage, chances are you might already be starting to look for hay suppliers outside of your area. Terry Kowalchuk, forage specialist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, says you have to be conscious of who you buy from, so that you do not get more than you bargained for. He… Read more »

Corn School: Will double-cob corn deliver bonus yield?

If you’re seeing double in your corn crop this year, you’re not seeing things. Double-cob stalks are showing up in many fields this season and farmers want to know — will these bonus cobs amount to anything, and why are they even there? Those are two questions Steph Kowalski, agronomy lead for the Agromart Group,… Read more »

Glyphosate on trial: Courts, markets, and public opinion

Glyphosate, the generic chemical name for Monsanto’s RoundUp, is taking fire from all angles, it seems, after courts in two different countries recently delivered significant blows to the herbicide’s reputation. Last week, a judge in Brazil ordered a halt on all approvals of any products containing glyphosate, plus a suspension of existing registration within in… Read more »