Tag: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Agronomy Geeks, Ep 4: Scott Meers

Some people are bean counters, but Scott Meers chose instead to be a bug counter. Now, let’s start off by saying that Meers, insect management specialist for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, absolutely knows that not all insects are bugs. But when it comes to extension and making insect management accessible, Meers knows full well that… Read more »

Canola School: Fumigation in the fight against clubroot

When a field is confirmed infected with clubroot, it’s recommended that producers implement (or continue) strict sanitation protocols, crop rotations, and the responsible use of Plasmodiophora brassicae-resistant canola varieties. There may be further options, however, like the use of fumigants traditionally used in horticulture. “The first fumigant I look at is Vapam, and the Vapam is… Read more »

Team Alberta launches online sustainability assessment tool and resource library

A group of four crop commissions in Alberta has launched an online farm sustainability readiness assessment tool today, in an effort to advance on-farm sustainability in the country. Through their new website, Team Alberta (made up of Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and Alberta Wheat Commission) provides three self-assessment questionnaires, learning and action-planning… Read more »

Canola School: Research looking at liming to suppress clubroot

Although it’s been proven that high pH soil will not stop the spread of clubroot disease, liming has been used as a tool to curb the disease in other parts of the world. Early results from a research project underway in Alberta show raising the pH of acidic fields with lime could potentially aid in… Read more »

Alberta offers free resources for crop planning and profitability analysis

If drought concerns, disease pressure, or low commodity prices have you scratching your head on crop rotation tweaks, Alberta farmers have access to two, free crop planning and profitability programs offered by the provincial agriculture department. The first program, Crop Choice$, allows farmers to input their own costs and yield expectations, and is also fully… Read more »

Wheat School: Can you seed winter wheat too early?

Wet conditions in parts of Western Canada — especially in the central and northern areas of Alberta — meant some acres went unseeded this spring. Winter cereals are an option for farmers eager to get a crop growing in those unseeded fields (or in early harvested fields in more southern areas), but there are some… Read more »

Canola School: How Low Can You Go? New Thinking on Plant Stand Counts

Update: The Canola Council of Canada has developed online calculators to determine your target plant density based on your individual field conditions, abilities and appetite for risk, as well as optimum seeding rate. You can find them at CanolaCalculator.ca. While the official industry recommendation for an optimal canola plant stand remains 7 to 10 plants per square… Read more »

Pulse School: Deciding on a Second App of Fungicide

Round one of fungicide application is done, but it’s starting to wear off and conditions are still conducive for disease. Knowing what your peas and/or lentils are worth this year, do you take the sprayer out or hire a plane for a second fungicide application? It’s a scenario growers in parts of Western Canada are finding… Read more »

Canola School: Too Early to Panic Over Dry Soils

With maps of moisture extremes popping up across the prairies, and predictions of another dry year, it’s hard to know what to make of seeding. But, as Murray Hartman, oilseed specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry points out in this episode of the Canola School, there isn’t much sense in panicking. Not yet. Moisture Extremes… Read more »

ALMA Dies on the Alberta Government’s Budget Killing Floor

Today the Alberta Government released its budget and there were some casualties for agriculture.  In an effort to cut costs and internalize much of the agency work that has been spun out to third-party boards, the Alberta Livestock Meat Agency had its funding cut. Other boards, commissions and agencies that will be impacted are: Alberta Grains… Read more »

Feeding Flax to Reduce Pregnancy Losses in Dairy Cows

Flax could have an important role in improving reproductive performance in dairy cattle. Research studies looking at including flax oil in dairy rations in Alberta, BC and Oregon showed “mixed results, but in all three studies we found reductions in pregnancy losses,” explains Divakar Ambrose in the interview below. Ambrose, a dairy research scientist with… Read more »

Wheat School: Doing Your Homework on PGRs

In theory, the application of a plant growth regulator to wheat should result in shorter, stronger plants that are less prone to lodging, enabling higher yield potential. In reality, it’s not that simple. “I wish it was a nice black and white, straightforward story, but it certainly isn’t,” says Sheri Strydhorst, who’s done extensive work… Read more »

Ag Minister Oneil Carlier — Will You Vote For or Against Bill 6?

The Alberta government’s omnibus Bill 6 would impact farms and ranches by making Workers Compensation Board coverage mandatory, providing Occupational Health & Safety regulation in agriculture, implementing new labor laws and giving farm workers the ability to unionize. While the bill would affect agriculture, some of the complications in the communication of Bill 6 details are due to the… Read more »

Canola School: Ignoring the Outlier Growing Season

We’ve focused a lot of attention on the site over this year’s unusual growing conditions, and we’ve heard a lot of producers comment on surprising yields at harvest. “We went through May and June with record drought in many parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan,” says Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Murray Hartman in the following video,… Read more »

4 Ways to Improve Beef Cattle Feed Efficiency

Advancements in genetic selection and nutrition are unlocking the potential to improve beef cattle feed efficiency by up to 20 percent, says a beef research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Whether it’s on a cow/calf operation or in a feedlot, managing feed costs is a critical part of the business. Susan Markus, in the… Read more »