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Agronomy

FROST BEATERS

Spring wheat is Western Canada’s most significant crop. In the northern Prairies, though, much of the wheat grown for bread ends up being downgraded due to frost damage. This creates difficulties for farmers at harvest, but also impacts their bottom line. Dean Spaner, a University of Alberta Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences professor, is addressing the problem in a research project funded by the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC). The initiative will examine early-maturity traits in the hopes of addressing the challenge.

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PLAYING THE LONG GAME

Kevin Auch is looking for one more crop to complete an ideal rotation on his 5,500-acre farm near Carmangay. He’s working with a pretty decent five-crop rotation right now, and each should comprise 20 per cent of his cropped acres.

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PUTTING STUDENTS IN CHARGE

Are you ready to turn farming decisions over to the youngest farmers at the table? Lakeland College in Vermilion has done just that. The Student-Managed Farm (SMF) is a real-world lab where second-year students in the Animal Science Technology and Crop Technology programs take the reins as agricultural entrepreneurs.

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NO MORE NEONICS

Western Canadian farmers may experience a few hiccups of their own when it comes to protecting their crops thanks to recent decisions by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) surrounding three common neonicotinoids. 

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4P PACT PAYS OFF FOR FARMERS

Launched in 2015, 4P, which stands for “public, private and producer partnership,” includes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Canterra Seeds and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC). The pact is aimed at improving CPSR varieties.

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TREADING LIGHTLY

Lower tire pressures in field equipment can reduce compaction while increasing yields, fuel efficiency and tire life. Advancements in central tire inflation (CTI) systems are making it easier for farmers to toggle efficiently between safe tire pressure for road travel and optimum pressure for field operations.

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