Most read



As consumer demand for organic cereals grows, so does the draw for farmers to serve this specialized market with its premium prices. GrainsWest spoke with organic farmers who said this premium is typically 1.5 to two times greater than conventional pricing. The rising cost of conventional inputs and farmland make it an attractive option for those who want to grow a highly profitable crop while they carry less overhead. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. This non-conventional sector requires strategic farm management on an individual level and, more broadly, the support of continued research and innovation to drive it forward.

Keep Reading

On a sunny day late last June, a group of agricultural journalists from around the world gathered next to the lush barley field plots maintained by the Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) in Lacombe. As they scrawled notes about Alberta malting barley production, the group listened to FCDC researchers discuss the varieties the facility has developed over the years, including Lowe. The group sampled Lowe Down, a one-off blonde ale by Olds College Brewery. Its ingredients included Lowe malt produced by Red Shed Malting near Innisfail.

Keep Reading

In 2024, another slew of Canadian farmers will transition out of farming while the next generation takes over either in part or whole. It’s a fact of farm life: eventually the farm changes hands. For countless reasons, farm transitions take many meandering paths. Depending on business and family dynamics, the trip can be smooth going or a rough ride.

Keep Reading

It may be thought of as a disease of the past, but ergot still causes headaches for farmers across the Prairies. While its prevalence may be high, its threat level is typically low and often a non-issue. However, the fungus that’s been a fact of life since at least the Middles Ages, remains a concern. Downgrades at the elevator and contaminated screenings cause issues for grain farmers and feedlot owners alike.

Keep Reading

Prairie farmers continue to deal effectively with grain diseases of all kinds. This is due to an efficient new variety pipeline, access to certified seed and a host of crop protection products and cultural practices. Reassuring as this is, farmers must remain vigilant in the fight against crop diseases such as Fusarium head blight, rust, bunt and smut. Likewise, researchers work to produce resistant varieties and create tools so farmers can curb incidence rates.

Keep Reading

While school exams can cause anxiety, testing seed can net valuable quality information and peace of mind. “Testing of any seed at harvest, as well as testing throughout storage, is very important,” said Sarah Foster, president and senior seed analyst at 20/20 Seed Labs in Nisku. “Seed is at its prime when it first comes off the field. If you store it at the right moisture level, dry it when necessary and monitor it in the bin, you can maintain it in prime condition.”

Keep Reading

Farmers have long endured the stereotype of being stoic and aloof, completely self-reliant. Today, one of the hottest trends in agriculture is turning this notion on its head. The radical idea is … wait for it … talking.

Keep Reading

Whether it’s pernicious pests, an unpredictable climate or increasing costs, threats to cereal crops constantly evolve. To build and maintain a sustainable system for cereal production in Canada requires the ability to adapt. There are few better examples of adaptability in agriculture than the efforts made by plant breeders to assist farmers. 

Keep Reading

When Rayann Campmans signed up for the Picture Butte High School agricultural program, she and her fellow students knew they had to take an active role in directing and building the new initiative. They loved the idea of farm-based learning, but feared the program would be discontinued if it didn’t go over well. They pitched in to support the project. 

Keep Reading
Go to TOP