Though hugely important to the western Canadian feeding sector, barley has a tough double shield that can overprotect its starch content from digestion. Dry rolling is the answer. When barley is crushed between grooved rollers the starch and protein are exposed and more easily and rapidly digested. However, over-rolling produces fine particles that can trigger digestive upset in cattle and cause animal welfare challenges and production losses.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) was created to help students acquire the skills and experience they need to land that first job once they complete their studies. This year, the federal government allotted $3.7 million to subsidize about 300 agricultural jobs open to youth between the ages of 15 and 30.
In Western Canada, the threat of herbicide resistance has grown like a weed in recent years. Behind the United States and Australia, Canada has the third greatest number of unique herbicide-resistant weed biotypes. The number of weed species in this country that have developed resistance has grown steadily since the 1970s and stands at about 80. No new meaningful modes of action have been introduced since the 1980s, and the selection pressure that produces resistance is expected to continue.
With the help of a $10.8 million grant from the federal government’s Digital Technology Supercluster, a consortium of Canadian companies and one university intends to create the world’s first interactive planning software for both autonomous and precision agriculture applications. The intent is to design a program that tracks and displays vital agronomic and geographic information in a single easy-access platform. Dubbed the Standard Data Platform for Autonomous Agriculture (SDPAA), its builders include Lethbridge-based Verge Ag, Terramera, QuantoTech Solutions, i-Open Technologies and Simon Fraser University.
In February, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved ABO Wind Canada’s Buffalo Plains Wind Farm proposal, an 83-turbine project scheduled to begin spinning in farm fields near Lomond in the winter of 2023. The Buffalo Plains project is just one of a surging tide of renewable energy investments proposed for southern Alberta that carries clear benefits as well as potential risks for area farmers.
Despite above-average wages and rewarding work environments, the trades sector has long suffered the undeserved reputation as a last chance career choice. This inaccurate perception has hindered intake within the uniquely niche designation of agricultural mechanic. As a result, the ag sector is reckoning with scarcity of these skilled workers.
Not every farm can justify investing in a grain dryer. Some farms are too small and others may not receive enough annual moisture to warrant the expense. While farms in both of these categories still need to dry grain, they may consider alternatives to full conventional setups.
Massive resources are poured into agricultural research. It’s the goal of industry organizations to present this rich body of fresh agronomic information alongside established knowledge and make it easy to understand for farmers and agronomists. This communication process is commonly referred to as “extension.”
Farm life has always been shaped by the technology of the day. School tour groups at the South Peace Centennial Museum and Interpretive Centre work with tools that defined pioneer life. They come to appreciate homesteader chores as they apply a hefty flat iron to wrinkled shirts, scour wooden floors with a scrub brush, make rope from baler twine and cut firewood with a bucksaw.