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The agricultural industry is in the midst of a technology storm. In this column I have written about many amazing ideas and innovations that have changed our industry. Among these have been precision agriculture, artificial intelligence, sensor technology, geomatics, big data, genetic breakthroughs that use biotech tools such as CRISPR, weather prediction and robotics.

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In May of 1990, a container ship named Hansa Carrier had an accident. Unlike the Evergiven, which blocked the calm waters of the Suez Canal for several meme-filled days in 2021, the Hansa Carrier ran into heavy seas on its journey from South Korea to the United States. Somewhere south of the Alaska Peninsula the ship lost 21 40-foot containers. Five of these were together filled with 61,000 Nike shoes.

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The United Nations (UN) announced its global Food Systems Summit will be held in October. As I write this, it is unclear whether the Summit will be an in-person, virtual or hybrid event. Whatever the case, the event will encompass a spectrum of topics related to the production, processing, transportation, marketing and consumption of food. It will build on earlier summits held in 1996, 2002 and 2009 with the goal to reduce global hunger.

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I was recently asked how COVID-19 has influenced “extension delivery,” the transfer of agricultural knowledge to farmers. The question prompted a surge of thinking about what has happened during the 2020 pandemic and how this process has changed over the years.

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BY STAN BLADE, P. Ag. 2019 is the year we in the University of Alberta’s faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) celebrate a century of teaching and research in soil science. It is also our good fortune that this is the 90th anniversary of the Breton Plots. The ongoing long-term crop rotation experiment […]

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In 2019 the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) will celebrate a century of teaching and research in the discipline of soil science. It is fitting that we will also celebrate the 90th anniversary of the faculty’s Breton Plots, which were established to identify ways to enhance the fertility of the province’s grey luvisols.

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Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Alberta Barley, Alberta Pulse Growers and Alberta Canola Producers have teamed up
with the university and Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) to fund positions in agricultural entomology, soil health and a third chair now in development, the details of which have not been announced. Once candidates are hired, matching funding will be sought from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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