Latest articles

Empty soils

Today’s big-yield genetics really are draining the nutrient supply in our soils

The power of today’s corn hybrids and soybean varieties to exceed farmers’ expectations is a testament to the science of plant breeding, and also to the value of selecting the best elite genetics. That farmers in Eastern Canada have been able to push corn yields to 200 bu./ac. and soybeans to 60 bu./ac., even in […] Read more

Governing the farm

On most farms, ‘governance’ sounds like the last thing you’d want to talk about if you hope to keep everyone happy. Steve Tomtene used to think so too, but is glad he changed his mind

Like many farms with added complementary enterprises like a trucking company or livestock barn or a seed business, Tomtene Seed Farm at Birch Hill, Sask., has developed systems to juggle all the moving parts. “Maintaining identification and producing seed products of quality merit takes a shift in thinking about the products, about production, about the […] Read more

Better than meets the eye?

Canada’s quality-control system still has a lot of support, but some are calling for grades to be determined by machines, not the human eye

Is that No. 2 CWRS just as good for milling and baking as a No. 1? Or does that No. 1 CWRS have some quality damage that can’t be seen with the naked eye, making it no better than a No. 2? The answer could be yes in both cases, sometimes, in cases that might […] Read more

Pest Patrol: Dealing with cleavers

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Q: I had a field of winter wheat with cleavers in it and it was a pain. What is the best way to get rid of this weed in winter wheat? A: I can’t think of a redeeming quality for cleavers, although apparently the fruit is considered one of the best substitutes for coffee (Malik […] Read more

Maltsters keen on promising new barley varieties

The recommended malting list for 2018 contains varieties with better agronomics than Copeland and Metcalfe

For a change, it’s not just farmers who are eagerly greeting new malting barley varieties. Maltsters, too, are singing the praises of emerging varieties intended to replace the big two. The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre’s 2018-19 list of recommended malting barley varieties emphasizes growing demand for AAC Synergy, plus two new varieties, AAC Connect […] Read more

More than a rotation crop for feed

Demand is increasing for this officially ‘heart healthy’ crop, but growers need to pay attention to quality

New varieties that consistently yield 120 to 140 bushels per acre. Increasing demand, with buyers paying a premium. Competitive against weeds, with good resistance to fusarium. That hardly describes a feed crop you seed last because you need it in rotation. Demand for milling oats is on the rise and processors have announced expansion. Some […] Read more

Growing quality oats

Recommendations for oat agronomy from the new POGA Oat Growers Manual and research across Western Canada

Soil and rotation Oats grow best in black and grey wooded soil zones that have higher moisture, but can grow on sandy loam to heavy clay soils as long as they have good drainage. To reduce disease pressure and optimize yields, oats should not be grown after cereals. The best rotational crops include canola, hay, […] Read more

Going big with on-farm research

The plots may be supersized, but the questions that privately owned Agritruth Research looks to answer could have come from any farmer in Western Canada

If you go driving down Highway 110 east of Brandon, Man., you probably won’t notice you’re passing a research farm. There are no chemical or seed company signs dotting the field edge, nor any grids of those tiny, distinct plots that are normally a dead giveaway that agricultural research is underway. There is no small-batch […] Read more

CPSR wheat popular for pasta and breads in Latin America

Maintaining an ongoing relationship with Latin American customers is important as competitor wheats such as those from the U.S. and Black Sea region are slowly making inroads

For Latin Americans, Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat is a top choice for the production of pasta and for flour blending in commercial bread baking. José Fernando Chacón Valencia, production and project manager for Harinera del Valle, a major milling and food processing company in Colombia, says that in the past several years his […] Read more

The Catch-22 of oat production

Tests in central Alberta yield some useful information on N rates and the effectiveness of plant growth regulators

Linda Hall has a soft spot for the humble oat, mainly because she doesn’t think it’s really all that humble. “Milling oats are a high-value crop,” Hall says. “We’re seeing companies like Richardson buying up oat milling capacity, so the markets are there if we can grow the right kind of oat.” It all depends […] Read more