Latest articles

A lesson in farming

At Lakeland College, an innovative student-managed farm is turning out business-minded young farmers ready for the job ahead

Nearly 10 years ago, April Thomi faced the same dilemma as many high school students the world over. She was trying to decide where to go to college. April knew she wanted to farm. She had grown up on the Stanko family farm in southern Alberta, where her family had raised cattle and still grew […] Read more

Grain Bins in a Canola Field

Four canola diseases to watch for

Be ready to recognize these major diseases in your canola crop this summer

Is that canola crop afflicted by blackleg, root rot, both, or something else entirely? It’s a messy question farmers and agronomists encounter every year. Presenters tried to untangle those problems at CanoLAB in Vermilion this winter. Here are four diseases to watch for in canola fields this summer, and tips on diagnosing them. 1. Blackleg […] Read more

farmer loading grain

Know your farm financial numbers

Which financial ratios could you be tracking this summer to make the best decisions this fall?

Farming is a tough business. Weather risk, volatile markets, potential trade issues, input costs, and the steep investment in land and equipment mean today’s farmers must have formidable management skills to weather the storms and grasp the opportunities. In that context, your financial numbers are a lot like the numbers you get from the field, […] Read more

The leader’s job

Summer Business: Boehringer Ingelheim’s Susan Blair shares how lessons from the farm help in the corporate world, and how lessons from the boardroom can make a big difference back on the farm

[Updated April 27, 2017] Susan Blair makes her point. An organization has a much better chance of success, she says, when leadership gives clear direction to their teams about what they’re working toward and how they’re expected to achieve it. But then she follows through, because in Blair’s view, that kind of success demands leaders […] Read more

A co-op for Sangudo

Times were getting tough in the rural Alberta community. Then, local farmers and businesses built a co-op to help local businesses grow and thrive

It was a scene that is all too familiar for rural communities. In 2005, the local school division threatened to close Sangudo’s high school. The move “really ticked people off,” says Dan Ohler, who lives in the area, and a “huge roomful” of people met to figure out what to do. Ohler is a certified […] Read more

Small-town problems, small-town solutions

Dr. Gillian Richards is a research associate at Brandon University’s Research Development Institute, and it’s quickly apparent that she is happy to discuss the institute’s research. Hers is a mild English accent; she wants to take a practical approach to rural issues. That, it turns out, is because the barriers to rural development can be […] Read more

Infections of peas versus lentils

Pea fields surveyed were either not infected or fully infected, with little in between

Sherrilyn Phelps’ first day with Sask Pulse was July 7, 2014. By 8 a.m. that morning, she’d already fielded her first call on root rot. It was a sign of things to come. Lentils and peas are both very susceptible to aphanomyces, Phelps told CropSphere delegates in Saskatoon this winter. Some other pulses, such as […] Read more

Managing root rot in pulses

Peas and lentils have been a financial and rotational blessing for producers, but aphanomyces in partnership with fusarium is raining on their parade

If you’d mentioned aphanomyces at a farm show five years ago, you would have drawn quite a few blank looks. But these days speakers with aphanomyces expertise fill the seats. The reason is no mystery to Prairie pulse producers. Field surveys have found aphanomyces from Alberta to Manitoba, as far south as the U.S. border […] Read more

The effective leader

Being effective as a leader doesn’t come from throwing your weight around. Instead, with John Knapp as proof, it starts by discovering what your team members bring to the table

It’s not every government department that has a deputy minister who makes a point of having coffee with staff in the morning. But then, not every deputy minister is John Knapp. Knapp retired from Alberta Agriculture in 2013, but he’s still active in the leadership field. He wrote a book, titled The Leader’s Practice Guide, […] Read more

The new employee

Are your HR skills holding your farm back?

Farms keep getting bigger and more complex. But at the same time, farm families keep getting smaller, with farming couples having fewer kids, just like other Canadians. On many farms, this collision of demographic and economic trends means the days of running the farm by putting the family to work are gone. You can’t even […] Read more