Prairies Featured Articles

Better Farming will publish nine editions of its Prairies magazine in 2020. After publishing each edition, we share a feature article online. Each Better Farming Prairies magazine includes much more content – you won’t want to miss it. If you don’t receive the print edition of Better Farming Prairies, but you enjoy reading the articles below, be sure to subscribe to the magazine!

Farmland ownership: more farms in fewer hands

Is there equality among prairie producers?

By Taryn Milton

Western Canada is celebrated as the breadbasket of Canada, with more than 70 per cent of the country’s farmland within Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

But who really owns most of this land? And how is this changing?

In November, the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) published a report titled Concentration Matters: Farmland Inequality on the Prairies.

How to make fertilizer recommendations

Learn about the key considerations you should keep in mind.

By Patrick Lynch

How do you decide which fertilizer you use? Do you use the same as last year? Do you ask your dealer for suggestions on what you should apply? Or do you use a soil test and get help from a certified crop advisor or other competent agronomy person?

How to beef up cattle nutrition in the winter

Planning for your winter nutrition program each year can help improve overall herd health for years to come

by Taryn Milton

For cattle producers, nutrition is important all year long, however, the winter months become a critical time for ensuring animals receive enough feed and minerals, especially cows calving in the spring.

The best way to ensure you have a successful winter leading into calving season is to have a plan.

Keys to your farm business goals

By setting SMART goals, producers can grow business success and realize personal satisfaction.

by Jackie Clark

At this time of year, many of us think about the future. As we move from one year to the next, our thoughts shift from the harvest season behind us to the opportunities available in the spring.

Often, people might take a moment to think of, or even record, a few resolutions for the year ahead.

Your goals can focus on the farm business but can also be personal or family-related.

Autonomous equipment continues to drive farming forward

From self-driving tractors to sensors on implements, we explore how autonomy is advancing the ag industry.

by Taryn Milton

The future is already here, when it comes to autonomous equipment. What remains to be seen is how we fulfill the promise of the technology – to make a farmer’s job easier and to improve efficiency and profitability.

So how do we get from here to there?

The Benefits & Limits of Business Risk Management Programs

Business risk management programs offered through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and provincial/territorial ministries need to change for participation to increase, ag industry leaders say.

by Taryn Milton

Farmers face many risks annually. Market volatility, unpredictable weather, high input costs and crop or animal disease are all factors that can shape yields or production levels.

Prep your 2021 crop plan

As growers develop their plans, industry experts reflect on the 2020 season and highlight new product offerings for 2021.

by Taryn Milton

The 2020 crop year taught us many lessons about canola and wheat. While we anticipated some challenges, like the continued rise in clubroot and fusarium pressure, other hurdles, like the surge in wireworm pressure, were unexpected.

Ag’s continued push for sustainability

How can the grain industry continue to be sustainable while also meeting the demands of buyers and consumers?

by Taryn Milton

Keith Fournier, a third-generation Saskatchewan grain farmer, sees sustainable agriculture as a three-legged stool.

The first leg is the widely discussed environmental sustainability, the second one is economic sustainability and the third element is social-equity sustainability, he says.

Let’s dig for the root of the plant microbiome

Researchers seek more knowledge about the micro-organisms that live in and around the plant. Scientists aim to use their findings to help farmers improve their crops.

by Taryn Milton

Perhaps paradoxically, we can think of the plant microbiome – or the microbial community in and around the plant – as both an old and a recent field of study.

Farmers navigate the in-law challenge

While blending family and business can be tricky, finding the right balance can set your farm family – and family farm – up for success.

by Taryn Milton

When Dan and Carol Ohler started farming with Dan’s parents, Neil and Elizabeth Ohler, the younger couple didn’t foresee the twisted – although ultimately positive – journey the experience would lead them on.