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!

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.

Research, Review, Repeat

When farmers have questions about how to improve crop quality and yields, researchers can usually help to find the answers

by Geoff Geddes

Like life itself, farming is about addressing the hard questions: How do I combat the latest crop pest? Which farming practices are most beneficial? How did Mother Nature get such a warped sense of humour?

Intruder Alert: Wheat, Pulse and Soybean Growers Beware

Better Farming connects with industry experts to learn the latest on pesky pests and dreaded diseases.

by Geoff Geddes

For city dwellers, the greatest threat from insects could be a bed bug infestation or a mosquito bite. But when farming is your livelihood, insects and plant diseases can bite into your bottom line in a hurry.

Pull up a Chair to the Experts’ Roundtable

Since farming success requires competence on many fronts, Better Farming speaks with industry experts to learn some of their top strategies.

by Geoff Geddes

Though grain and oilseed farmers are often do-it-yourself types, they sometimes need a helping hand to get a leg up to succeed in business. The person who knows more about spraying the fields or playing the commodity markets can be a powerful ally.

The Demonstration of Adaptability on the Farm

Despite limited supports, Canadians with disabilities are finding ways to pursue their passions on the farm.

by John Loeppky

As we know, Canada’s farm population accounts for a small minority (less than 2 per cent) of the country’s total population, according to 2016 Statistics Canada data. And one subset of this workforce that is underrepresented is individuals with disabilities.

Trains & Grain: on Track or off the Rails?

While railways and the grain sector have experienced ups and downs together, both players hope they’re on the right track now.

by Geoff Geddes

The relationship between Canada’s railways and the grain sector, like any other relationship, has featured strong teamwork, periodic spats and nights when they both went to bed mad.

Roadblocks on Canada’s Information Highway

Western Canadian farmers still struggle to get reliable high-speed Internet service

by Michelle Jones

Dale Hofstra, a dairy farmer from Millet, Alta., had trouble gaining access to reliable high-speed Internet service until the summer of 2019. He couldn’t stream Netflix, let alone fully use all the technology necessary to efficiently run his operation.

On-Farm Drone Use is Taking Off

As producers increasingly incorporate drones into their farm management plans, players in the tech space are developing new applications.

by Geoff Geddes

A decade ago, the sight of a strange object hovering above your field might have sent you running for the rifle. These days, however, drones offer farmers cutting-edge assistance of the highest calibre.

Help Wanted: Finding Good Workers for the Farm

The industry faces a significant labour shortage, so set yourself up for success by using strong employee hiring and retention strategies.

by Michelle Jones

Humphrey Banack, a farmer in the Round Hill, Alta., area, is fortunate to have three teenage nephews who help on the farm. However, he’s scaling down over 1,000 acres for the 2020 growing season because he can’t find enough workers.