Prairies Featured Articles

Better Farming publishes nine editions of its Prairies magazine each year. 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!

Drought: Prairie Farmers Hoping to Recoup Losses

Growers Watch for Bullish News

By Richard Kamchen

Canadian Prairie growers whose crops were beset by yield-slashing drought are hoping they can at least recoup those losses with stronger returns – but global factors continue to threaten better prices.

Drought has been Prairie farmers’ chief impediment this year, with southwestern and west-central Saskatchewan and southern Alberta hit hardest.

As a result, growers are more keenly watching for bullish news like potential supply cuts from competitor countries and stronger buyer demand.

What’s Bugging Your Canola?

Canola Swede Midge is the New Kid in Town.

By Stacy Berry

Agriculture has been around for over 10,000 years, and canola as we know it has been around for over 60 years – and new insect pest species are still being discovered.

Big Things to Come in Bison Research

Usask's project works to develop new tools and healthy genetics.

By Emily Croft

A team at the University of Saskatchewan and Parks Canada are working to create sustainable tools to help bison return to the Canadian Prairies.

The Bison Integrated Genomics (BIG) Project is a collaborative effort between several organizations and is led by Dr. Gregg Adams, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at USask, and Dr. Todd Shury, the manager of the Wildlife Health and Management team at Parks Canada.

Grain Handling: More Consolidation to Come?

Industry Experts Look At What Might Follow Bunge-Viterra Merger

By Richard Kamchen

Western Canada’s grain handling sector is no stranger to a changing landscape, so even the scale of Bunge’s takeover of Viterra wasn’t quite earthshaking-level news. But it has left some wondering if there’s more consolidation to come.

In June, Bunge announced its merger with Viterra, which it expects to close in mid-2024.

The merger would make Bunge the second-largest agribusiness company in the world based on sales, notes S&P Global analyst Chris Johnson.

What’s that Smell? Manure.

And with high fertilizer prices, this stinky stuff might keep more dollars in your pocket.

By Stacy Berry

As a farmer, you’ve likely looked at rising fertilizer prices and thought “this stinks.” You know what else stinks, but may be an economical option for your farm? Manure.

“Manure is better than fertilizer in a lot of ways,” explains Kelsey Klyzub, sales leader with Cargill, from Vermilion, Alta. “It’s high in phosphates, lots of potassium, sulfur, nitrogen. It’s a complete package in a lot of ways.”

Pre-Harvest Combine Prep

‘High-pitched or grinding sounds are not a good thing.’

By Leslie Stewart

With harvest around the corner, it’s important to have your combine in peak condition. We spoke with Jim Franceschetti, product marketing manager for New Holland Parts & Service, to bring you some best practices that will keep you working smoothly in your combine all season long with minimal downtime.

Franceschetti urges Prairie operators to check on machinery as soon as possible.

10 Years Of Aphanomyces

Without Proper Management, This Disease Can Devastate Your Pulse Crops.

By Stacy Berry

According to Pulse Canada, 8.8 million acres of pulses were grown nationally in 2021. But there is a crop disease present – at low levels – in most of the soil across Canada as well. That disease is Aphanomyces root rot.

How can a pulse crop disease be found in soils, when many of those soils haven’t seen a pulse crop before?

Improving Nitrogen Efficiency

Fertilizer management can reduce emissions & input costs.

By Emily Croft

Farmers across Canada are seeking clarity for what the fertilizer emission targets set by the government mean for their crops.

In December 2020 the federal government announced targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including the goal of reducing GHG emissions from fertilizer use by 30 per cent of 2020 levels by 2030.

Many farmers were concerned that these targets would threaten traditional fertilizer use and productivity on Canadian farms.

Good Reasons to Sample Soil

Spring soil sampling may prove to be especially beneficial.

By Paige Kennedy

As spring arrives here in Western Canada, producers are finally getting out in their fields. While seeding has started for many growers, one consideration now is spring soil sampling.

Drought Stress

Do what you can to prepare for the inevitable.

By Colleen Halpenny

Prairie producers continue to look for strategies to prepare for the unpredictable weather patterns that can and will impact crop yields.

While many producers still deal with the ongoing effects of recent droughts (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada statistics indicated a 40 per cent drop in 2021 crop yields across the Prairies), we spoke with some industry experts on mitigating drought-related damage.