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!

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.


Sustainable? Yes. Attainable? Not to the masses. With a focus on carbon neutrality, digesters are the ideal fit, if the market allowed for increased access.

By Colleen Halpenny

Weather volatility and climate change are an increasing focal point when making decisions on-farm, as are the external pressures from boards, governments, and consumers for more sustainable operations.

Update on the 2022 Glyphosate Shortage

What it means for wheat in western Canada in 2023

By Emily Croft

In fall 2021 and early spring 2022, farmers in Western Canada began hearing reports of a potential shortage of glyphosate that would affect crop production and weed management during the growing season of 2022.

“Glyphosate is an important component of a strong integrated weed management program on the Prairies,” explains Jeremy Boychyn, agronomy extension manager at Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission.

Crop Scene Investigation: Late-Flowering Canola

By Stacy Berry

In the summer of 2022, producers across the Prairies witnessed a rare event which left many questions unanswered, and, as Dale Litke, a farmer near Crossfield, Alta., says, “the answers … left more questions.”

What was this mysterious event?

Canola had been seeded as normal and on schedule. It had emerged well enough, with some appreciated early-season moisture. Early spring was a bit cooler than desired, but again, nothing wildly out of the ordinary. And yet, mid-July rolled around, and many farmers’ canola was simply … not flowering.

Gene Editing: The Next Step in Plant Breeding

Health Canada approval opens ‘tremendous possibilities.’

By Colleen Halpenny

Higher yields, improved taste, disease resistance, and adaptable growing conditions have been achieved through a variety of techniques, ranging from conventional breeding to modern molecular tools such as GMO and gene editing.

Looking Ahead: Canola Disease

Keeping your crop clean in 2023

By Colleen Halpenny

For almost 50 years now, canola has been the pride of Canadian growers. And canola diseases have challenged Prairie farmers for almost as long.

To get a jump on what’s ahead in a few months’ time, Better Farming interviewed industry experts and canola growers to discuss the diseases which could impede yields, and the measures you might consider to prevent them through 2023.