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!

Business management: still room to improve

Is farming more of a lifestyle for you?

By Richard Kamchen

Despite a growing need for a more business-oriented approach to farming, few producers are adopting the tools they’ll need to ride out challenging times.

Being your own boss, working outside in nature and alongside family, and producing food for the world have all come under the umbrella of “farm lifestyle,” a lifestyle that’s lured many to farming and kept them going for generations. But lifestyle alone isn’t enough to sustain a business.

GOT MILK?

Your crop & your soils could benefit from more calcium

By Stacy Berry

Calcium is an essential nutrient that has been slowly depleting from Canadian soils over the years, and it’s possible that your farm is starting to feel the lack.

What is calcium? According to Morgan Duggan, the head agronomist with Norstar Agriculture in Edmonton, Alta., “calcium is a lot of things, but overall, it’s a macronutrient that is required to grow a crop.”

Forage Questions & Answers

These top tips can help improve your stand.

By Patrick Lynch

I work with farmers and seed companies that sell forage seed across the country. The following questions come from farmers in the Prairies as well as Eastern Canada. Some questions are the same in every province. Others are very specific to certain areas.

Here is one of the best and most often asked questions.

Question: I sold seed to a farmer and he thinks there were weed seeds in it. What can I do?

Carbon Offset Programs

Do carbon credits have a future on prairie farms?

By Emily Croft

Carbon sequestration has become a common topic in agriculture, both in terms of environmental responsibility and as a proposed new opportunity for farmers to bolster their income. These additional profits would come from carbon credit or carbon offset programs.

As financial programs attached to carbon production and sequestration are discussed, there are still many questions from producers about which practices are eligible, how they are regulated, and how the value is determined.

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.