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!


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.

Solar Energy & Agriculture: New Factors to Consider

By Colleen Halpenny

As producers look for ways to minimize their environmental footprint, there are many factors to consider before deciding if solar is on your horizon.

Continued growth

Heather MacKenzie, executive director at Solar Alberta, says that farmers are driving the inquiries for new installations.

Managing Farm Plastic

Keep your yard & the environment cleaner

By Emily Croft

Plastic products have contributed to many advancements in agriculture and are used daily by farmers, but as the world looks to improve environmental stewardship, Prairie producers are also searching for better ways to handle plastic waste.

Twine, bale wrap, silage bags and bunk covers are all used by livestock producers. Seed, pesticides, and fertilizer all come in bags, containers, and jugs that contain plastic. It is easy for these materials to pile up, particularly when disposal options are limited.

Prairie Farmland: What the Market is Telling Us

Whether you are buying or selling, it pays to be aware.

By Colleen Halpenny

Farmland across the Prairies continues to be in high demand.

As producers evaluate their current holdings and opportunities for growth, cost per acre is a number that most keep their eyes on.

As a finite resource, producers have long been aware that while land may become available, there is no new land to find. To better understand current markets, and explore new ways to grow, we talked with those in the know – to find Prairie producers the best solutions and strategies.

Pollinator Strips

Planting wildflowers or buffering wetlands in your crop field can increase your yields

By Stacy Berry

Have you heard about pollinators, beneficial insects, or incorporating conservation practices to raise yields and decrease inputs on your farm? Probably. There is a plethora of conservation projects that could be implemented, but this article will focus on pollinator strips.

Let’s begin at the beginning: What are pollinators?

Are Your Farm Vehicles Safe?

Keeping your trucks secure from theft

By Emily Croft

Pickup trucks are an indispensable tool on farms across the Prairies. Transportation between fields, hauling cattle, and running parts are just a handful of the tasks that a pickup truck might be used for on any given day. The necessity of the farm truck makes the concept of vehicle theft all the more concerning.