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!

Investing in another set of eyes

Finding the right digital tool for your operation

By Colleen Halpenny

In a digital-driven age, companies continue to invest in software upgrades to bring more information back to producers from the field. Through satellite imagery, integrated planting, and harvest data, there are more analytics available than ever before.

However, much like buying a vehicle, there is no one-size-fits-all option. We spoke with producers and agronomists to find out the benefits of a variety of systems and how you could put them to work on your operation.

Managing Fatigue on Your Farm

You may be overworked, and you could use more sleep and better rest

By Stacy Berry

Many farmers define fatigue as simply being very tired. That definition isn’t wrong – but it is incomplete.

A part of fatigue is exhaustion from lack sleep, but Jody Wacowich, executive director of AgSafe Alberta, reminds us that fatigue can “also be that you are overworked.”

Why care about being tired or overworked? Chronic fatigue has a plethora of physical health risks – obesity, cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular issues to name a few.

Spotlight on: Weed Control

Do pre- or post-harvest strategies work best?

By Colleen Halpenny

Growers of all crop types are constantly looking for the best ways to manage weeds in their fields. With emergences of more herbicide resistance and new weed species, producers are adjusting their crop systems to set up the next season for success.

Flax: An Option to Extend Your Rotation

Benefits of this ‘old friend’ do seem to outweigh the challenges for many

By Stacy Berry

Although flax has been used in agriculture for over 10,000 years, it is a relatively novel crop to many farmers throughout the Prairies.

The Value of Off-Farm Income

Finding balance in the farm family budget

By Colleen Halpenny

Whether you call it moonlighting, a side gig, or bonafide employment, many producers are known for more than their farm. They take on extra work to make ends meet, working off-farm while the farming operations are run by other family members.

Regardless of lifestyle or job sector, feeling the pinch of increasing living costs, how are farmers making ends meet? We spoke with those in the industry to find out why, and how, they are turning to outside income to support their needs.

Is the Family Still on the Farm?

The number of farms has decreased only slightly across Canada

By Becky Dumais

Farms come in all sizes and varieties, but are family-owned and operated farms disappearing?

Producers have mixed opinions on the subject. Reasons for believing that family farms are threatened or declining include barriers to accessing land, finances – or not having a succession plan.

Boosting your Biosecurity Game

How Producers Across Livestock Sectors are Keeping their Operations Healthy

By Colleen Halpenny

As outlined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), biosecurity is a description for a set of measures designed to protect Canada’s animal and plant resources – whether these be from foreign or established infectious and parasitic disease agents at the national, regional and farm levels.

Wheat Comes at a Cost

While wheat prices may be higher, Prairie producers have other concerns this growing season.

by Becky Dumais

Wheat prices are reportedly their highest in 14 years, and they could get higher – but other issues are keeping producers up at night: input costs, the impending carbon tax, and last year’s drought.

Precision Planning for 2022’s canola crop

Experts discuss innovative techniques for a successful yield.

by Kristen Lutz

Coming out of the drought of 2021, western Canadian producers are very aware of the effects Mother Nature can and will have on their yields, especially in sensitive crops like canola.

The 2022 growing season offers new opportunities to producers with high commodity prices, and in many areas, increased soil moisture from snowmelt.

Building Improved Food Security

USask to begin research into new strategies for crop protection.

by Colleen Halpenny

“As markets continue to be volatile, and with ever-changing growing conditions – and consumers looking to have a stable food supply – we must find new ways to bolster plants to thrive.

“What can have the largest potential positive impact?”

This is what Dr. Karen Tanino says that she and colleague, Dr. Tawhidur Rahman, hope to find out through new funding for their research on crop protection.