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!

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.

Our Disappearing Landscapes

How sustainable grazing can protect and preserve prairie grasslands

By Colleen Halpenny

According to Nature Conservancy Canada, one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems is our own backyard. Prairie grasslands are one of the most agriculturally useful habitats on earth, one of the least protected, and are disappearing at an alarming rate.

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.