What’s really behind higher milk prices

The Canadian Dairy Commission is morally and ethically compromised. It needs to distance itself from the dairy sector immediately

What’s really behind higher milk pricesEvery year, the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), a branch of the federal government, hires external consultants to assess the cost of producing milk on the farm. The CDC has never released any data about costing and has recommended farm milk price increases most years, eventually impacting retail prices and Canadian families. Since February, dairy product…

U of A teams up with venture capital firm to advance agricultural innovation

Partnership with SVG Ventures|THRIVE will help researchers and startups move new technologies

U of A teams up with venture capital firm to advance agricultural innovationThe University of Alberta is partnering with a leading Silicon Valley firm to support innovation growth in Alberta’s agriculture and food sectors. An agreement with SVG Ventures|THRIVE, a venture capital firm investing in agricultural technology startups and supporting corporations with open innovation, powers the U of A to accelerate its development and adoption of technology-driven solutions…

Lime shows promise for controlling clubroot in canola crops

Spot-treating soil with lime could give farmers another option to stem the costly disease and improve soil health

Lime shows promise for controlling clubroot in canola cropsLime is showing promise as an additional way to help manage clubroot, a deadly disease in canola crops, University of Alberta research shows. Spot-treating soil with the mineral reduced the overall occurrence and severity of the disease by 35 to 91 per cent, growth experiments showed. The finding, published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology,…

How to tackle climate change and boost our agri-food sector

There’s a way to reduce fertilizer use and make all agricultural production much more environmentally friendly: controlled environment agriculture

How to tackle climate change and boost our agri-food sectorWhen we look at climate change, the future for many seems to hold only short-term despair and long-term disaster. Will humans be able to survive, let alone prosper? Before we let today’s doomsters depress us, let’s look at an earlier apocalyptic forecast. Around the turn of the 19th century, Thomas Malthus predicted the end of…

Farming is losing to misguided urban politics

Interest groups are weaponizing science to support a narrative that fits their biased view of what farmers should and shouldn’t do

Farming is losing to misguided urban politicsMost Canadians have never been on a farm, let alone lived on one, which makes more than 98 per cent of our population agriculturally illiterate. For many Canadians, crop production is an unknown concept. Because of this, it’s relatively easy to use fear to influence public opinion on any food-related issue involving agriculture. Activists know…

A looming chickpea shortage is on the way

Chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses for consumers who don’t necessarily opt for animal proteins

A looming chickpea shortage is on the waySince the start of the pandemic, we have heard about shortages countless times. Most sections of the grocery store have been hit by tightening supplies for one reason or another. But the latest headlines we are seeing are about chickpeas. Many analysts are expecting chickpea inventories to drop significantly in months to come. For westerners,…

Plant diversity promotes healthier land: study

Increases phosphorus needed for plant growth and reproduction

Plant diversity promotes healthier land: studyA new study is the first to show on a global scale that conserving plant diversity boosts a nutrient crucial for healthy land, including productive croplands. An analysis of 180 studies done worldwide on farm fields, grasslands, forests and pot-grown experiments showed that overall, mixtures of diverse plant species increased the availability of phosphorus in…

Animal welfare laws need to be strengthened in Canada

Gaps in regulations and enforcement leave companion animals, livestock vulnerable to abuse

Animal welfare laws need to be strengthened in CanadaWhen it comes to laws protecting pets and livestock, Canada receives a failing grade. In 2020, an international organization called World Animal Protection gave the country a D, placing it among a group that includes Tanzania, Peru and the United States. The reason for that dismal ranking comes down to the “split jurisdiction” of Canadian federalism, according…

When is the right time to mow hay fields to protect birds?

Knowing birds' behaviour and nesting habits allows nesting and mowing to coexist

When is the right time to mow hay fields to protect birds?Every year about his time I feel sadness for the many birds and small mammals killed by haying. I know there are many and varied reasons why fields are cut, and I respect that, so please don’t think I am criticizing farmers. Mowing hay fields is a necessary and important part of agriculture. We forget…

New soil database will help Alberta farmers plot out sustainable practices

Digging into decades’ worth of data to gauge soil health across the province

New soil database will help Alberta farmers plot out sustainable practicesA new project is, for the first time, harnessing information from thousands of soil samples into one big database to get an idea of how healthy the province’s agricultural soils are. The two-year initiative brings together decades of data collection on soil samples from 44 benchmark sites across the province so that they can be…
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