New strains of wheat sought with built-in resistance to wheat midge

There’s currently only one genetic defence to protect from wheat midge – but researchers want to change that

New strains of wheat sought with built-in resistance to wheat midge Agricultural scientists in Western Canada are teaming up to give wheat a boost of built-in resistance to a destructive pest. “Wheat midge is the number one insect pest threatening wheat crops across Western Canada,” says James Harynuk, a professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Science. Harynuk notes that wheat midge can cause about $60…

Extremist views make for bad food policies

Unfortunately, the extremists are taking over

Extremist views make for bad food policiesNot a day goes by without seeing a group, or even a government, changing rules for farmers. In the name of the planet, animal welfare and our health, rules are changing despite our farmers’ knowledge and experience. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and it’s happening around the world. Farmers have long been regarded as the best…

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storing

Findings could help beef producers manage grasslands for economic and environmental benefits

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storingA sweeping project co-led by University of Alberta researchers will provide the most comprehensive mapping ever of how much carbon is being stored in perennial grasslands across Saskatchewan. The resulting data from the $3.2-million initiative will help cattle farmers there – and eventually all across Canada’s prairies – manage their land to keep as much…

Canadians desperately need help to combat food inflation

Unfortunately, the Trudeau government is the consumer’s worst enemy right now

Canadians desperately need help to combat food inflationIt wasn’t a good week if you’re a consumer on a tight budget – and that means most of us. Consumers are under attack. We’ve just learned that Canada’s food inflation rate was at a record 9.7 per cent in May. Everyone is noticing higher food prices and no section of the grocery store is…

What the heck are jumping worms?

Though we think they’re helpful, all worms upset the balance, making soil quality poorer

What the heck are jumping worms?Worms are meant to crawl and slither … aren’t they? Then how come some are jumping? We’re all familiar with earthworms, which can be quite large but essentially always look alike. They’re pinkish and look sort of like small snakes. Gardeners among us will also recognize wrigglers, which are small, bright pink worms that favour…

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canola

Researchers and agriculture company battle the crop-damaging disease and train new scientists

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canolaA $1.25-million research project is tackling clubroot resistance in canola to help battle new strains of the crop-damaging pathogen. Funded by agriculture company BASF, University of Alberta plant scientists Stephen Strelkov and Sheau-Fang Hwang will work to identify new sources of pathogen resistance that can be bred into canola seeds. New strains of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that attacks the…

How to win the war against global famine

Stop feeding people food to cars and animals

How to win the war against global famineAs if plagues and wars aren’t enough, the media is scaring us about oncoming food shortages. We’re already seeing rising prices in restaurants and grocery stores, and we’re being warned about actual famines in other countries. There are three main causes. One is the damage to the supply chain movements caused by the pandemic. Hopefully,…

The perfect playbook for a global food security crisis

Climate change, a pandemic, war and nationalistic hoarding are all contributing factors

The perfect playbook for a global food security crisisEvents unfolding around the world are creating the perfect playbook for a global food security crisis: climate change, a pandemic, war and nationalistic hoarding are all factors. Climate has been affecting agriculture for a very long time. And the unpredictable nature of severe weather patterns is making the lives of our farmers more difficult. Growing…

Don’t blame climate change for the world’s food shortage

More to do with strangulation of the world’s fuel supply

Don’t blame climate change for the world’s food shortageThere are a million funny things to talk about, a million laughs to be had, a lot of phenomenal progress being made on numerous fronts, things that do make our lives better and better. But it’s kind of hard to smell the roses when it’s like Voldemort is expected by dinner time. There’s the war…

Plant diversity minimally affected by intensive cattle grazing: study

The large-scale study adds to the understanding of how different grazing practices affect the land

Plant diversity minimally affected by intensive cattle grazing: studyThe way ranchers graze their cattle doesn’t make much difference in plant diversity on the land, according to a U of A study. That’s important because plant diversity is a useful metric to gauge the resilience of a landscape, including rangeland used by cattle producers, says Jessica Grenke, first author of the study. Researchers compared adaptive…