Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovation

Uses range from reclaiming wastewater to capturing carbon and decontaminating soil

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovationIt looks like the throwaway scrapings from a barbecue grill, but biochar is fanning the flames of discovery as University of Alberta researchers explore the product’s environmental benefits. The blackened byproduct – created from waste like cow manure, wheat and canola straw, and sawdust produced in Alberta – has many uses that help the environment…

Do Canada’s grocers need a code of conduct?

While food prices continue to climb in Canada, grocers’ fees, in addition to low margins, haven’t helped manufacturers benefit

Do Canada’s grocers need a code of conduct?Many Canadians are oblivious to the fact that, in the food industry, suppliers need to pay grocers to conduct business. Fees were justified by merchandising costs and shelf space – things anyone would expect. But in recent years, things changed. Companies like Loblaws, Walmart and Metro used infrastructure and capital projects to justify new fees.…

University of Alberta and Telus partner on a 5G ‘living lab’

$15M investment focuses U of A’s innovation and commercialization capabilities, starting with precision agriculture, autonomous vehicles

University of Alberta and Telus partner on a 5G ‘living lab’The University of Alberta has announced a five-year partnership with Telus to establish a 5G “Living Lab” at the U of A that will contribute to a pipeline of new research and technology with commercial applications. It will also support the development of the talent pool needed to enhance economic recovery and diversification in Alberta.…

Innovative livestock grazing approach could reduce greenhouse gases

Innovative livestock grazing approach could reduce greenhouse gasesAn innovative approach to livestock grazing could help eliminate climate change-causing greenhouse gases, according to a new study. The research shows that a strategy called adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing extracts methane gas from the atmosphere, locking it inside the soil through microbial activity. Methane gas has a climate warming effect that is 28 times more potent…

Canadian food autonomy takes a big step forward

McCain Foods ups the ante in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture

Canadian food autonomy takes a big step forwardWe learned recently that McCain Foods has upped the ante in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture and its wholly-owned subsidiary GoodLeaf Farms, Canada’s largest commercial vertical farming operation. McCain has invested $65 million in GoodLeaf, making it the single largest shareholder in the venture. The idea is to create a national network of sustainable vertical farms that…

New canola-killing clubroot strains found in Western Canada

Their emergence of nine new strains points to the importance of broader strategies to protect crops in Western Canada

New canola-killing clubroot strains found in Western CanadaNine new strains of clubroot – a disease that can kill canola crops – have been discovered in Western Canadian fields. While that’s not good news for producers, the discovery shows how important it is to build a multi-pronged strategy for protecting their crops, not relying solely on canola plants bred to resist the disease,…

Buttergate compromises the farmer-consumer contract

Deep-rooted problems within dairy industry finally being exposed

Buttergate compromises the farmer-consumer contractThe Dairy Farmers of Canada should be commended for asking members to stop using palmitic acids in feed while launching a national investigation into the matter. For likely the very first time in its history, arguably the most powerful lobby group in the country opted to listen to Canadians. It’s not easy to admit publicly…

Farm practices may have altered the quality of our butter

The increased use of energy supplements is leading to harder butter that doesn’t soften at room temperature

Farm practices may have altered the quality of our butterFor months, thousands of Canadians have taken to social media saying that they’ve noticed that butter sold in Canada is harder and doesn’t get softer at room temperature. Not all butter is harder but most is. Some people blame winter and the colder weather. The truth is more troubling than that. Disturbing reports now point…

Research aims to reduce use of chemical pesticides

Which creepy-crawlies can be harnessed to act as the most effective natural method of pest control?

Research aims to reduce use of chemical pesticidesFields used to grow food are naturally crawling with insects – but which ones can help crops just by being there? A University of Alberta research program aims to find out. Using next-generation DNA analysis, researcher Boyd Mori of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences is looking to see which creepy-crawlies can be harnessed to act as…

Betting on the booming plant protein food market

Many consumers are revisiting their relationship with animal proteins, both at the meat counter and in the dairy products section

Betting on the booming plant protein food marketThink plant protein is just a passing fad? Think again. You likely noticed that the plant-based counter at your favourite grocery store is growing. There’s good reason: people are buying. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaos surrounding containment and vaccination rules, consumers are quietly enjoying products made from plant proteins and milk alternatives. According…