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Nathan Stamp

Nathan Stamp – Carries a family torch

Created October 25, 2021 | Category: News Articles

Nathan Stamp is a second generation seed farmer from Enchant Alberta. He serves as a Board Director at Farming Smarter. Both his father and brother served on the board in the past as well.  Nathan along with his brothers, Matthew, Greg, and father Richard, own and operate Stamp Farms and Stamp Seeds. They grow, clean and […]

deep banding

A Deep Look at Deep Banding

Created October 22, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Our Deep Banding project concludes this season. When we started this project, yield trends were improving with the adoption of better genetics and agronomic practices. The downside was that soils were turning up deficient of nutrients in critical periods. Our hypothesis was that immobile nutrients were accumulating near the surface of the soil. We attributed […]

women in stem

Women in STEM scholarships open again!

Created October 20, 2021 | Category: Government

The second intake for Women in STEM scholarships are open until Dec. 31, 2021. Alberta’s government is awarding a total of $125,000 to women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Each successful applicant will receive $2,500 to support their studies. 50 applicants will be able to take home a scholarship.   “During the […]

wheat stem sawfly

Bug of the Month – Wheat Stem Sawfly

Created October 15, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Sawfly on the rise Over the last few years, wheat stem sawfly made a comeback. This pest has plagued wheat, and to a lesser extent other cereals, ever since settlers ploughed the Prairies. Weather factors, natural enemies, cultural practices and, particularly, planting solid stem cultivars reduce populations to terminate outbreaks. The last outbreak lasted about […]

white cockle

Weed Wisdom – White cockle

Created October 15, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

By: Sarah Tiffen and Charles Geddes White cockle (Silene latifolia Poir.) is a biennial or a short-lived perennial, that blooms during the night. It is a dioecious weed therefore each plant is either male or female and both are required for seed production. This weed is found across the prairie provinces along roadsides, in waste areas, pastures, and cultivated fields. The plant prefers well-drained areas and is a heavy seed producer. Each female plant can […]

phosphorus deficiency

Soil Savvy – Phosphorus Deficiency

Created October 14, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Besides nitrogen, phosphorus is one of the most critical essential elements for adequate crop growth and productivity in agricultural ecosystems. Phosphorus is involved in the synthesis of several essential compounds required for plant growth and functioning. These compounds include adenosine triphosphate (ATP); the energy currency of the cell, containing a high-energy phosphate group that helps […]

Critical Thinking & Credible Sources

Created October 13, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Critical thinking is important, especially online! In this day and age, misinformation can be easier to find than information! It’s important to build up a database of trusted sources for credible information. In our day-to-day lives, a lot of us encounter circumstances that require us to think critically. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze […]

ken hail

Hail Damage Simulation Published!

Created October 8, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

The Hail Damage Simulation project results are published! Read it in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science! Our very own Gurbir Dhillon, Mike Gretzinger, Lewis Baarda, and Ken Coles were all major players in this study, alongside some folks at InnoTech Alberta and SARDA Ag Research. This study focused on quantifying the economic loss in […]

winter wheat crop in spring

Tillage is problematic on The Prairies

Created October 6, 2021 | Category: News Articles

by Kristi Cox No till, cover crops and wind breaks all play a role in mitigating wind soil erosion on The Prairies, but are they equally effective? Allowing soil to blow has negative effects, so it’s important for producers to determine the best practices to ensure they are protecting this resource. David Lobb, Professor in […]

rolling barley

Rolling Through the Barley Plots

Created October 1, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Rolling barley impact your yield and help your equipment! Our project is investigating the best time to roll your barley plots. Rolling barley pushes rocks into the soil, avoiding damage when it comes time to silage the field. This year, we’ve increased the size of our plots. While this helps decrease variability, we found increasing […]

wireworm feature

Wireworms? What’s up with those?

Created September 29, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Worry not, wireworm identification just got easier! Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has released the Guide to Pest Wireworms in Canadian Prairie Field Crop Production. With this field guide, you’ll be able to easier identify wireworm damage in your fields, develop strategy plans to mitigate the damage, and better protect your field! What are wireworms? Soil-dwelling […]

soil savvy

Soil Savvy – Biological Nitrogen Benefits

Created September 24, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

By Gurbir Dhillon Ph.D.  One of the major long-term goals of the sustainable farming systems is to achieve high crop yields with lower application rates of inorganic nitrogenous fertilizers. Biological nitrogen fixation is one of the major pathways to achieve this goal and promote long-term agricultural sustainability by reducing nitrogenous greenhouse gas emissions and alleviate the overall carbon footprint of […]

irrigation pivot feature

Variable Rate Irrigation

Created September 24, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Soon, irrigation could see hands-off technology entering the market in southern Alberta. Together, with UBC’s LiteFarm & Ensemble Scientific, we are working towards building a community-driven, open-source irrigation system to benefit farmers around the globe. Farmers in southern Alberta can look forward to being among the first to test this system! The new irrigation system […]

trash rack covered in blown crop residue

Don’t blow good neighbour relations

Created September 22, 2021 | Category: News Articles

By Madeleine Baerg Getting along with neighbours is important no matter where one lives. When you live in a rural, agricultural area where the land is both home and livelihood, good neighbour relations can be extra critical. Unfortunately, wind-blown soil erosion can come between the best of neighbours. Jane Smith came home from a trip […]

field pea precision planted

Our Pulses are Perfectly Placed

Created September 17, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

We’ve kept a finger on the pulses, it’s time to get the results ready! As our Perfectly Placed trials wrap up their third year, we’ve seen dramatic differences this year. We’re focused on adapting the precision planters for crop production in southern Alberta with this trial. Our trials were located in Lethbridge, Taber, and Medicine […]

FMC Herbicide

FMC Fall Herbicide Product Lineup; Versatile & Powerful

Created September 15, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Meet the FMC herbicide all-star lineup for post-harvest weed control!   With harvest wrapping up, it’s time to start thinking about your post-harvest weed control. Thankfully, Top Crop Manager has released the FMC Fall Herbicide chart featuring all the latest and greatest products. Tackle weeds before they get the chance to tuck into the soil […]

John Kolk – Agriculture Champion

Created September 13, 2021 | Category: News Articles

In southern Alberta, Farming Smarter Director John Kolk probably needs no introduction. Chances are you’ve served with him on a board, council, or advisory committee. If not, you’ve watched him in action. John and brother Leighton took over the family farm in the late 1980s. They both serve on non-profit boards as part of their […]

soil conductivity

Soil Conductivity Project Almost Fully Charged

Created September 10, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

The EM38 Soil Conductivity project might spark an interest in changing your fertilizer habits. The Soil Conductivity study will wrap up this year. For this study, we’ve been mapping the field with a EM38 ground conductivity meter. We map the fields every couple of weeks, until the crops grow too big for us to pass […]

hemp feature

Perfectly Placed Hemp

Created September 3, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Our perfectly placed hemp harvest can’t come soon enough! While our Hemp Agronomy project is focused on the fertility of the plant, our Perfectly Placed trial focuses on seeding. Specifically, we’re comparing vacuum/precision planters to air drills. We’ve done this trial on cereals, canola, and pulses and seen great results. We thought, why not hemp? […]

Weed Lake wetland

Wetlands Identification Just Got Easier

Created September 1, 2021 | Category: Industry

Identify wetlands on your land with the new Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide. Ducks Unlimited Canada, alongside the partnership of Alberta Environment and Parks and the Alberta North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), developed this field guide to help properly identify wetlands. It can aid anyone interested in identifying and classifying wetlands in Alberta. […]

Alfalfa weevil larvae

All About Alfalfa

Created August 27, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Our alfalfa trials are almost ready for harvest. Let’s check in on them! Right now, we have three separate trials for alfalfa going on at Farming Smarter. We’re researching how to best combat alfalfa weevil, the best time & product to desiccate alfalfa, and the effect of plant growth regulators on the crop. Because alfalfa […]

SMRID trash rack

Economics of Agricultural Blow-Dirt

Created August 25, 2021 | Category: Farm Business Management

By Madeleine Baerg When the wind picks up and the sky turns grey with blow-dirt, everyone loses. For the farmer whose field seems suddenly half in the air, the economic impact of a major wind event can be nothing short of devastating. “The topsoil is the most productive strip of soil. Losing any amount of […]

aphids western canada

Aphids in your cereals!?!?

Created August 24, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Each year, aphids emerge in cereal crops in a fairly regular pattern in Western Canada. Mid-July rolls around and, depending upon what’s been happening in the growing regions south of our Canadian border, winged cereal aphids could be catching a ride on the winds flowing northward. Flying to the greener pastures of the Western Canadian […]

Morton Molyneux Mike Gretzinger

Mike Gretzinger – Farming Smarter’s resident Character

Created August 24, 2021 | Category: field studies

B.Sc. Biochemistry, CCA, Pesticide Applicator If you’ve ever seen things exploding in an agriculture research presentation, you were probably watching a presentation by Mike Gretzinger, Farming Smarter Research Coordinator. “I like  the practical research we do and I like sharing what I know,” says Mike. He adds that having a decade of experience with both […]

Nitrogen Uptake and Losses

Created August 23, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Soil Savvy By Gurbir Dhillon Ph.D. To continue the conversation around soil nitrogen in agriculture, let’s talk about how plants uptake nitrogen from the soil in nitrate (NO3–) and ammonium (NH4+) forms. Ammonium ions convert into nitrite and subsequently to nitrate form through the enzymatic action of soil bacteria in a process known as nitrification. […]

wheat producers

Wheat Producers – We need your help!

Created August 20, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Take part in an international, prairie‐wide project to generate baseline producer data on current CWRS wheat management practices. We need 2019/2020 data from irrigated and dryland production systems. We need 100 Alberta farms, 150 Saskatchewan farms and 75 farms in Manitoba to take part and provide data. This project aims to identify the key factors […]


Scouting Post-Harvest

Created August 18, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Why scout for disease after harvest? Harvest means the end of the crops, but the job’s not done yet. A thorough field scouting after harvest is important to provide insight into the future wellbeing of your crops.    There are still insects & diseases to inventory. Knowing they’re there when we’re rotating crops & managing fields allows us to understand what […]

Amber Kingcott

Ambert Kingcott – Show Her the Money!

Created August 16, 2021 | Category: Business

Should you have the chance to sit and talk with Amber Kingcott, her genuine concern for farmers, farms and farming shines through instantly. She comes from farm families on both sides and, clearly, loves all things farm related. Today, Amber is the lead Manager within the Agriculture Department for BDO Canada LLP in Lethbridge. Her […]

hemp agronomy feature

Hanging Out in the Hemp Field

Created August 13, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Hemp agronomy research is blazing forward at Farming Smarter For the CHTA variety trials, we’re doing things a little bit differently – we’ve broken our trials into two separate plots, one looking at fibre agronomy & the other investigating grain agronomy. The Nitty-Gritty of Grain Agronomy In our grain trials, we have mainly diecious varieties […]

soil blowing

Yes, blowing soil breaks a law

Created August 11, 2021 | Category: News Articles

by Kristi Cox It’s not just a heartbreak to see soil blowing east across roads and fields – it’s also an infraction. Soil erosion has negative effects, not just for the landowner losing precious soil, but also for neighbouring lands, roads, ditches, and buildings. In Alberta, the Soil Conservation Act and the Agricultural Service Board […]

cover crop

It’s a Cover Up (Crop)!

Created August 6, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Cover crops combat soil erosion while improving soil quality. Use of cover crops has been increasing throughout the Prairies, but little is known about their benefits & detriments. A Farming Smarter project is investigating how to incorporate cover crops in the fall season. Our strategy is to implement them within crop rotations. We’re using a […]

Weed Seed Protectors

Created August 4, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Way back Wednesday – Feb. 2019 By Dr. Charles Geddes As you sleep, tucked away in your bed at night, little critters are out in your fields saving you money on weed control. Aside from germination, weed seed predation causes the largest seedbank decline, resulting in mortality rates of 50% to 90% of annual weed […]


Durum Roll, Please!

Created July 30, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Durum prices are rising, we’re here to help increase your yield! Last week, we hosted our Lethbridge Plot Hop event. There, Ken Coles, Farming Smarter Executive Director, gave a presentation on our Precision Planted Durum. These plots test the affects of agronomy tools on the yield of irrigated durum. We test precision planted versus air […]

Plot Hop 2021

Plot Hop a Hopping Success

Created July 28, 2021 | Category: Events

What a joy to be at a live field day! A day full of sunny skies, good jokes, and informative presentations! Our Lethbridge Plot Hop was a phenomenal success, and we’re beyond happy to have spent it with fantastic people. Getting people back in the field for a live field day is a great return […]

lygus bug

2021: Year of the Lygus

Created July 26, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month By Dr. Héctor Cárcamo Lygus bugs are native insects in Canada that feed on the buds, flowers and young seeds of most plants. They are a perennial pest in seed alfalfa and occasionally in other crops like canola. In 2021, there are reports of high lygus numbers in greenhouses in Quebec, […]

FHB infected durum head

FHB dying in the heat

Created July 23, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

This is a convoluted FHB study to explain, but here we go. Led by Randy Kutcher, Plant Sciences Professor, USask College of Agriculture & Bioresources, the study aims to find optimum crop rotations for control of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB). To accomplish this, several locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan planted long blocks of several crops […]

Adrian Moens in Corn

Adrian Moens – Seeder of Success

Created July 21, 2021 | Category: Business

Board Director Adrian Moens is far too modest when it comes to talking about his contributions to Farming Smarter. His long-standing association with Executive Director Ken Coles means Adrian watched Farming Smarter grow from its infancy. He remembers Corny VanDasselaar telling him about an organization that provided local agronomic research and that piqued his interest. […]

herbicide resistant kochia field

Kochia Loves This Drought!

Created July 21, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Weed WisdomBy Dr. Charles Geddes Kochia enjoys a dry, hot year. There is less competition from the crops. Due to the lack of precipitation this year, many crops have experienced inhibited growth which leaves more resources available to the pesky weed. What is causing this? While the heat has a negative impact on crops, the […]

Having Fun with Fungi

Created July 16, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Fungi can devastate crops quickly and spraying them can quickly add up. If you’re spending that money, you want to know it’s going to work – but how do you know if you need to spray your crops before it’s too late? Farming Smarter is researching the effectiveness of spore trapping as a cost-effective way […]

Alberta Barley & Alberta Wheat Commissions

Barley & Wheat: Together Forever?

Created July 14, 2021 | Category: Business

An amalgamation of two industry commissions is on the horizon.  Alberta Barley & Alberta Wheat Commission ask you take part in a survey consultation for a possible merger between the two entities.  In 2018, the two commissions embarked on an initiative to see how efficient it would be to operate as one commission.  While this may sound like a large […]

heat wave feature

Heat Bubble Pops

Created July 9, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Let’s Check-in on the Crops While we were all trying our best to hide from the heat and stay out of the sun last week, our crops are definitely wishing they could do the same. The drought was in full swing in our drylands plots and farmers’ fields all over southern Alberta! Our Lethbridge and […]

Join the WGRF Conversation

Created July 8, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Virtual Workshops: Use these links to register: Tuesday July 20 Crop and Soil Management (weeds, diseases, insects, plant nutrition) Wednesday July 21 Precision Agriculture (variable rate, soil management zones, data) Thursday July 22 Sustainability (cropping systems, diversified crops, climate change) Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) wants to hear your views on cross cutting crop production […]

dakota lakes

Mimic Nature to Increase Yields and Decrease Inputs

Created July 7, 2021 | Category: Business

Way back Wednesday From the Farming Smarter magazine Spring 2019 by Kristi Cox Farm soils require crop producers to make a transformational shift in thinking according to Dwayne Beck, Research Manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm who spoke at the December Farming Smarter Conference.  He maintains that incremental changes might make small improvements, but to create a monumental difference takes a revolutionary change in approach.   Dakota Lakes […]


Composting, From Table to Farm

Created June 30, 2021 | Category: Events

The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) wants to foster a composting initiative in a bid to advance a circular economy. Farmers may be able to establish an income stream through this program. July 14th, RCA will host a webinar to discuss the benefits of this composting program and how to establish on-farm composting operations. You […]

biomass biostims

As above, so below

Created June 25, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Above ground and below ground biomass are strong indicators of crop health and yield potential. With all things being equal, a crop with poorly developed roots that brandish small, spindly slightly coloured leaves will more often than not yield much less than the same crop that has a long, highly developed root system and large, […]

well flares

OWA here to help

Created June 24, 2021 | Category: Industry

It’s benefical to allow land access to the Orphan Well Association (OWA) The Orphan Well Association (OWA) fostered great relationships with landowners on sites where they execute work. However, a few landowners feel that by restricting access to the OWA, they may create leverage to obtain overdue surface lease payments from defunct companies or the […]

agricultural policy framework

Time to chime in!

Created June 23, 2021 | Category: Government

The Agricultural Policy Framework is the agreement between federal, provincial and territorial governments to fund agricultural research and other initiatives. The current agreement is called the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) that expires in April 2023. To guide future investments into Alberta’s agriculture industry, the Alberta Government needs a strategy to take to negotiations with Agriculture […]

tractor seeder

News From The Field

Created June 18, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Field Tested is up and rolling again for the 2021 research season with 23 on-farm trials located across Southern Alberta. The Field Tested research crew has been busy visiting fields and collecting range of early-season data. They’ve looked at things like flea beetle damage, emergence, canopy closure, weed populations and crop heights and staging. This […]

sliced sugar beet

Sugar Beet Open Farm Day

Created June 16, 2021 | Category: Industry

CP Farms hosts its 5th Open Farm Day Aug. 14! It offers a fun, family-friendly, and yummy experience that makes guests aware about a special ingredient they use in the kitchen: Alberta-grown sugar! CP Farms, along with 200 other local farmers, grow sugar beets to produce the only source of 100% Canadian sugar — and […]

Understanding Soil Nitrogen

Created June 15, 2021 | Category: Fertility

Soil Savvy By Gurbir Dhillon Understanding soil nitrogen and plant interaction/uptake can help crop growers make decisions around healthy soils. Most of the nitrogen in soils occurs in the form of organic molecules. Inorganic nitrogen forms generally account for 1-2% of total soil nitrogen unless land managers apply large amounts of nitrogenous fertilizers to soils. […]

herbicide resistant kochia field

Cutting Back Herbicide Resistant Kochia

Created June 11, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Using precision agriculture tools can help identify and respond to kochia pressure in farmers fields. Farming Smarter’s herbicide resistant kochia research project is now entering its third field season. It began the research project with the research team gathering information from each field in the study. This includes historic yield, soil conductivity, soil samples, and […]


Agriculture Internships with Cash Incentives

Created June 9, 2021 | Category: Growing Knowledge

Your business can be the next home for an up & coming superstar – CAREERS: The Next Generation offers cash incentives to hire interns. There are three funding levels, based on hours of work, for internships within: Trades (Agriculture Equipment Technician); Information & Communication Technology (Precision Ag, Social Media & Marketing, Data Capture & Analysis), […]

Ben Van Dyk

Ben Van Dyk – Treasurer AND Treasure

Created June 8, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Ben Van Dyk, Farming Smarter Board Treasurer, calls himself a workaholic, but, really, he’s a philanthropist extraordinaire. The fact that a mutual friend turned him on to Farming Smarter is something the organization appreciates. Ben came to Canada in 1980 from Holland and gives back to his adopted community in myriad ways. Some of the […]

pea leaf weevil

Pea Leaf Weevil: Monitoring and Control

Created June 4, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Farming Smarter has pea leaf weevil under a microscope this year for the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network. Pea Leaf Weevil populations in southern Alberta remain at levels that could cause concern in 2021 particularly in areas that had extensive damage in surveys last year. With our survey, we hope to better understand the patterns of […]

students in research plots

Lethbridge College launches new Bachelor of Agriculture Science degree program

Created June 3, 2021 | Category: Industry

June 3, 2021 – Lethbridge College shows it is ready to meet the changing needs of the agriculture industry by launching its Bachelor of Agriculture Science program. The degree program, unique to Lethbridge College, begins September 2021 and offers opportunities for career development, a path to further education and hands-on research opportunities, while focusing on […]

strategic plan cover

Strategic plan for success

Created June 2, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Farming Smarter updated its Strategic Plan over the winter to adjust to some of the major changes brought on in 2020.

peas emerge

Seeding Success!

Created May 28, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Farming Smarter reached seeding success this week, May 28, will all its trials and plots planted for the season. Except, of course, the late date plots that purposefully go in late about two weeks from now for our Agronomy Program. Seeding dates and rates are often part of the trials and this year is no […]

immersive experience feature

Farming Smarter – Full Coverage

Created May 26, 2021 | Category: Business

Get access to Farming Smarter at home or on the go. As great as it would have been to have people at the farm this year, we can’t do it yet. Thankfully, the fun doesn’t stop there! Thanks to our great team at Farming Smarter, and Lethbridge College, we’ve got you covered – like full, […]

Flea beetle on potato plant

Flea beetles and canola

Created May 21, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month We know some things, but there is lots to learn Musings by Dr. Hector Carcamo, AAFC-Lethbridge The two main species of flea beetle pests in canola are the crucifer (P. cruciferae) and the striped flea beetles (Phyllotreta striolata) . Adult flea beetles overwinter in leaf litter in shelter belts, field margins […]

soil till probe

Portable neutron probe installation

Created May 21, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Moisture is an important choice in a soil till method. Because till methods lead to vastly different moisture and temperature levels, it can be difficult to know which method is best for your crop. The advantage of no-tilling means your soil will have more moisture, at the cost of a lower temperature. The inverse is […]

corn feature

Corn Research Boosts Whole Farm Returns

Created May 19, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Way back Wednesday From Farming Smarter magazine Fall 2015 Corn production is exploding across the prairies and especially southern Alberta. The south with its hot, dry summers and irrigation suits grain corn as well as silage, but grazing corn, a system that’s unique to western prairies, also expanded. The increase in corn acreage is partly […]

grad cap

5 Agronomy Smarts Scholarships

Created May 17, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) generously sponsors five Farming Smarter 2021 Agronomy Smarts subscriptions for young farmers or agriculture students. It’s a simple process to take advantage of all the learning available through Farming Smarter events, workshops and digital content on various platforms. Alberta Wheat Commission asked that the applicants be between 18 and 39 and derive a minimum two-thirds of […]

regional orgs

Living Lab for Ag Climate Solutions

Created May 17, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Farming Smarter wants to create a Living Lab for agriculture climate solutions with partners and deliver practical agriculture solutions to southern Alberta through a recently announced federal government program – Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS). The goal of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada program is to support the development and implementation of farming practices that store […]

view from soil pit

Measuring Soil Moisture

Created May 17, 2021 | Category: Fertility

Soil moisture prospects look hopeful in 3rd week of May. The Government of Alberta released their Agricultural Moisture Situation update for May 9th, 2021. While this spring was cooler than normal, the report states that there is good potential for moisture coming this week. The current dry conditions and cool weather led to low soil […]

carlo van herk

Meet Carlo Van Herk – Farming Smarter’s Puppy

Created May 13, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

B.Sc. Agricultural Studies If a Golden Retriever were a human, it would be Carlo Van Herk! He is the friendliest face and the most energetic member of the crew. You can count on him to bring an uplifting presence to the work place and a cheerful attitude to the long days in the field. Since […]

southern alberta greenhouse

Prairie Farm Crop Production Future Changes

Created May 12, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Amaethon’s March Report examined future changes prairie farm crop production could face. The main objective was to identify the most concerning issues facing prairie farm crop production. As farms continue to get bigger, autonomous equipment is seen as a natural development that would also help address labour shortages. However, without stable internet in all corners […]

seeder feature

Farming Smarter – Full Seed Ahead!

Created May 7, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Farming Smarter has about a third of its agronomy projects seeded and expects to finish by May Long. Seeding challenges this year was the inclusion of early seeding dates and some intentionally late seeding dates in order to fit ongoing research projects. One of the research projects includes strip tilling of corn early in the […]

ripe canola

Variable Rate Nitrogen in Canola

Created May 5, 2021 | Category: Farm Business Management

Variable rate nitrogen applications in Canola may only work in certain circumstances, according to the recently published study. Economic Evaluation of Variable Rate Nitrogen Management of Canola for Zones Based on Histroical Yield Maps and Soil Test Recommendations By using precision agriculture strategies such as management zones, there is potential to increase profitability. However, the […]

field pea precision planted

Precision Planting Hitting the Mark

Created April 30, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Try precision planting as a tactic to improve emergence and possibly yield with your pulse crops. When Farming Smarter began this research, we wanted to evaluate how effective precision row crop planters are as an all-encompassing seeding system. We believe that this innovation will lead to an increase in crop yield. In these pictures, you […]

Grain Drying Participants Needed

Created April 29, 2021 | Category: field studies

Grower participation needed in new grain drying study focusing on minimizing postharvest losses of grains.  Lethbridge College requires growers to participate in a new AFC funded project. The project aims to develop more efficient wheat storage and handling guidelines for Alberta’s climatic conditions. This study focuses on energy efficiency, timely and uniform drying, and the […]

facility tour

2021 Research Team Ready

Created April 28, 2021 | Category: Events

Farming Smarter continues its research projects in 2021 with an infusion of eight research assistants and three practicum students. “This is the most summer students we have ever hired. The past few years, we had interns from France where the agriculture degree has a requirement for international work experience. Due to COVID, French students cannot […]

Wintersteiger seeder & crew, research capacity

More Research Capacity for You

Created April 16, 2021 | Category: field studies

Farming Smarter just increased its research capacity to answer more grower questions than ever thanks to a  Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) investment in Crop Research Capacity. A new Wintersteiger Flex plot seeder arrived April 14 just in time to train staff and get it in the field for 2021 research. It is in answer […]

Puchinger works on biobed

Meet Jamie Puchinger – Extension Trailblazer

Created April 14, 2021 | Category: News Articles

B.Sc. Environmental Science, CCA, Dale Carnegie Leader To call Jamie Assistant Manager and expect that to define her role in making Farming Smarter Alberta’s leading research association seems artless. Jamie stepped out of her comfort zone, pushed herself and her skills in new directions to become the extension trailblazer she is today. She started her […]

George presenting at a field day

Meet George Lubberts – Policy Wonk

Created April 10, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

George Lubberts, Farming Smarter vice president, is another organizational long hauler dating back to the Southern Applied Research Association and taking part in the formation of Farming Smarter in 2012. He describes himself as a bit of a board junky and sits on the boards of Canadian Foodgrains Bank and World Renew. George likes a […]

well flares

Reclaim those Orphan Wells

Created April 9, 2021 | Category: News Articles

It’s time to reclaim orphan wells and other oil and gas infrastructure on your land. The Orphan Well Association (OWA) is responsible to decommission and reclaim the site. The OWA operates under the legal authority of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and is a not-for-profit, organization that works to decommission and reclaim the wells, facilities, […]

various crop panel

Rotational study shows promise

Created April 7, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Multi-site research focuses on ideal stubble for staple, novel crops By Trevor Bacque Farming Smarter knows that when a farmer wants to try something new, they need agronomic research available. This prompted it to join a rotational study and produce new data for staple and novel crops. The project, Introducing High Value Speciality Crops to […]


Crop Recovery After Hail

Created April 2, 2021 | Category: field studies

Gauging crop recovery possibilities after a hail storm churns across the landscape is a long standing pastime in Alberta. According to an AMA insurance report, 66% of major hail storms take place in our province each year. That means that every year, after every storm, farmers look out over the fields and wonder what just […]

soil blowing

Southern Alberta wind event

Created March 31, 2021 | Category: News Articles

Southern Alberta saw one of those days when wind caused havock and fire last Sunday, March 28, 2021. When a wind event causes winds of 140km/hr, it’s hard to imagine what might protect your soil. There are some tactics you can employ to hold your soil where you want it according to soil scientist Gurbir […]

view from soil pit

Alberta Soil Benchmark Project

Created March 26, 2021 | Category: Fertility

In southern Alberta, contact: Trevor Deering There is an undeniable benefit to an Alberta soil benchmark project that begins monitoring soil health in Alberta and the mechanisms that ensure it stays healthy and productive. Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA) Soil Health Lab, under the direction of Dr. Yamily Zavala, provides a unique service that evaluates soil […]

Weed Lake wetland

Call in a Wetland Professional

Created March 24, 2021 | Category: News Articles

By Eden Northcott, Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd. Wetlands are complex and so are the regulations associated with them. If you have any questions, concerns, or want to develop/remove wetlands on your property, remember to always consult a qualified wetland professional. Wetlands perform important ecological functions that require years of study to understand and thus must […]

Ryan Mercer

Meet Ryan Mercer – Mr. President

Created March 20, 2021 | Category: Business

Ryan Mercer, Farming Smarter Board President, sits on the board because he wants the organization to thrive. Part of that is a legacy from his father, Lloyd Mercer, who sat on the Southern Alberta Conservation Association (SACA) board. “My dad was involved, so it’s generational,” chuckles Ryan. He is now co-owner and president of Mercer […]

Ken Coles OFD 2020

Ken Coles – Fearless Leader

Created March 19, 2021 | Category: Business

M.Sc. Environment and Management; B.Sc. Chemistry; P.Ag; CCA Over a decade ago, a small non-profit Board of Directors hired Ken Coles to manage the Southern Alberta Research Association (SARA). I don’t think they knew they’d grabbed a tiger by the tail. At that time, SARA was Ken, 60 acres of Lethbridge College land and a […]

Ridged and large setae of a pale green weevil showing two pores.

Pale Green Weevil

Created March 16, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

March 2021 Bug of the Month – Polydrusus impressifrons It appears the Pale Green weevil arrived in Alberta in the last decade. Medicine Hat recorded the first incidence in 2010. Subsequently, they showed up at Frank Lake in 2012, Alyderside in 2013 and Calgary in 2016.  According to Dr. Hector Carcamo, AAFC, “it is not […]

roots, worm, dirt

What is soil health?

Created March 15, 2021 | Category: News Articles

Soil Savvy March 2021 By Gurbir Dhillon While the term soil health is quite pervasive in the scientific and agricultural communities, its meaning and scope are ambiguous. Dr. H. Henry Janzen and his colleagues in the Soil Biology and Biochemistry journal1 recently published an excellent article on this topic. In light of some brilliant and […]

Timothy Caulfield

Timothy Caulfield: Debunk Misinformation

Created March 12, 2021 | Category: News Articles

By: Natalie Noble Timothy Caulfield offered the Farming Smarter conference ways to debunk misinformation. Whether it be fad diets, attacks on GMO or misrepresentation of the industry in the media, getting the truth out there is a challenge. When Farming Smarter invited Caulfield to be keynote speaker for its 2020 conference, neither party knew exactly […]

field plots

First elected RDAR board

Created March 10, 2021 | Category: News Articles

The Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) organization elected its first board and replaced the appointed interim board put in place when Minister Devon Dreeshen created the arms-length non-profit. RDAR has 33 voting member organizations from diverse agricultural and research backgrounds. Its purpose is to establish Alberta ag research priorities, evaluate funding applications, and allocate the Alberta government’s ag-specific research […]

Strip till / precision planter machines

NSERC funds Strip Tillage/Planter project

Created March 5, 2021 | Category: News Articles

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada approved a three-year grant to fund a strip tillage and precision planting at Farming Smarter!  The project will study the effect of strip tillage and precision planting on canola emergence, seed yield and quality.  The always reliable Lethbridge College will administer project grant. (The writer of this article is a little biased because he graduated […]

Dock weed

Use whole toolbox on weeds

Created March 3, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Waaay back Wednesday First published March 2010 in Farming Smarter magazine By Lee Hart Technology improved crop production a lot over the past 50 years, but farmers need the whole toolbox rather than rely on the prospect of another new and improved herbicide as a solution to all weed control problems, says an Agriculture Canada […]

field day people

Farmer-Led Research Fallacy

Created February 26, 2021 | Category: Government

By Ken ColesFarming Smarter Executive Director Our community may face a farmer-led research fallacy in its new way of supporting agriculture research. In February of 2016, I witnessed farmers and ranchers unite across the province in passionate protest against the newly introduced Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.  We saw […]

Calling All CWRS Wheat Producers

Created February 24, 2021 | Category: Agronomy

Help identify key factors limiting CWRS yield potential  Take part in a prairie‐wide project to generate baseline producer data on current CWRS wheat management practices. This project aims to identify the key factors that prevent CWRS wheat producers from obtaining potential yields achievable on individual farms.Simply provide us with yield and other agronomic data specific […]

view from soil pit

Soil Savvy Microbiome

Created February 19, 2021 | Category: News Articles

By Gurbir Dhillon Ph.D. The final segment on beneficial soil microorganisms looks at the complicated and crucial relationship between plants and soil microorganisms. Plants co-evolved with soil microorganisms for millions of years and developed complicated plant-soil-microbe interactions that help execute essential biological functions, including nutrient uptake, resistance to pathogens, carbon sequestration, and ecosystem maintenance and […]

Ken Coles strip tiller precision planter

Boost canola yields

Created February 19, 2021 | Category: Farming Smarter

Southern Alberta canola producers stand to benefit from a joint research project by Lethbridge College and Farming Smarter to boost canola yields. The project will study if producers can boost canola yields by using strip tillage and precision planting. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) partly funds this three-year, Applied Research and Development […]

students in ripe canola field

Rotary Agriculture Scholarship for southern Alberta

Created January 27, 2021 | Category: Business

Take part in the success of the Rotary Agriculture Scholarship that helps local young people and our industry. The 2021 Rotary Club of Lethbridge East/Lethbridge Exhibition Park Agricultural Scholarship awards $10,000 to a southern Alberta student continuing their education into a third year in agriculture related studies at a recognized post secondary institution. This is […]

Mike at booth

Open Farm Days is about community

Created January 22, 2021 | Category: Events

Farming Smarter first took part in Open Farm Days in 2016 and its event grows each year. Farming Smarter has the location, space and partners to host a large number of people and give them a taste of agricultural diversity. In 2020, our Open Farm Days event had about 30 booths, two scheduled crop tours […]

subsurface irrigation

Alberta Subsurface Irrigation Research

Created January 20, 2021 | Category: News Articles

Lethbridge College study finds fertile ground for subsurface irrigation research Southern Alberta farmers have local research to guide further adoption of subsurface drip fertigation (SDF). A research project by Lethbridge College researchers breaks new ground in the study of SDF. Dr. Rezvan Karimi Dehkordi, research associate on the Mueller Applied Research in Irrigation Science team […]

prairie landscape

Alberta Ag Retrospective

Created January 15, 2021 | Category: Government

by Kristi Cox for Farming Smarter Alberta Ag has existed in some form since the inception of the Province in 1905. While Alberta Ag changed over time to meet the evolving needs of producers, it remained a critical piece of the success of agriculture in the province. Various programs, initiatives, offices and individuals ensured producers had all the tools they needed to get the most productivity out of the land.  […]

Nutrient Seminar Series Goes Virtual

Created January 8, 2021 | Category: News Articles

The 2021 Alberta Nutrient Management Seminar Series goes virtual with presentations by industry experts on a wide variety of topics. The Nutrient Management series will stretch from Jan 11 – March 1 in weekly online seminar topics. There will be four main topics: soil health; alternate nutrient management strategies; new techniques, technologies and precision agriculture […]

field plots

Alberta Ag Research Now What?

Created January 6, 2021 | Category: Government

By Madeleine Baerg  March 30, 2020, after months of consultation with farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry announced that farmers will direct the managment of Alberta ag research funds.  Specifically, Minister Dreeshen announced the creation of Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), an arms-length non-profit to establish Alberta ag research priorities, evaluate funding applications, and allocate the Alberta […]

Grain Vacuum Makes Hauling a One-Man Job

Created December 30, 2020 | Category: News Articles

Grain Vacuum Makes Hauling a One-Man Job first appeared in the 2013 Farming Smarter magazine. Farmers hated feathering equipment when time is on the line. One of those nuisances is balancing the grain to air ratio using a vacuum system. “We used to put the nozzle into the pile of grain and carefully monitor the […]

Canadian Grain Commission Appointments

Created December 22, 2020 | Category: News Articles

The Canadian Grain Commission got two new appointments by Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. She appointed Doug Chorney as Chief Commissioner and Patty Rosher as Assistant Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission.  “Now more than ever, it is important to have strong leadership in our agriculture sector to ensure Canadians continue to […]

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