Latest articles


Brandon’s dome slated for January unveiling

One of the last remaining structures from the 1913 Dominion Exhibition had fallen into serious disrepair over the decades

In 1913 it hosted throngs of visitors to Canada’s annual Dominion Exhibition. Most recently it was an unheated storage building for the provincial exhibition, bordering on derelict. Now Brandon’s dome building is set to return to its former glory. Organizers say the structure is on track for a January unveiling and will be open to […] Read more


What’s the word on night-only aeration?

Research urges farmers to go nocturnal when it comes to aeration and natural drying

Experts are still divided when it comes to night-only natural air drying. Dr. Ron Palmer, project engineer with the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation, made waves in 2015, when he suggested that grain would dry better at night when air temperature outside was less than grain temperature. The idea flew in the face of conventional […] Read more



Tech targets ideal aeration through bin-specific data

Farmers can access the free online calculator to hone in on ideal drying conditions, 
while an experimental algorithm looks to automate the practice

New technology out of Saskatchewan hopes to nail down the ideal time for aeration and automate fan operation. Ron Palmer, of the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation, has released two projects, a bin-specific online calculator to determine if air conditions are right for drying and new software that monitors air going in and leaving the […] Read more


Measuring tillage impact

There may be a middle path that gives the best results

Conventional wisdom says less tillage is better when it comes to soil structure, but the issue is more complex when comparing organic soil health to zero till, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher Dr. Alan Moulin. Moulin’s team looked at “soil aggregates,” or how soil particles bind together into larger groups, under high-input conventional […] Read more



Can organic no till work in the field?

Environmental benefit is part of organic market value, but organic weed management usually means tillage, commonly considered a black mark for soil health. Is there a middle ground?

Hairy vetch may be the key to reducing tillage in organic farming, at least in the short term. Martin Entz, a professor and agriculture systems expert from the University of Manitoba has been looking at mulches for organic weed suppression, rather than the tillage typically used. “We found that when we used the right mulch, […] Read more


Formerly parched grain now fighting moisture after September rains

2017 will be remembered as a dry year, but the latest harvest is still fighting high moisture 
after a series of rains in September

Manitoba’s early harvest was dry, but now a rash of rains has left producers fighting moisture and wondering when to give up on drying in the field. Francois Labelle, general manager for the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, said most grain being harvested is several percentage points above safe storage since the dry spell broke. […] Read more



Avoid grain drying errors

There are a few things that farmers can do to sidestep common issues

Experts are weighing in on what not to do if grain must be dried in the yard. Dr. Digvir Jayas, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba and former Canada Research Chair in Stored-Grain Ecosystems, said that many producers confuse aeration with drying, when the two actually have separate goals. Aeration uses lower airflow […] Read more


Infrared inspections look to curb barn fires

Farmers now have access to infrared inspections through the Manitoba Farm Safety Program

The barn fire that killed over 3,500 pigs near New Bothwell in June has led to a new program to prevent similar blazes. The Manitoba Farm Safety Program introduced infrared barn inspections Sept. 12. Inspectors use infrared cameras to map temperature and tag hot spots that might ignite, such as faulty wiring inside walls. Electrical […] Read more



Weathering the swarm

Lady beetles were a welcome addition to the field this summer, but the overwintering habits of one non-native species now has some rural residents irked

They’re on walls. They’re on ceilings. They’re on cups left in cupboards and anything left outside. If you’re in south-central Manitoba and feel something crawling on your arm, chances are it’s a lady beetle. The annual swarm is nothing new to rural Manitobans during September and October, but populations are particularly hearty this year with […] Read more


Fall field scouting can highlight diseases

Verticillium and Goss’s wilt are both easily spotted near or after harvest

Field scouting doesn’t stop with the combine, but it does become more specific, according to Dr. Vikram Bisht, pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture. “Usually, to scout for soil-borne pathogens is not an easy thing because you have to do a lot of laboratory work, but if you have the pathogens which survive in the crop residue […] Read more