In any manufacturing business productivity is a matter of managing the building, the machinery and the workforce to put the product together in a cost-effective way. In farming, soil is the factory floor and growing a profitable crop is a matter of managing the biology and chemistry of the field within the limits imposed by
About a year ago the COVID-19 lockdowns led to an odd phenomenon. Home bakers went to the store looking for yeast and found the shelf completely cleaned out. If you asked a grocer about it you were told that there’s none to be had, even the warehouse was empty. The entire stock was bought out
Agriculture researchers facing difficult challenges might want to consider shining a light on their problems — a really bright light. The light in question is the Canadian Light Source, a synchrotron located at the campus of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Researcher Chithra Karunakaran spoke recently during a Zoom presentation hosted by the University of Manitoba.
Soil is more than just dirt, a place where plants put down roots to grow seeds. It’s a complex ecology, teeming with infinite varieties of flora, fauna, microbes and minerals that provide both the raw materials and machinery to build crops and livestock. It’s a factory floor with a lot of moving parts and we’re
Saying a soil is ‘healthy’ isn’t something simple like running through a checklist. David Lobb, a soil scientist at the University of Manitoba says it’s a moving target that takes many variables into account. There are hundreds of different soils across the province, thousands across the country and the development of each one moves toward
Four pests caused the most problems last season, and given the right spring conditions, three are poised to return. That’s according to John Gavoloski, provincial entomologist, who says farmers should head into spring watching the weather and with their eyes open. “If I had to predict which three pests farmers could be at a higher
With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out for worldwide distribution and immunization on the horizon, now hopes turn to putting the virus in the rear-view mirror and rebuilding a battered global economy. That’s almost certainly going to mean enduring a sharp recession, says J.P. Gervais, chief economist for Farm Credit Canada. Speaking at the virtual Manitoba Agronomist
Canola growers like what happens when they enlist hives of honeybees to help tend their crops. According to figures presented to the Manitoba Agronomist Conference earlier this winter by Melanie Dubois of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, pollination increases production by as much as 46 per cent. And the quality of the seed set is significantly
Farmers fear grasshoppers because, according to legend, they eat everything. There’s a flip side to this and farmers can use it to their advantage. In the grand scheme of Prairie ecology everything eats grasshoppers. “They do have a positive side,” Dan Johnson of the University of Lethbridge told the Manitoba Agronomists Conference earlier this winter.
As the crop comes off some farmers are already thinking about next spring — specifically about getting a jump on things by fertilizing this fall. There are lots of compelling reasons to follow this strategy. Fertilizer prices tend to be lower this time of year, and spreading the workload out lets them get the crop