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Ropin' The Web

New Insect Forecast Maps Online
While generally in Alberta, insect populations are lower than in previous years, there are some watch areas and some insect pests that will be of concern in the coming growing season. "Weather is always the driving factor for insect populations; however, it is anticipated that Alberta will experience low numbers of many of the usual insect pests in 2010," says Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Forecast maps have been posted to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's website and can be viewed and downloaded here.  More info >

Province Reduces Regulatory Costs for Cattle Producers
To help reduce regulatory burden on producers, the Alberta government is reviewing the existing regulatory process to identify barriers that add unnecessary costs and reduce competitiveness for our agricultural industry. As a first step in this review, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development will provide a grant of $25,000 to Livestock Identification Services to cover the cost of livestock inspection for Alberta beef producers who graze their cattle in Saskatchewan or British Columbia. This initiative will reduce trade barriers between provinces, lower production costs, and ease the regulatory burden for producers.  Learn more >

Healthy U Recipe Collection

Making healthy meals can be easier than you think – and it's more fun when the whole family takes part. These simple recipes come to us from the Government of Alberta's Healthy U recipe collection.
 Recipes >







AFAC Kicks Off a New Decade of Progress
Managing Challenges, Producing Opportunities in the increasingly high profile area of livestock care is the theme of the upcoming Livestock Care Conference. The event, hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC), is being held in Red Deer on March 26, 2010. AFAC is a partnership of Alberta's major livestock groups, with a mandate to promote responsible, humane animal care within the livestock industry. It has long hosted the Livestock Care Conference as a leading education and awareness event in support of ongoing knowledge and progress in this area.  More details >

Applications Available for New Growing Forward Programs
Applications are now available for a number of components of the On-Farm Energy Management program area of Growing Forward. Jason Price, program manager with Growing Forward, was recently on Call of the Land to discuss the details of the program.  COTL radio interview >

Farrier Science Program at Olds College Extended
Responding to industry demand, Olds College is changing its one-year farrier program to a two-year program starting this October. The college's new Farrier Science Diploma will see students emerging with increased knowledge of equine anatomy, horse handling and horse husbandry. As well, emphasis will be increased on welding, basic blacksmithing and advanced corrective and therapeutic horseshoeing.  More details >

Organic Production Events
Two organic events are being held over a two-day period in Lethbridge on February 25 and 26, 2010. The Canadian Organic Growers' (COG) workshop, Transition to Organic Crop Production is a one-day workshop for farmers considering a transition or in transition to organic field crop production where producers will learn about the principals of organic production, how to manage the three-year transition process and how to improve your soil fertility while managing pests and diseases organically. Following this February 25 workshop, Going Organic will host the GO Organic Seminar on February 26.  Workshop details >

Marketing Caravan Coming to Camrose
New Ideas, New Opportunities - the Canadian Farm Business Management Council (CFBMC), Bridges to Success Inc. and Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association are holding a one-day Marketing Caravan workshop in Camrose on March 10, 2010. The workshop will make available all of the resources necessary to identify a target market and reach customers, as well as providing an opportunity for participants to network and share the successes and challenges of agri-business.  How to register >

Goat Information Day Seminar
The Alberta Goat Breeders Association are hosting a day of speakers and networking in Lethbridge on Saturday, March 6. Preregistration is required.  Registration info >

Website Wisdom
To be competitive, every farm open to the public must have a website.  Jane Eckert an agrimarketing expert who visited ten farm direct operators in northern Alberta this fall, agrees. "The best way to expand your business is through a website. While most operators understand that they need a website, many don’t know where to begin or how to get it done."  Read Karen Goad's article >

Alberta Export News
From the European Commission Simplifying its Common Agricultural Policy to market reports, this resource on Ropin' the Web provides the links and information on markets around the world for Alberta exporters.  Export news >

Alberta's Cuisine Tantalizes Taste Buds at Vancouver 2010
The world is experiencing a true taste of Alberta at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Olympics, as food products from across the province delight visitors while showcasing the province’s diverse gourmet offerings. "Alberta’s renowned for its beef, yet few know how diverse our agri-food industry really is," said Jack Hayden, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. "We’re here to give the world a taste of Alberta and open doors to new markets for our province’s agricultural producers."  Learn more >

Jobs In Agriculture

Currently Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development has an opening for a Veterinary Epidemiologist, to be located in Edmonton. There is also a position available for the Assistant Chief Provincial Veterinarian. Both positions will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.


Hay and Pasture Crop Insurance Deadline
Alberta producers who require insurance coverage for hay and pasture crops have until March 1st to apply for Perennial Insurance with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).  Managing risks, making informed decisions about products and agronomic practices to manage dry conditions are vital for producers this year.  Soil moisture maps for the province indicate that levels are very low across much of the province.

Chris Dyck, senior manager of Insurance Operations with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation recently talked about the program on Call of the Land.  Info Bulletin >

Sorting Out New Varieties
"The new seed guides that came out in late January are packed full of tables and numbers on new and old crop varieties," says Harry Brook, crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. "Sometimes using these tables can be a bit confusing when trying to choose the right variety for your farm. It's important to remember that this is only a guide, it is not a guarantee."  More from Agri-News >

Choosing a Barley Variety
When it comes to barley variety selection, it must be based on a number of factors—individual priorities for yield, maturity, standability, disease resistance and market demand. Pat Juskiw, a barley breeder at the Field Crop Development Centre in Lacombe, told Agronomy Update participants they need to know what market they’re aiming for in order to make that decision.  COTL radio interview >


Calculating Cow Profitability
At this time of year, cattle producers are probably thinking about how slow winter is moving and how fast the feed stack is disappearing. Decisions may have to be made before grazing starts again in late spring - buy more high priced hay to hold the herd over or sell animals. "Before making a solid decision on this issue, a couple of factors have to be addressed," says Ted Nibourg, business management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.  Agri-News article >

Improved Breeding Practices in Hog Operations
An agricultural researcher says pork producers could see increased savings from the implementation of improved breeding practices. Dr. George Foxcroft, of the Swine Reproduction Program at the University of Alberta, says producers should consider switching back to single boar mating programs, rather than using pooled semen samples.  More details >

Alberta Elk Website Address
We recently featured a new website for the Alberta Elk Producers. Unfortunately we posted the wrong web address. Please note that the new address for the Alberta Elk Producers is now

Rural Development

Green Certificate Level 2 Certification
Alberta educators and agriculture mentors continue to show their every growing interest in Alberta's Green Certificate. "Twenty-six participants, with varying backgrounds, careers, and qualifications, gathered for the two-day focus group with the goal of taking the initial step in the restructuring of Green Certificate's Level 2 Certification," says Raelene Mercer, Green Certificate program coordinator, with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.  Learn about GC >

Oil and Gas Landowner Information Sessions
In the fall of 2009 Farmers’ Advocate Office embarked on a series of energy information sessions. This energy information project is intended to provide a broader understanding of the life cycle of energy development and assist landowners with taking a proactive approach to managing risk surrounding energy development. This project is supported under the Growing Forward initative which is a commitment from Canada’s Federal, Provincial and Territorial Minister’s of Agriculture.  Dates, Locations and how to register >

Register for ACCA Co-operative Summer Youth Programs
The ACCA Co-operative Youth Program is now accepting registrations for summer 2010! Brochures and registration for the 2010 Summer Co-operative Youth Program are now available. Registration deadline is May 21, 2010.  Program details >

Alberta Farm & Ranch Directory
The ACCA has published its Alberta Farm & Ranch Directory for your agricultural reference needs.  Download Directory (PDF file) >


Healthy Eating Trends and the Agri-Food Industry
Why should producers and food processors need to be aware of healthy eating trends? To get some answers, Caitlynn Reesor of Call of the Land spoke with Shelley Balanko, vice president of Ethnographic Research with The Hartman Group. The Hartman Group does customized research consulting to understand the complexities around consumer and shopper behaviour.  Radio interview >

Monday, February 22, 2010

In this issue


Coming Events



Jobs In Agriculture



Rural Development


Coming Events

Beef Information Update
Bon Accord, February 24. Details.

Grain Marketing Alternatives Seminar
Westlock, February 24. Details.

Native Plant Course
Blueridge, March 1. Details.

Ag Expo and North American Seed Fair
Lethbridge, March 3-5. Details.

Grazing Day
Hardisty, March 4. Details.

Queen Rearing and Breeding Workshop
Lethbridge, March 8. Details.

Ranching for Profit
Grimshaw, March 8. Details.

Grain Marketing Course
Westlock, March 9 - 19. Details.

Western Canadian Dairy Seminar
Red Deer, March 9 -12. Details.

"Below Your Watershed" Groundwater Conference
Medicine Hat, March 11 -12. Details.

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Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
310-FARM (3276)
J.G. O'Donoghue Building, 100A, 7000-113St.
Edmonton T6H 5T6 Alberta, Canada

Editors: Tracey Feist and Lee Anne Bateman
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