In the Media - Archive 2015

Recent Posts

Alberta government should expand compassionate care

CBC News - Human ecology professor Janet Fast comments on how an aging population increases the need for additional supports for family caregivers.

Pulses found in preposterous places

Western Producer - An Italian gelato made from white beans, chickpea flour and pea protein won top prize in Mission ImPULSEible, a student food development competition. BiotaGelata, made from fermented white beans with chickpeas, fababeans and pea protein, shows that pulses can be used for desserts rather than just side dishes, said Austen Neil, one of the students from the University of Alberta's food and nutrition program, who developed the gelato.

U of A researcher calls for government support for caregivers

Edmonton Journal - Canadian governments need to step in and provide support to family caregivers who shoulder a disproportionate amount of the cost of caring for people with long-term disabilities, says a new report by a University of Alberta researcher. Janet Fast, an economist and gerontologist who has studied caregiving for about two decades, said the economic implications affect caregivers and their employers.

Alberta clubroot could be making its way east

A newly released 2015 clubroot map, created by ALES plant pathologist Stephen Strelkov, shows that the disease is continuing its steady march toward Saskatchewan.

Alberta should lead the way on developing bioindustry

Stan Blade, dean of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, pens an opinion piece in which he argues that Alberta is well-positioned to build a vibrant, efficient bioindustrial sector.

Bioplastic wrap protects food

Western Producer - ALES' food/bio processing engineer Marleny Aranda Saldana and her research team have created a starch-based bioactive film out of waste potato peels and culls. The film, which looks like plastic wrap made from petroleum products is eco-friendly but also carries antioxidants that preserve the food it protects.

An update on the Precision Broiler Breeder Feeding System

Ag Annex - Poultry researcher Martin Zuidhof reports that the latest research on his precision feeding system shows that the flock uniformity of birde fed by his system reached 100 per cent. Feed efficiency was improved, maintenance metabolizable energy requirements were lowered, cumulative feed conversion rate was reduced, and no difference was observed in water consumption.

Project looks at climate change adaptation of plant

CBC Radio - Conservation biologist Scott Nielsen explains that the northern blazing star plant fizzles in warmer climates and is not likely to survive as temperatures rise unless they're transplanted in cooler, more northern areas. It's one of several projects being conducted on climate change adaptation through the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute.

EMEND seeking long-term funding

Logging and Sawmilling Journal - John Spence remains "guardedly optimistic" that EMEND will be able to obtain annual predictable funding to assure the project's medium and long term future. EMEND is 18 years into an 80- to 100-year project. It has already had a major impact on forest management practices in the boreal forest.

Three Rhodes Scholars chosen from the U of A

CBC Radio (Edmonton AM) - REES student Carley-Jane Stanton is interviewed along with the two other 2016 Rhodes Scholars-elect from the University of Alberta.

Beef carcass quality in the eye of the beholder

Canadian cattlemen - There's no question that feed can be used to manipulate carcass composition and quality. The ultimate question is what market you want to target. ALES' Heather Bruce, associate professor of carcass meat science is interviewed. Story also runs in AgCanada.

Fires rapidly claim more forests and peatland in the Arctic

E&E Publishing - Mike Flannigan, director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, located at the University of Alberta, comments in this story about a wildfire that claimed a home near the Hoarfrost River.

Fair division of household chores can help your sex life according to U of A study

CBC - Human Ecology researcher Matt Johnson has published a new study that shows that men who offer fair contribution to household chores enjoy more frequent and better sex, both for themselves and in improving the sex life of his female partner. Covered by many media outlets including CTV, Global, the BBC, the Independent, Huffington Post, Science Newsline and more.

A new global tinderbox

environment360 - Feature story about the increasing size of wildfires in the world's northern forests includes comments from U of A wildland fire scientist Mike Flannigan.

The Environment File

St. Albert Gazette - John "the Nature Nut" Acorn, renewable resources instructor at the University of Alberta, comments on Monarch butterflies.

Alberta researchers stumble across stranded hunter in BC wilderness

CBC Edmonton - When two University of Alberta researchers set out to a remote B.C. mountain valley this weekend, they expected to just swap out some scientific equipment and leave. Instead, they stumbled across a surprising find: a lost hunter desperate for rescue. Jonathan Ruppert and Tyana Rudolfsen, a masters student in the program, had driven from Edmonton to switch out a handful of temperature loggers she had installed in the Flathead River Valley, just north of the U.S.-B.C. border. There, they saw a surprising sight: a disheveled man, frantically waving a silver survival blanket, attempting to catch the attention of a passing plane. Coverage also ran in the Edmonton Journal, CTV Canada AM, Radio Canada International, Huffington Post, CTV News, City TV, 630 CHED, News 660, Alberta Primetime and others.

Video of nine year-old shooting bear at Alberta birthday party spurs hunting debate

Global News - Lee Foote, an ALES conservation biologist, comments on a story about the outcry in the UK regarding an online video of a nine year-old Albertan shooting a black bear during a legal hunt.

Food Notes - Green and Gold Garden

Edmonton Journal - The Green and Gold Garden, a project of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences and the School of Public Health, is a treat for the eye and the plate. At this time of the year, the garden, managed by volunteers with mostly donated seeds, plants and equipment, is in full bloom and garden produce is available in exchange for a donation. Proceeds go to the Tubahumurize Association, a non-profit organization in Rwanda that provides socially and economically marginalized women with vocational training, counselling, and health care education.

Canola offering high energy options for early weaned pigs

The Pig Site - As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc to improve feeding programs for growing-finishing pigs, animal scientist Ruurd Zijlstra says it is cost advantageous to include canola press-cake and canola expeller in the diets of young pigs.

Cows that burp less could also save you money

Alberta Farmer Express - Feed efficiency is the key to reducing methane from cattle, according to a study conducted by John Basarab, a University of Alberta professor and beef research scientist at the Agriculture and Agri Food Canada's Lacombe research station and Thomas Flesch, a meteorologist from the University of Alberta.

Optimizing oat production

AG Annex - Oat is a competitive crop that is suited to central and northern Alberta growing conditions, but oat agronomic research has been lacking in Alberta in recent years. "When I found out about the high yield potential of oat, I was fascinated by its potential to be a high-value crop for growers," says Linda Hall, a weed scientist and agronomist. Her excitement about oat's potential inspired Hall to initiate a three-year project on optimizing production of food-grade (milling) oats in Alberta.

Desperately seeking fashion forward choices for bigger guys

Edmonton Journal - In a story on the lack of fashion choices for larger men, University of Alberta human ecology lecturer Lori Moran says this may reflect the underlying attitude in the fashion industry that men don't care about clothes as much as women do.

Camelina shows value for broilers

Ontario - A new study with broiler chickens shows that supplementation with a multi carbohydrase enzyme formulation can substantially boost the nutritional power of camelina meal, a unique feed source on the rise in Canada. Ruurd Zijlstra of the University of Alberta helped conduct the study.

Leak exposes thousands of Sudburians

Sudbury Star - Matthew Johnson, a relationship specialist in human ecology at the University of Alberta, comments in about the Ashley Madison leak, which has revealed more than 4,770 hits using the keyword Sudbury. However, it should be emphasized this does not mean each account is real, nor does it indicate there are an accompanying number of people in the Nickel City stepping out on their relationships.

Organic matter helps in drought

Western Producer - Management and moisture are key for forages to survive drought, says the research co-ordinator for the Breton Plots.
 And with 86 years of records, the University of Alberta's grey wooded soil research plots near Breton, southwest of Edmonton, have the historical data to prove it, said Dick Puurveen.

Enzyme mix makes camelina more nutritious

World Poultry - A new study on broiler chickens shows that supplementation with a multi-carbohydrase enzyme formulation can substantially boost the nutritional power of camelina meal, a unique feed source on the rise in Canada and the US. The study was conducted by Rob Patterson of Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.), ALES researcher Tofuko Woyengo and animal nutritionist Ruurd Zijlstra.

Researchers examine the effects of oil activity on pasture

Western Producer - Rangeland Research Institute researchers at the U of A examine the effects of oil activity on pasture, specifically the impact of rig mats on vegetation and soil. The University of Alberta had first-hand experience when two electricity companies wanted to erect major towers and power lines across its Mattheis Ranch near Duchess.

Breton Plots - farming in grey luvisol soil zones

The Mountaineer (Rocky Mountain House) - The Breton Plots are the oldest long term plots on wooded soils in North America. The Breton Plots are a project by a group of farmers and professors at the University of Alberta who have been involved with numerous experiments with spreading chemical fertilizer and manure over plots of land and observing the long term results. Professors Miles Dyck, James Robertson and Stan Blade are quoted.

Multi-billion dollar Alberta canola industry faces growing threat

Edmonton Journal - For the most part, canola is still resisting clubroot well but nine new strains of the disease that kills canola plants and reduces yields by up to 50 per cent, were discovered in 2014. "It serves as a warning to practice proper crop rotation," says Faculty of ALES plant pathologist Stephen Stelkov, who adds farmers should grow canola every three or four years rather than every other year.

Experts say agriculture will fuel Canadian economy in coming decades

DeSmog Blog - A shift to an agriculture-oriented economy may not just revolve around food, according to John Parkins, professor of rural and environmental sociology at the University of Alberta. Parkins suggests such transformation may take the form of biofuels, which can range in origin from corn to potatoes to vegetable oils to wood chips.

Ashley Madison hack unlikely to dissuade cheating spouses

CBC Radio (Edmonton AM) - Family ecology researcher Matt Johnson discusses the recent hacking of the infidelity website Ashley Madison, which claims it has 141,000 members in Edmonton. Johnson says while many of them may be scared that their membership may be made public, he doesn't think it'll stop them from looking.

Okanagan residents learn to live with threat of fire

Toronto Star - With western provinces experiencing a massive volume of wildfires this year, experts and politicians agree this is the new norm. ALES wildland fire professor Mike Flannigan comments. Story also runs in

Canadian dairies to increase feed efficiency and reduce methane

US AgNet - A project led by Genome Alberta and the Ontario Genomics Institute will help industry growth by using genomics-based approaches to select for dairy cattle with the genetic traits needed for more efficient feed conversion and lower methane emissions. A research team is led by Paul Stothard from Livestock Gentec at the University of Alberta and Filippo Miglior of the University of Guelph.

Genome Canada launches project to breed a better cow

Canadian Manufacturing - An Alberta-Ontario-led research team has launched a project designed to help grow Canada's dairy industry. The research will use genomics-based approaches to select dairy cattle with the genetic traits needed for more efficient feed conversion and lower methane emissions. The research project, which will take advantage of an award-winning phenotyping platform, will cost $10.3 million. Associate professor Paul Stothard is one of the lead researchers.

Researchers examine effects of oil activity on pasture

Western Producer - A project at the Mattheis Research Ranch is looking at the effects of energy development activity on rangeland. The university has embarked on a $300,000 project with ATCO to learn the effect and rate of recovery of grasslands and soil after heavy traffic and construction has occurred. The project could help produce a best practices guide.

Scientists ponder what will replace animal antibiotics

Western Producer - A combination of products may be needed to replace the antibiotics that are used to treat livestock. ALES poultry researcher Doug Korver comments on the effects of antibiotic use.

Canola losing resistance

Nine new strains of clubroot, each capable of overcoming resistance in canola, have been uncovered. ALES' plant pathologist Stephen Strelkov comments and discusses management implications. Story includes video interview with Strelkov.

Unreleased report has concerns about ski development in Jasper National Park

Edmonton Journal - Fiona Schmiegelow, professor and director of the northern environmental and conservation science program in the Department of Renewable Resources, discusses a report she conducted on the effects of proposed expansion of Marmot Basin, a Jasper ski area. The report was never made public so Schmiegelow decided to release the findings herself. (Story appeared in several media outlets.)

Alberta drought

Dean Stan Blade comments on the declarations of agricultural disaster in several Alberta counties following severe drought conditions this summer. (Click on the video for the full interview that aired on CBC News Now.)

Managing clubroot

Farmgate, CTV News Saskatoon - ALES plant pathologist Steven Strelkov comments in a story on the proliferation of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that affects canola. (See July 11 video, Farmgate part 2 - from 2:27 to 4:43.)

Oilsands emissions and dust may have fertilizing effect on nearby forests

Edmonton Journal - A report monitoring the potential impact of the oilsands on surrounding ecosystems has found that pollutants from the oilsands may be having a positive effect on nearby forests. Ellen Macdonald, a professor of forest ecology with the University of Alberta, analyzed data collected by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) and found that emissions and dust may have actually helped some forests closer to the oilsands in northern Alberta thrive.

Some progress in quelling wildfires raging in Canada

New York Times - Mike Flannigan, professor with the Department of Renewable Resources and director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, comments on the impact of climate change on wildfires. AP story ran in multiple US outlets (print and broadcast).

Scorched earth is a big climate concern in Alaska wildfires

Climate Central - Alaska and its neighbor to the east, Canada, have kicked off wildfire season in a major way. Blazes have raged across the northern stretches of North America, sending smoke streaming down into the Lower 48 and leaving the landscape charred. The multitudes of fires is a glimpse of things to come as the climate warms, but blackened trees are only the most visible concern. The ground beneath them is what has some truly worried, with vast carbon reserves that could contribute to even more warming of the planet if they're sent up in smoke. University of Alberta wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan comments.

The destructive pine beetle poses a new threat

Quirks & Quarks - The pine forests of North America have been under attack from the mountain pine beetle for well over a decade. The population of the destructive beetle first exploded in British Columbia in the early 2000's, then quickly spread into Alberta. But new research by Dr. Justine Karst, an Assistant Professor of Restoration Ecology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, has found the pine beetle poses a threat beyond the destruction of mature trees. As the trees die, the fungal composition of the soil changes. As a result, a different type of fungi takes hold, which is not conducive to the growth of new seedlings and puts second generation pine trees at risk.

Getting used to coyotes as neighbours but do not make friends with them

Yahoo! News - University of Alberta professor Lee Foote and recent PhD graduate Maureen Murray comment in story on the rise of urban coyote sightings.

Arcadia Biosciences partners with Phytola to increase soybean oil content

Bloomberg Business - Agricultural biotechnology company Arcadia Biosciences is launching a research project to develop soybean varieties with increased oil content in partnership with Phytola, an Alberta Innovates Centre based at the University of Alberta.

Behind the GMO Hype

TV Ontario - REES Professor Henry An provides expert comment on a panel discussion on 'The Agenda with Steve Paikin' about how GMOs are used and the disconnect between what the science says and what consumers believe about the safety of genetically-modified foods.

Lack of nearby supermarket creates food deserts in eight Edmonton neighbourhoods

Edmonton Journal - REES professor Fenq Qui discusses the eight 'food deserts' in the city

NWT looking at another record-breaking summer of forest fires

Vice Canada - Wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan says there is "great potential" for an extremely active fire season ahead.

Devastation for generations

Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune - Restoration ecologist Justine Karst and her colleagues have found that the next generation of pine trees is vulnerable to future mountain pine attack.

Author chooses graphic novel to reach biggest audience

Edmonton Journal - Patti LaBoucane-Benson has a PhD in human ecology. She is a recipient of the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Award for Education. When it came time for her to think about publishing the dissertation work she completed at the University of Alberta - focusing on healing and resilience in indigenous families and communities - she decided to publish a graphic novel. (Story also ran in most Post Media outlets including Ottawa Citizen, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, the Vancouver Province etc.).

What the Orange Crush mean for rural Alberta

Alberta Farmer Express - Lars Hallstrom, Director of the Alberta Centre for Rural Communities, predicts that the new NDP government's emphasis on equity could be good news for rural Albertans.

Clubroot continues to spread

Town & Country - Research by ALES and AARD confirms the continued spread of the disease that attacks canola. ALES plant pathologist Stephen Strelkov, who identified the presence of a different clubroot pathotype virulent on clubroot resistance, is mentioned.

Environment file

St. Albert Gazette - In a round-up of science-related stories, ALES entomologist John Acorn put out a call this week for Albertans to find and photograph all 173 species of butterfly thought to exist in the province, while wildland fire researcher Mike Flannigan told an audience at a public lecture series that climate change means more forest fires for Alberta, and that means we have to get better at predicting them.

Explaining beardsand bacteria and us

Sydney Morning Herald - In an article about the kinds of bacteria found in and on the human body, ALES researcher Jens Walter says sanitation and drinking water treatment appeared to be key contributors to the difference in gut bacteria between people living a subsistence lifestyle in Papua New Guinea and urbanized North Americans.

Breeders benefit from carcass data

Canadian Cattlemen - Carcass data is the real report card on the efforts to develop breeding stock by the seedstock operator, the time and commitment of cow-calf operators to produce a healthy weaned calf, and the management of feedlot operators in taking an efficient animal to market weight. John Crowley, a post-doc geneticist in ALES says carcass data would be a useful tool in understanding how the complex world of genetics influences traits in individual animals.

Clubroot resistance for canola in jeopardy

Grainews - Alberta researchers have found a clubroot pathogen that can infect clubroot-resistant canola varieties. Article notes that Stephen Strelkov, a University of Alberta researcher, is heading up the next round of research.

Time to grow above and beyond

Metro Edmonton - Debra Davidson discusses the Prairie Urban Farm, one of several community gardens across the city. Story also mentions Novella Carpenter, author of the book that was the subject of the ALES Common Reading program this past year.

Help count butterflies this weekend

Edmonton Sun - Story discusses John Acorn's Butterfly Roundup project and invites readers to participate by taking pictures of butterflies they see and uploading them to the project's website.

Crop pest and disease watch for 2015

Plant pathologist Stepehen Strelkov offers advice to producers about how to best manage clubroot this growing season.

Jack Francis lovingly watches over agricultural treasures at ALES Museum

ALES Museum founder and curator Jack Francis, winner of the 2015 UAlberta Advocate Award, is profiled in this Edmonton Journal piece. Story also appeared in the Calgary Herald.

NWT bracing for wildfires after record 2014

Wildfire researcher Mike Flannigan provides expert comment about NWT's record-breaking forest fires last year. He says the increase is part of a larger pattern he's observed across North America as climate change takes hold.

Canola growers get grim warning on clubroot threat

Article cites plant pathologist's Stephen Strelkov's recent research findings, which suggests that the clubroot population has shifted to overcome resistance bred in different canola varieties.

Carcass data important for seedstock research

Postdoctoral Fellow John Crowley provides comment in an article that discusses how access to carcass data as well as other production information through the Beef InfoXchange System will be an invaluable tool for cattle breeders, geneticists and beef researchers in their efforts to build a better beef animal.

How the guts of remote Amazon dwellers are different than ours

Despite the advantages of our western health system, including ready access to clean water and medicine, a new study suggests we have lost something along the road to modernization.

Lemon tart takes the cake at Mission ImPULSEible student competition

Three U of A food science students created the winning "Peamon" tart using four varieties of beans for the crust for their dessert. They also created "Peggs," a protein binder made out of peas, as a substitute for the eggs in the filling of their tart. The tart is a gluten- and egg-free product, and also has fewer calories, sugar and fat than a traditional lemon tart. And it contains dietary fibre and nutritional protein. The competition is in celebration of "the Year of the Pulse".

U of A team finds used drywall can be a useful compost addition

According to a University of Alberta study, old drywall can be used to add nutrients to "dead" soils. The team which put the study together was headed by M. Anne Naeth, who works with the U of A's department of renewable resources. They found that used drywall can be full of decomposable material and useful nutrients, which "would be a good compost additive for use on reclaimed land sites," a story on the U of A's website said.

Alder Food Society looks to make local food accessible

Carley-Jane Stanton, a student at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, is founder and head of the Alder Food Security Society, a non-profit group aimed at establishing long-term food security for all members of the community, especially marginalized individuals. The Alder Food Security Society is also working on establishing a farmers' market subsidy program as well as a food chat program, the latter of which will be headed by local food blogger Liv Vors.

Thawing permafrost contributes to climate change

David Olefeldt, CAIP Chair in Watershed Management and Water Restoration, discusses a study in which he participated that concluded thawing permafrost in the Arctic and subarctic is releasing stored organic carbon. Scientists had feared the carbon would be released relatively quickly, within a decade, but the study suggests the release will occur over decades to centuries.

Chicken feed does not describe this system

Some broiler breeders gobble more than their fair share of feed but poultry researcher Martin Zuidhof's new precision feeding system has a fix for that.

How to get kids involved in creating family meals

Column about the benefits of family dinners cites a study from the University of Alberta that found children who help cook family meals are more likely to choose fruits and vegetables over junk food.

The world of eggs

Poultry researchers Frank Robinson explains all you need to know about eggs

Massive wildfires speed loss of northern trees

Wildfire researcher Mike Flannigan provides expert comment on a study that concludes Canada and Russia had the top two highest annual average tree cover losses in the world between 2011 and 2013.

Southern Rockies Watershed Project hits milestone

ALES researchers will soon be able to start examining the effects of the three different harvesting techniques used to log near the Star Creek headwaters area and compare them to the impacts of the 2003 Lost Creek wildfire. Logging is almost complete and signals the beginning of the second phase of the Southern Rockies Watershed Project, which is internationally recognized as the first major effort globally to provide a comprehensive assessment of forest disturbance impacts on water from source to tap.

U of A students take the stress out of stepping on the scale - for bison

ALES students Josh Perryman, Elyse Semchuck and Nicky Lansink are working with the Bison Producers of Alberta to reduce bisons' stress when they are being handled. They are studying a remote bison-weighing system and will develop a guidebook based on their findings.

Bright future may await agricultural substation after uncertain past

In 2013 the Government of Canada announced that it would be releasing the OneFour research station back to the province of Alberta. The research at the station includes range management, cattle genetics and wildlife research. The current plan is to develop a partnership between the province, University of Alberta Rangeland Research Institute and the new Onefour Grazing Association.

Glyphosate Resistant Weeds

Glyphosate resistant kochia has been in Alberta for the past couple of years. Dr. Linda Hall, a professor at the University of Alberta, says there's reason to be concerned about glyphosate resistant weeds.

What you need to know about controlled traffic farming

University of Alberta researchers will be looking at rooting depth, root size, pore space and biological activity in the soil in order to confirm the benefits of CTF (where machinery wheel tracks are confined to specific lanes or tramlines).

Millions given for area flooding fixes

Shari Clare, adjunct professor at the U of A provides comment on the plan to restore 60 wetlands around Calgary in order to prevent future catastrophic floods.

Competition, not climate change, slowing growth of forests, study finds

Across western boreal forests, more trees are dying off and those remaining are growing more slowly. Those are two signs of major change in the past 50 years, says a new study by the University of Alberta researcher Jian Zhang and Alberta Environment.

U of A program selling heritage chicks to benefit breeding program

The University of Alberta has adopted a novel approach to raise money for its heritage chicken program - selling chicks for a good cause. Poultry science instructor in AFNS Martin Zuidhof says the program will use any money raised to help improve the breeding program, which aims to preserve heritage chicken lines while protecting against inbreeding.

Grasslands at university ranch protected by easement

Land donated to the University of Alberta in 2010 was covered under a conservation easement March 9, providing $3.8 million to the university to continue grasslands research.

Mediterranean diet cuts heart disease risk

Article on heart disease and food notes the work of two University of Alberta nutrition professors who have suggested a Prairie version of the Mediterranean diet based on dairy meats canola pulses and grains. AFNS Professors Catherine Chan and Rhonda Bell have written a book titled Pure Prairie Eating Plan and maintain a website with recipes and other information.

Major conservation agreement signed in southern Alberta

One of the largest conservation easements in Alberta's history has been signed to protect Mattheis Ranch in southern Alberta.

University of Alberta project will use market mechanisms to restore wetlands

Two University of Alberta researchers have launched an innovative project to use market mechanisms to rebuild Alberta's disappearing wetlands. Creating a private market for wetlands restoration will give farmers and ranchers financial incentives to take on this critical, but neglected, environmental work, say economist Peter Boxall and biologist Shari Clare.

Forest fire expert says N.W.T. may be in for lots more smoke and flame

U of A forestry professor Mike Flannigan warns that historically bad fire years are caused by conditions that may last for several years. A record fire year in the Northwest Territories in 2014 may not be an isolated occurrence.

Canola shows promise against new strain of clubroot

A new canola variety has shown some promising resistance to a new strain of clubroot that was found near Edmonton in 2013 and has since spread to nearly 30 fields. But it won't offer true resistance, says Steven Strelkov, a plant pathologist from the University of Alberta, though it is a step in the right direction.

Farmers are the front line for slowing herbicide resistance

Weed scientist Linda Hall of the University of Alberta gives advice to producers on weed control for their crops.

BSE case shows surveillance program works, industry watchers say

The Spruce Grove-area farmer who came forward to report a cow suspected of being infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy should be praised for keeping Canada's BSE surveillance system on track, said Heather Bruce, a professor of carcass and meat science at the University of Alberta.

Two U of A students given young scientist awards

Two student scientists from the U of A were announced as winners of the R.O. Ball Young Scientist award at the recent 2015 Banff Pork Seminar.

Farm focus

A new strain of clubroot has popped up in the Edmonton region, say local crop researchers - one that could devastate Alberta's canola industry if left unchecked. University of Alberta Faculty of ALES agriculture professor Stephen Strelkov and Alberta Agriculture's Maureen Vadnais spoke about the status of clubroot in Alberta last week at the Farmtech 2015 conference. Clubroot is a soil-borne disease of cruciferous crops such as canola that causes club-like galls on plant roots, resulting in death. The disease can cause a 50 per cent drop in yield in severe cases, reports the Canola Council of Canada. Audio of interview with Strelkov also runs on

New grading tools under development

A University of Alberta research team led by Faculty of ALES Associate Professor Heather Bruce has developed two new tools that use near infrared and visible light properties to grade beef.

Australian machine will be tested on prairie soil

Researchers continue to explore how destroying weed seeds at harvest could tackle the growing problem of herbicide resistant weeds in Canada. Agriculture Canada has bought a Harrington Seed Destructor, a pull-behind unit from Australia that pulverizes weed seeds when combining. University of Alberta grad student Breanne Tidemann is exploring how effective a seed destructor might be in Canadian conditions.

New variety offers protection against evolving clubroot

Stephen Strelkov, plant pathologist with the Faculty of ALES at the University of Alberta, gives expert comment about clubroot disease.

Interest in urban farms on the rise in Edmonton

As the city wraps up pilot projects in beekeeping and urban hens, the U of A's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences continues to examine urban agriculture in Edmonton

Edmonton Food Notes

Those with an interest in urban agriculture and community development may want to catch a fascinating speaker at the University of Alberta on Thursday, Jan. 29. Novella Parker will give a lecture in room 2-490 at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy at 11405 87th Ave. from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

B.C. sparks controversy by bringing back wolf hunt

Stan Boutin, ALES biological sciences professor, comments on the merits of predator control measures as part of a larger conservation plan, in this case to recover caribou populations

Clubroot continues to spread across Alberta

University of Alberta plant pathologist Steven Strelkov is cited in article on the proliferation of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that causes premature death in plants, in Alberta canola fields. Strelkov said discovery of more strains of clubroot overcoming resistant varieties is a worrying trend and cautions farmers not to grow resistant varieties in close rotation in heavily infested fields.

Cash-prize coyote hunt no danger to animal population, biologist says

University of Alberta biologist Lee Foote says a controversial tournament in Alberta offering a cash prize to the team of hunters that can kill the most coyotes in one day poses no risk to the animal population.

Consumer tracking is changing the way people shop - and view food

University of Alberta Faculty of ALES agriculture professor Ellen Goddard is interviewed about how grocery stores and restaurant chains get to know their customer preferences.


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