GFM Network News


Thanks to Jim Lundgren, who farms at Glenora, Man., about 85 km west of Morden, for this photo of his early start to spring tillage on March 20, 2021, owing to the recent absence of snow and/or rain in the area. Not that it’s a race, but is spring fieldwork already underway where you are? If yes, feel free to snap a photo and email us at daveb@fbcpublishing.com. (Photo courtesy Jim Lundgren)

Manitoba soil temperatures allow for spring fertilizer

Winter ban lifted, with cautions

Farmers across Manitoba are now cleared to apply spring fertilizers including livestock manure on their fields, thanks to sufficiently warm soil temperatures, the province said Tuesday. Though the winter nutrient ban has been lifted, the province cautioned producers to “assess current weather conditions and periodically check weather forecasts” if they’re applying anytime between now and […] Read more

FieldBots can be positioned where needed on a farm to provide sensor data and control a variety of different machines or systems.

Could FieldMicro run your farm?

Australian tech company offers whole-farm digital operating solution

As producers come to fully recognize the opportunities offered by today’s wide-ranging offerings in digital technology for agriculture, an Australian company, FieldMicro, is adding to those possibilities. Last June, the company announced the introduction of its FieldBot remote-sensing and control devices and the SmartFarm online command-and-control, cloud-based system they pair with. Together, they offer a […] Read more


This well data can be interpreted as a 30-year net cumulative drought from 1975 to 2005.

Les Henry: On salty ground

We’ve come full circle in the soil salinity cycle

This topic was not on the to-do list for this winter. Soil salinity is a very hot topic right now and many farmers are concerned they will have no land to farm if it carries on like this. The last time I remember such concern about soil salinity was during the late 1970s and early […] Read more

As late as 1987, one big rain event did all this damage to a summerfallow field near Eastend, Sask.

Les Henry: Soil productivity, quality and health

Nature and nurture

Soil health is a prominent topic in current scientific and farm management literature. It is good to see attention being paid to the soil resource our industry depends on. In this piece, we will try to unravel some of the principles and the practical application of those principles. From the get-go, we must realize farming […] Read more


Some crops are a little more salt tol­erant — like canola shown above as well as alfalfa, corn, oats and wheat — and you will probably not see sig­nificant yield loss until you hit a conductivity number of about two mS/cm, says Lyle Cowell with Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Crops and saline soils

Plant something, but choose carefully

When it comes to planting most annual cash crops on saline land, Lyle Cowell does not mince words: stop. “When a cattle farm has a cow that is no longer productive, that cattle farmer will not continue to try to breed that cow. It will be culled,” says the agronomist with Nutrien Ag Solutions in […] Read more

Forecast probability of precipitation above, below and near normal for the period from February through April 2021, based on three equiprobable categories from 1981-2010 climatology. Map produced Jan. 31, 2021. (Map: Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Long-range forecast points to cool, wet spring for northern Prairies

MarketsFarm — Central and northern agricultural regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta are forecast to see cooler-than-normal temperatures with above-average precipitation over the next three months, according the latest long-range outlook from Environment Canada. The department’s latest seasonal weather maps, dated Sunday, show a 40-50 per cent chance of above-normal precipitation across most of the northern […] Read more


Southern Alberta farmer Brady Valgardson has been experimenting with cover crops for the past five years. 
One of his objectives is to reduce the risk of soil being lost to wind erosion during the vulnerable post-harvest to pre-seeding period.

The cover crop learning curve

There is plenty of good information in theory, but a Taber grower is learning what works best for his farm

Challenges, commitment, trial and error, faith and steep learning curve. Those are some of the terms that southern Alberta farmer Brady Valgardson uses when he describes his experience with regenerative agriculture over the past five years. Valgardson, who is the fourth generation on the family farm southwest of Taber (about 50 kilometres east of Lethbridge), […] Read more

(LakelandCollege.ca)

Alberta’s Lakeland to offer ag tech degree

College to launch first-in-Canada program in September

East-central Alberta’s Lakeland College is set to offer what’s billed as Canada’s first degree program in agriculture technology, as a two-year post-credential program, starting in September. The program, announced Wednesday, will consist of full-time studies at Lakeland’s campus at Vermilion, about 180 km east of Edmonton, plus “experiential learning practicums” off campus, en route to […] Read more


Friendly Acres Seed Farm’s Kevin Elmy is the founder of Cover Crops Canada and the author of Cover Cropping in Western Canada.

It’s all about making healthier soil

Get soil chemistry and organisms back on track

What do you want to change about your cropping operation? That’s the first question farmers need to think about as they look into the relatively new world of regenerative agriculture (regen ag). It’s a big subject area, with plenty of variables, layers and “twists,” say agronomy consultants who work with producers on implementing regen ag […] Read more

About six years ago, Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote and John Cote decided to take the farm business in a whole new direction. They bought an 80-acre parcel of land near Saskatoon where they built a distillery and now grow flowers.

You never know what these farmers are up to

OYF alumni are letting no moss grow under their feet

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (COYF) had to forego the usual flurry of hugs and handshakes at their annual awards week this year, but they still ran an informative online event in early December. There were no winners to be announced for 2020. That part of the program was just postponed to, hopefully, later in 2021 […] Read more