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

As programs that pay for carbon storage evolve, payments to farms and ranches may be tied to sustainability initiatives such as protection of wildlife habitat and conservation easements.

Where are we at with carbon credits?

Returns are limited at the moment but stay tuned, as programs are emerging

Carbon is one of the biggest topics of our day and it’s poised to increase in importance. It presents both an opportunity and a significant risk to agricultural production. Given this, it is probably a good idea for us to have at least a basic understanding of what carbon does and why is it important. […] Read more


One of main indications of Johne’s Disease is that cattle develop diarrhea and begin losing weight.

Due diligence with Johne’s disease

Have animals tested and cull infected cattle early

Johne’s disease (pronounced yo-knees) as we all know, is the paratuberculosis organism that in livestock can cause diarrhea, weight loss and eventually death from starvation or condemnation at slaughter due to emaciation. Animals that test positive, provided they are still in good body condition, can be slaughtered for human consumption, as the disease does not […] Read more

Matt and Angela Kumlin move their cow-calf pairs to pasture.

Ranchers apply new practices summer and winter

High-intensity grazing along with swath grazing boosts overall production, plus how to construct a 3-D fence

Matt and Angela Kumlin, a young farm couple near Cochrane, Alta., are making major changes to their forage management and winter feeding programs, and they’re seeing beneficial results. They have cattle of their own and take in yearlings for custom grazing in the summer, utilizing different forages in their pasture mix. “Most of our grassland […] Read more


The photo shows NE26 Township 11 Range 11, west of Meridian 1, three miles east of Austin, Man. The soils are of the Almassippi association. The details of individual soils are all available online at Manitoba Agri-Maps at the Agrimaps website (see link at right).

Les Henry: Nitrate down the well

Quit porking on so much N

This song has been sung before in this column. With the death of babies as a possible consequence, it bears repeating. Nitrate in the environment In a native grass environment like my grandfather and yours broke up to farm, nitrate was a rare molecule. Native grass evolved by staying brown and doing nothing when it […] Read more

Jerry Baerg out checking cattle as graze on chaff piles — all part of keeping nutrients on the field.

Cattle important to regenerative ag program

Producer finds that cattle and crops can complement each other

Jerry Baerg farms grain and cattle in central Alberta near Linden. He grew up on the family farm and worked with his dad, then worked off farm for a while. On his return, he bought into the farm and began farming full time. While attending a soil health/grazing conference five years ago, he began thinking […] Read more


Organic farmer Boyd Charles, pictured here with wife, Gloria, of Stoughton, Sask., says his pelletized and cooked chicken manure packs more fertilizer punch for his grain crops than commercial fertilizer ever could.

Saskatchewan organic producer wins with chicken manure

Pelletized, cooked manure an organic fertilizer solution

Ask Boyd Charles what he considers his happiest day as a farmer and he’ll probably tell you it was the day he sold his sprayer. “I was tired of giving away most of my profit to the chemical companies,” he says of his decision to become an organic farmer in 1996. He hasn’t looked back. […] Read more

It’s not very glamorous but you can learn a lot by studying the shape and consistency of a cow pie.

Be careful not to step in it

Watching cows’ poop helps you learn about what they’re eating

Anytime that I walk through a dairy barn, I walk in front of the feed bunk and usually watch the cows defecate. Their fresh cow pies reflect on how well their milking diet is being consumed and digested. If something is out of line, manure consistency and content warn me almost immediately. So then I […] Read more


Anderson cattle graze in early winter an area of the stockpiled annual forage blend that wasn’t cut for swath grazing.

Improving pastures through regenerative agriculture

A low-input strategy is paying off for this central Alberta producer

Brendon Anderson took over the family farm near Rimbey in central Alberta a few years back and is now focused on regenerative agriculture to improve soils and forage production. Ultimately he would like to get to a system of year-round grazing, but that may not be possible in some winters that deliver nearly four feet […] Read more

(Valio84sl/iStock/Getty Images)

Tech firm aims to boost regenerative ag through A.I., machine learning

Terramera proposes to cut emissions, sequester carbon through efficiencies

A Vancouver ag tech firm is pitching a proposal to both public- and private-sector investors that would use Microsoft technology to help the ag sector “pull carbon from the air.” Terramera on Monday put forward a $730 million proposal for an initiative it calls the Global Centre for Regenerative Agriculture, which would oversee efforts to […] Read more