GFM Network News


St(RAW) deal

St(RAW) deal

Don’t rob our Prairie croplands — help rejuvenate them by working in all crop residues

Here we go again. “Alberta May Get Straw Plant” was a headline that appeared last summer in an agricultural publication. Why the concern? How many of you remember those massive piles of straw on the Trans-Canada Highway near Elie, Man., just east of Winnipeg? There were stacks and stacks of big, round straw bales — […] Read more

Ralph Eichler, shown here at Ag Days in Brandon in 2019, is again Manitoba’s minister of agriculture. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Allan Dawson)

Eichler back as Manitoba ag minister in shuffle

Pedersen not seeking re-election

Manitoba’s provincial agriculture files return to the desk of their former handler in a cabinet mini-shuffle Thursday. Premier Brian Pallister has named Ralph Eichler, MLA for the Interlake-area riding of Lakeside since 2003, as minister of agriculture and resource development, replacing Blaine Pedersen. Pedersen announced Thursday he will not seek re-election but will serve out […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Maple Leaf takes up Ontario poultry plant

Option exercised on Cericola Farms' remaining facility

A southern Ontario processing plant specializing in organic and antibiotic-free poultry products has gone to Maple Leaf Foods in a postscript to a previous sale. Toronto-based Maple Leaf announced Friday it had closed its purchase of the Sure Fresh Foods poultry plant at Schomberg, Ont., about 30 km north of Vaughan, for an undisclosed sum, […] Read more

I bioassayed soil in January from a field treated twice with the herbicide tribenuron-methyl in 2020 to determine if the field was suitable for a canola crop this year. It was not — the potted field soil fried the canola seedlings, which is shown in the photo at bottom. The photo at top is the check. I recommended the farmer stay with wheat this year on this quarter.

Herbicides and bioassays

A dry fall followed by a dry spring may leave much higher levels of residual herbicides

When you use a soil-persistent herbicide, there are many factors you must consider very seriously. The first thing you have to do is read the label that comes with the herbicide. It will tell you how to mix and apply, water source, what weeds are controlled and so on. Read it very carefully. Of course, […] Read more


In order for crops to grow successfully, a select group of nutrients need to be present in your soil.

A look at organic farming

Your crop’s nutrient requirements are the same whether you choose organic or conventional production systems

The word organic in farm practice is just about totally confusing. Does it mean pesticide-free, GMO-free, or chemically produced fertilizer-free. Just keep in mind there are no such things as synthetic fertilizers. All fertilizers are simply minerals that are essential for plant growth. These minerals are the macro fertilizers, such as nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), […] Read more

The openings on the roots of soybean plants infected by SCN may cause the plant to be more susceptible to the development of root rot and seedling diseases.

Crop disease experts take stock of 2020

Your provincial roundup of pulse and soybean diseases, what to watch for this year and emerging threats

From east to west, pulse and soybean growers face disease challenges, and last year was no different. For example, producers from all three provinces struggled with aphanomyces root rot in peas and lentils, Manitoba’s soybean farmers were warned of increased cases of soybean cyst nematode (plants are more susceptible to root rot and seedling disease […] Read more


(Shironosov/iStock/Getty Images)

Ag ministers withdraw AgriStability reference margin limit

Program's compensation rate unchanged but 'remains on table'

In a move expected to provide $95 million in additional farm support per year, Canada’s ag ministers have agreed to remove the reference margin limit from the AgriStability farm income stabilization program. “That’s it! The ‘reference margin limit’ of the #AgriStability program is over! And it will be retroactive to 2020!” federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

USDA plans more pandemic programs for disadvantaged farmers

Review found disparities in farm aid distribution

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday it will dedicate at least US$6 billion to help smaller-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers who were hurt by the pandemic, along with producers of organic food and other specialty crops. The agency said it would also increase by approximately $5.6 billion payments made […] 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

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau speaks to media in Winnipeg on Feb. 13, 2020. (Dave Bedard photo)

Yes or no now on AgriStability changes, ag minister says

Farm and commodity groups line up to press provinces for decision

Ottawa’s proposals for changes to the AgriStability farm income stabilization program require a yes or no answer from participating provinces, not more discussion, the federal ag minister said Wednesday. “It has been just over 110 days since we made the offer to the provinces to improve AgriStability,” Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Winnipeg MP Jim […] Read more