GFM Network News


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

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


Garry and Geri Johnson have been using organic farming practices on their farm near Swift Current, Sask., for more than 20 years.

Organic farming veteran offers some truth and tips

Thinking of going organic? Back up a little

There are a number of reasons why farmers might want to try their hand at organic farming. Reports of premiums based on the demand for organic foods might be one. Cutting expensive chemical inputs out of your budget can also be a major incentive. However, if you’re only looking at organic farming through a financial […] Read more

This full-season cover crop, which ended up being mostly oats and volunteer mustard, provided excellent summer pasture for cow-calf pairs under a strip grazing system.

No such thing as failure, it’s all a learning experience

Plans are good in theory, but moisture is needed to really see what works

When Josh Beck describes some of the practices he’s tried in a bid to incorporate regenerative agriculture practices on his southern Alberta farm, you’ll probably hear him say a few times, “Everything was looking really good early in the growing season … and then it turned dry.” Lack of growing season moisture is not only […] 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

New pulse crop options for growers in 2021

Thirteen new pulses are available for Prairie producers, some with improved disease resistance and strong yields

Prairie producers looking to plant pulses in 2021 have a few new and notable options. SeedNet, SeCan, FP Genetics, Prairie Fava, Riddell Seed Company and Saskatchewan seed growers are bringing a combined total of 13 new pulses to the market in 2021. The coming year’s options include strong yielders and improved disease resistance. And one […] Read more


Pulse markets beating strong

Pandemic turns spotlight on plant protein sources

UPDATED: Jan. 21, 2021: Markets for pulse crops in Canada and the United States should generally remain favourable over most of 2021 and even for several years beyond, says the head of the largest U.S. pulse crop processor. Jeff Van Pevenage, president and CEO of Columbia Grain International headquartered in Portland, Oregon, acknowledges while the […] Read more

Provinces’ feet held to fire on AgriStability

Ministers' meeting co-chairs push for progress to allow changes to be made retroactive for 2020

The co-chairs of Canada’s agriculture ministers’ meeting are pushing to get proposed improvements to AgriStability in place sooner than later. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her Ontario counterpart, Ernie Hardeman, “urge all provincial and territorial ministers to support the proposed changes to the AgriStability program,” they said in a joint statement Tuesday. At a […] Read more