GFM Network News


Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] 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


Toban Dyck: I may be too old to become a professional snowboarder

I’m young enough to explore opportunities and embrace change

This August, Jamie and I will have been on this farm for nine years. This is registering with me as a significant amount of time. Also, in March of this year, I will celebrate my five-year anniversary at Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers. I say celebrate, but, if any of my coworkers are reading this, […] Read more

Due to the cold temperatures in February, cattle were provided with good wind breaks and plenty of dry bedding.

Last of hay and flax bales hauled home

Eppich News: Hopefully, cold temperatures are gone by early March calving

The beginning of the new year found us hauling bales. Gregory and John hauled slough bales the first week of January. Then, with the help of the blade on the tractor, they were able to plow snow and get 80 flax straw bales home on Jan. 8 and 9. On Jan. 11 Gregory drove his […] Read more


Even a cutter ride was a bit of a novelty in 1969, as long-time neighbour Edith Whittaker hitched up her horse on this March day to pay a visit to my grandparents.

Is it over yet? Winter. I’m talking about winter

A bit of electricity and wood heat kept everything comfortable at 30 below

As we were just coming through a serious deep freeze in Calgary as I write this column for the March 2 issue of Grainews, it made me think about some of the winters as a kid growing up on the farm in eastern Ontario. As I recall through the later 1950s and ’60s, we always […] Read more

The cover crop of fall rye seeded late in 2018 appeared to have a lasting effect to help control weeds as Fensky seeded flax in the spring of 2019.

Regenerative agriculture beats high input costs

Alberta farmers apply a new mindset to crop production

Shorty Fensky says it was largely a matter of farm economic survival as he forgets about the “Y” word and applies crop production practices that focus on profitability for their family run mixed-farming operation in central Alberta. Fensky, who along with his brother Cevin produce cattle and crops at Thorsby, about half an hour southwest […] Read more





Snow on March 28, 2013, at my Dundurn farm. My asparagus patch is between the quonset and the trees. Snow was four to six feet deep.


Les Henry: A snow job

Snow as a water source for crops

When we made the first-ever Soil Moisture Map in 1978, it was early days in the quest to get rid of as much summerfallow as possible. Those with Henry’s Handbook can check out page 109 to see that first map. The legend has stayed much the same. The objective of the map was to let […] 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