GFM Network News


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

Asian giant hornets have noticeably large orange heads and black eyes; worker hornets are about 3.5 cm in length; queens can be up to four to five cm in length, with a wingspan of four to seven cm. (B.C. Ministry of Agriculture)

Two more ‘murder hornets’ turn up on B.C. mainland

One nest found last month in neighbouring U.S. town

Beekeepers in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland are asked to keep an eye out for so-called “murder hornets” after two were found in the region within a week. A single Asian giant hornet was found Saturday at Aldergrove, near the intersection of Fraser Highway and Highway 13 — about five km from where […] Read more


Violife’s vegan cheese-substitute lines include cheddar-style slices. (ViolifeFoods.com)

Becel maker Upfield to relocate Ontario plant

Company to make vegan cheese substitutes, other spreads at Brantford

The maker of Becel margarine, Imperial spreads and, most recently, vegan near-cheese Violife plans to boost its Canadian manufacturing capacity with a move from Toronto to Brantford, Ont. The Canadian arm of Amsterdam-based Upfield said Wednesday it has bought a 164,000-square foot industrial building at Brantford and “brings a significant investment involving the purchase of […] Read more

Even as conditions dried out in April, the cover crops hung in to provide feed and weight gain on yearlings.

Cover crops fit in SE Australia

Report from Down Under: Warm-season crops produced excellent gains on grass-fed beef

With rain forecast for the next four days (in early May 2020) I take pen to paper to write about cover crops in southeast Australia. Seeding is well underway for these crops along with cereals, pulses, legumes, forages and others. The rain we are receiving across a wide swath of this part of the country […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Insurance customers’ contact info dropped into MASC email

Crown crop insurance agency warns of privacy breach

A contact list of crop insurance customers at Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. has gone out via email to several dozen of the Crown ag insurance agency’s customers. MASC on Monday said a file containing names and contact information of an unspecified number of AgriInsurance clients was “attached in error” to an email sent last Tuesday […] Read more



Lime improves alfalfa crop in Peace River Country. This photo was taken from Farming Acid Soils in Alberta and Northeast British Columbia by P.B. Hoyt, M. Nyborg and D.C. Penney.


Les Henry: Acid soils. A wake-up call

At the farm level, soil test, soil test, soil test

This piece came about because of a technical session I attended at scientific meetings in Saskatoon in July 2019. Rick Engel of Montana State University presented a paper showing soils on the Highwood Bench near Fort Benton, Mont., that had become so acidic crops like lentils and sunflowers would barely grow. The soils were at […] Read more

File photo of a sunflower crop in Manitoba. (MysticEnergy/Getty Images)

Strong demand supports sunflowers

MarketsFarm — Global demand for sunflower oil is steadily increasing, according to Scoular’s Robert Deraas. Deraas, director of the Scoular Co.’s sunflower and bird food division, explained Wednesday at CropConnect in Winnipeg that the majority of Canadian sunflowers are grown for oil purposes. Increases in demand are driven largely by health-conscious consumers who use sunflower […] Read more


Members of the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association voted 66-16 at CropConnect on Feb. 13, 2020 in favour of their group’s merger into the Manitoba Crop Alliance. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Geralyn Wichers)

Manitoba growers approve five-way commodity group merger

Manitoba grain growers represented by five separate commodity organizations have voted to greenlight a merger they now expect to make official by August. A total of 165 ballots were cast Wednesday and Thursday during the groups’ annual general and special meetings at the CropConnect conference in Winnipeg, with members at the various events voting between […] Read more

(Yassine Chaachoua/iStock/Getty Images)

Manitoba’s sunflower crop under threat from weather

MarketsFarm — Manitoba’s sunflower crop has been compromised by the snow that fell over Thanksgiving weekend, but it’s not yet clear what percentage of the crop will be impacted. Before the snow fell, windy and rainy weather took a toll on the sunflower crop. The soil was oversaturated to the point that sunflower roots couldn’t […] Read more