GFM Network News


Farmers take a look at smaller-scale plots on a tour of the research farm at Carman, Man., in the summer of 2019.

Testing the cover crop hypothesis

Agronomy researchers are catching up with what farmers are doing in their fields

It’s an exciting time for cover crop research. Last summer, many large-scale cover crop trials were underway across the Prairies looking at everything from cover crop combinations, rotations and planting methods to pollinator strips. One of the biggest ongoing projects, funded by Western Grains Research Foundation, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers and Manitoba Pulse and […] Read more

General Mills’ Steven Rosenzweig and Will Harris of White Oak Pastures test soil that has been under a regenerative management system.

General Mills’ interest in regenerative agriculture

From testing a sample farm’s GHG emissions to running a pilot project for oat growers

General Mills recently commissioned a study into the regenerative agricultural practices of a farm supplying grass-fed beef for some of the company’s products. The study was conducted by environmental sustainability consultants, Quantis, at White Oak Pastures, a 3,000-acre family farm in Bluffton, Georgia. The farm owner, Will Harris, began to shift the farm from conventional to […] Read more


With lighter regulations and more agronomic information available, is this the year to grow hemp on your farm?

Putting hemp in your rotation?

Still looking for a new crop for the 2020 growing season? It might be time to take a new look at hemp

Adding hemp to your crop rotation doesn’t involve as many regulatory hoops as it used to. With shorter varieties that make residue management easier and rapidly growing markets, especially for organic hemp, there seems to be a lot of potential value in this specialty crop. Most hemp grown in Western Canada is used for human […] Read more

Grower Marcus Isaac says producers thinking 
of growing hemp should be aware that it’s a labour-intensive crop.

Growing – and harvesting – organic hemp

When Marcus Isaac decided he wanted to get into organic production, he thought hemp would be a good fit for his 300-acre farm near Kleefeld, Man. He was already growing alfalfa and he knew hemp would be a good organic crop to rotate with it. He also knew hemp would provide some weed suppression and […] Read more


New strain of rhizobia enters the soybean inoculant game

Lallemand Plant Care recently discovered Bradyrhizobium elkanii

Until recently, Bradyrhizobium japonicum has been the primary nitrogen-fixing bacteria in commercial soybean inoculants, but Lallemand Plant Care recently discovered a new strain called Bradyrhizobium elkanii that it has incorporated into its new liquid inoculant product, LALFIX DUO SL PROYIELD. “In laboratory testing under artificial conditions, we found that Bradyrhizobium elkanii is about 50 per […] Read more

Developing an inoculant strategy

If you’re growing soybeans, you should have a plan to get them inoculated

Soybeans can biologically fix 50 to 60 per cent of their nitrogen, with the rest coming from soil reserves. Bradyrhizobium japonicum is a bacteria specific to soybeans that causes nodule development on plant roots, working symbiotically with the soybean plant to fix nitrogen. Because this rhizobium is not native to Canadian Prairie soils, soybean growers […] Read more


Dry weather affects inoculant efficacy

Dry spring weather may have reduced soybean inoculant effectiveness

The August Bean Report from the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers (MPSG) suggested one of the reasons that some growers were seeing yellowing on their soybean crops could have been due to a nitrogen deficiency because of inadequate nodulation, with the possibility that dry conditions earlier in the season may have reduced the efficacy of […] Read more

Low falling numbers mean lower wheat prices

Grain buyers’ falling numbers tests are finding evidence of pre-harvest sprouting

A wet fall across the Prairies provided the ideal conditions for pre-harvest sprouting in cereal crops. As a result, falling numbers tests have come to the fore as a quality assessment tool for buyers, with some grain companies performing a falling test on all wheat samples before purchasing. While, for the most part, harvest conditions were the […] Read more


The falling numbers test estimates the amount of sprouting in wheat, barley or rye. It measures the amount of alpha-amylase, an enzyme important in germination, which is present in the grain.


Four ways to avoid low falling numbers in grains

How accurate is the falling number test?

1. Harvest as soon as possible Try and harvest wheat as soon as possible after maturity. The longer it stays in the field once mature, the higher the risk of sprouting if it rains. On the other hand, don’t harvest too early — green kernels can have high alpha-amylase content to provide fuel for grain […] Read more

Harrows are more effective earlier on, when weeds are at the white thread stage.

Comparing mechanical weed control options

Considering adding a mechanical option to your herbicide rotations? Try these

Mechanical weed control is not anything new. Farmers have been using harrows and various tillage tools to control weeds for centuries, and for organic farmers mechanical weed control remains the only option. What is new is the technology that is available to help make mechanical weeding more efficient and effective, like GPS or camera-guided systems […] Read more