GFM Network News


The value of conducting strip trials

Making changes on the farm can be costly and risky. How do you get the maximum return for minimum risk? Simply put: You have to evaluate it to see if it works. At the Central Peace Conservation Society, we’ve been conducting unbiased trials since 1988. I often tell farmers that good, bad or otherwise, the […] Read more

14 years of experience with zero till

When I started farming in 1986 I adopted my father’s techniques. Like most beginning farmers, I took a job to help pay for my farm. I became the soil conservation technician with what was then I.D. #22 Applied Research Association in Manning, Alberta. My job included looking at the potential for farmers in the Peace […] Read more


Harvesting With A Stripper Header Adds $45 An Acre

I first experienced zero till when I seeded a test plot in 1990 while working as a soil conservation technician for the Applied Research Association in Manning, Alta. Then, in1994, in my first year as research coordinator for the Central Peace Conservation Society (CPCS) at Spirit River, Alta., I was invited to see a demonstration […] Read more

The Value Of Clover In Annual Crop Rotations – for Jul. 23, 2010

Selection of a suitable crop rotation can provide many benefits for producers. Unfortunately, we have seen producers move to shorter rotations consisting of spring annual crops solely due to cash flow considerations. Shorter rotations, often involving canola followed by a cereal crop then canola again, can lead to problems with pest and disease outbreaks. As […] Read more


Control Canola Volunteers At Burn-Off

After about a six-year hiatus, my first new article in Grainews discussed the idea that zero till crop management is more a factor of success than the drill you select. In a nutshell, the most expensive, fancy, fully automated zero-till drill will fail without proper management. At the same time, the average beater, Haybuster 8000 […] Read more

Accidental Miss Proves Burnoff Benefit

One of the first and foremost factors for successful zero tilling has nothing to do with drill or opener selection. It has to do with management. Most direct seeding failures I have ever seen or experienced have to do with weed control — specifically, the pre-seed burnoff herbicide application. Producers often skip this operation, thinking […] Read more


Disc Drill As Sprayer, Too

Yield (bu./ac.)* TABLE 1. PRELIMINARY RESULTS Treatment 4 DBS 7 DAS IBSD IASD P CV 43.0a 42.7a 41.0ab 38.6 b 0.03 3.5% Moisture (%)* Dockage (%)* 12.3a 12.2a 12.3a 12.5a 0.94 5.3% 0.8a 0.8a 0.9a 1.1a 0.35 19.9% Bushel weight (pounds) 53.1a 53.0a 52.6a 52.1a 0.62 1.9% Protein (%) 10.6a 10.4a 10.6a 10.5a 0.84 3.1% […] Read more

Does The Drill Really Matter?

I have been very fortunate to spend the past 20 years conducting agricultural research trials, looking at variety and herbicide comparisons, but also conservation tillage and its associated management practices. Producers have spent a lot of time worrying about certain details of conservation tillage, especially which opener to use. I would never waste my time […] Read more