GFM Network News


Four steps to good weed control

When grain prices were lower, Kevin Bender cut corners, sprayed only heavier weed patches and cut back on rates. Today he sprays at full rate, and often makes two passes

Controlling weeds, doing it right, and keeping up with what’s happening plays a big part in the success of farmers today. Kevin Bender farms west of Lacombe, Alta. Along with his brother and father, Bender farms about 5,000 acres. His portion of this is 1,500 acres, but all three operate as separate proprietorships while working […] Read more

Scouting soybeans takes planning, time and effort

Soybean acres keep climbing in Manitoba because they’re doing better than edible beans, especially in the last three wet years, and they cost less per acre to grow. Rob Park, a farmer, seed grower and consultant near Carman, Man., says farmers shouldn’t treat soybeans as idiot proof. Soybean expansion Park left a job as an […] Read more


Using GPS technology to reduce waste and minimize stress

When John Elias embraced GPS tech-nology in early 2000 on their farm near Morden, Manitoba, it was a decision, John did not take lightly. Today his two sons, Jonathan (32) and Tim (21), embrace this technology along with their father and apply it to every aspect of farming their 3,400 acres of corn, canola, soybeans, wheat and […] Read more

Use kernel weight to set rates

To calculate an accurate seeding rate, it helps to know the weight of 1,000 kernels of seed, the germination rate and estimated seedling mortality. “That is what farmers are after,” says Walter Enns, agronomy manager, Keystone Groups, Cargill Ltd. “When farmers try to optimize their yields on the farm it all starts with their desired […] Read more


How to Manage Costs for a Mixed Operation

Rolf Penner of Morris, Man., says the key to a successful mixed farm is knowing your costs and updating them at regular intervals. “Knowing your costs lets you know your break-even point,” says Penner. He and his father, Udo Penner, farm 1,800 acres of cereal and special crops and finish 6,000 hogs annually, 15 km […] Read more

Management tips for a wet spring

Scott Day, diversification specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), didn’t seed an acre on his own farm in 2011 at Deloraine, Man. He wasn’t alone. Many others in southwest Manitoba didn’t seed many acres, and many of those who did manage to get a few acres in the ground under wet conditions […] Read more


Integration Key To Family Farm’s Success

When BSE hit the cattle industry in 2003, it left many people wondering what to do with their cattle, especially those animals that were ready for a market that no longer existed. For the Spenst family farm south of Winkler, Man., it forced them to look for non-traditional markets. In 2005, they opened Spenst Brothers […] Read more

Growing Soybeans On The Fringe

When farmers started dabbling in soybean production in the prime growing areas of the Red River Valley of Manitoba back in the mid-90s, very few varieties were actually suited to the area. From a mere 2,000 acres in the late 90s, Manitoba farmers grew around 600,000 acres in 2011, in part because of the introduction […] Read more


Clearing Up The Confusion Over Winter Wheat Classification

When the Canadian Grain Commission announced new classes and declassification of certain winter wheat varieties in 2010 and repeated the same in 2011, some farmers were scrambling to secure seed supplies, fearing their favourite winter wheat varieties would disappear. Most notably, CDC Falcon, a popular variety in Manitoba, is listed as moving to the General […] Read more