GFM Network News

tractor working a field

Cover cropping basics

There are lots of reasons to plant cover crops. 
Here’s some practical information to get yours started

With the decline of grain prices and the rising profit in livestock markets, there are more questions on using cover crops in both grain and livestock operations. What species to use? What seeding rates? Fertilizer requirements? When to seed? How to manage? How to terminate? Is there anything to “harvest”? 1. Setting a goal The first […] Read more

flooded farmland

Friendly Acres’ 2014 wrap up

Regular Grainews contributor Kevin Elmy sums up 2014 at his east-central Saskatchewan farm

I am tired of rubber boots. This was Year 5 of well-above-growing-season rainfall. May started off with lots of water. The plan was to seed soybeans, grazing corn, a grain corn trial, brown mustard, spring triticale and cover crops. By the end of May, we had seeded 600 acres of soybeans, 1/3 of an acre […] Read more

3-D fence graphic

Defend against deer with a 3-D fence

When tried and true methods just don’t work, a 3-D fence can keep deer out

With the increasing number of grain bags in the countryside, deer have learned that there is a feast waiting for them in grain bags. Once a bag is opened, other animals join the buffet. Never mind what gets eaten, but storage losses from moisture entering the bags, excreta, downgrading factors and foreign material add up […] Read more

Our corn grazing in 2013

Kevin Elmy’s been experimenting with varieties for corn grazing

Like the last few years, our 2013 corn year started behind the eight ball. The winter of 2012 posed some seed logistics challenges. Some varieties had seed supply issues, seed size options were limited, new varieties were available but without local trials. These issues added to seasonal stress. Then, for us, snow and rain delayed […] Read more

Cover crops becoming more popular

With our short growing season, we have several options for cover crops in Western Canada. Kevin Elmy’s been trying some new ones on his farm

Across the United States, cover crops have been increasing in popularity. Between drought, delayed seeding, the high cost of putting the crop in, long growing season, high levels of inputs and leaching concerns, cover crops are taking hold. Most farmers planting cover crops are finding fewer nutrients in water run off, less erosion, less input […] Read more

Planters for corn grazing

When we started growing corn for grazing, we used our airseeder. We thought, “It’s just corn seed for grazing.” Basically, at first we were just trying to see if corn grazing was something that fit for us. After five years of successful corn production, the question we started asking was, “Is a planter necessary?” Corn […] Read more

2012 in review

One could almost call the 2012 production year a swing of extremes. From excess rainfall early in the season to nothing in the second half, each provided its own challenges. As the saying goes, we are only six weeks away from a drought. Spring seeding We did get seeding a bit earlier than last year. […] Read more

Cattle on crop acres

Whether you have cattle or not, Kevin Elmy says there are many benefits to grazing 
cattle on your land

There has been a lot of talk about soil health. Lots of people don’t know what is meant by this, but are still trying to make the soil healthy. There are soil additives and techniques being discussed, but one of the quickest and most efficient ways to improve soil health is to get animals grazing […] Read more

Choosing the right forage seed

Cows eat grass and grass is grass, right? If the blend you used before worked, so you might as well just keep using it. Or is there something better? Annual crops are tested for yield and maturity, averaged over many sites and years. You can talk to neighbours to see how their varieties worked, and […] Read more

Know your costs

Business owners need to know where they make their money. Determining where the profit centers are means knowing revenue and expenses, plus those overhead expenses that must be paid whether production occurs or not. Most farmers talk about costs per acre, revenue per acre, and maybe margin per acre. But to see where your risk […] Read more