GFM Network News


Hopefully canola deal is not an April Fools joke

There it was tucked away on Page 3 of today’s Calgary Herald — apparently there is some disease outbreak that has greater importance — but there on Page 3 a report that China appears to be prepared to lift its yearlong ban on Canadian canola imports. It is a notch above the rumour stage, but still […] Read more

This will be my first pandemic

What’s my greatest risk factor — a virus or french fries?

I am not sure what is going to take me out first — A. the COVID-19 virus (also known as the coronavirus); or B. an overdose of media coverage of the COVID-19 virus. I don’t mean to sound flippant about the COVID-19 virus. As one of those in the high-risk category (a senior citizen) it […] Read more


Fungicides with dual modes of action, a new insecticide seed treatment and foliar fungicides containing a brand new active ingredient are available for 2020.

Get ready for improved pest control

Companies offer new products and new actives for coming crop year

With the start of the 2020 growing season just a few weeks away, crop protection companies are introducing farmers to new products with new chemistries promising improved pest control — some with wider windows of application and some with dual modes of action — and all are intended to provide a bigger bang for the […] Read more

Tribulations and field trials

Politics as much a concern as the weather and agronomics

I’m hoping by the time this column appears in print that all road and railway blockades have been removed and truck and rail commerce has returned to normal across the country. If it hasn’t by this March 10 publishing date, we might very well be in a state of war. I was writing this column […] Read more


Dallas Vert and daughter Tegan check on silage corn, which is an important part of the rotation.

Hope springs eternal for the 2020 crop year

If weather, markets and politics align even somewhat better, it should make for a good crop year

Believe it or not, exactly the same early-spring conditions persist for the 2020 growing season on all western Canadian farms, according to several producers contacted for the March 10 Farmer Panel — that universal condition? The optimism that a good year lays ahead. None of the panel members exactly stated that things couldn’t get much […] Read more

Mary and Roelof van Benthem, dairy farmers from central Alberta are regional Outstanding Young Farmer finalists for 2020.

Alberta kicks off Outstanding Young Farmers year

Just when I thought I knew everything about agriculture

A bright young dairy farming couple from central Alberta is kicking off the 2020 awards year for Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers. Roelof and Mary van Benthem of Spruceview, about 30 km west of Innisfail, were selected in February as Alberta’s regional nominees for the national awards. They are the first of seven regional nominees from […] Read more


Topics of livestock feed and animal health

Animal nutrition conference, May 12 - 14, 2020

If you are an animal nutritionist or otherwise involved with the livestock feed industry, some of the latest research related to feed, nutrition and animal health, will be presented at a mid-May conference in Winnipeg, MB. Participants from across the feed industry will have the opportunity to learn about the latest trends and scientific developments, […] Read more

Ed Shaw, left and Scott Keller talk about diversification options at FarmTech in Edmonton.

Some good ol’ reminders about diversification

No crazy ideas about what to do with alfalfa and barley

I must admit I haven’t heard much about farm “diversification” in recent years. And maybe that just means everyone these days is already diversified to the max so there is no need to talk about it. I think back 15 or 20 years and there were many actively promoted diversification schemes (and some of them […] Read more


Rancher help needed to answer: “Does it pay to deworm?”

If you have some yearlings heading out to pasture this season and can help veterinary researchers with a parasite study, there may be more rewards in store beyond what your good deeds will find in heaven. The Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine school are looking for producers to […] Read more

A waterhemp infestation can reduce soybean yields by 40 to 95 per cent.

War on weeds, take no prisoners

Hart Attacks: It will take money and commitment to just to hold enemy line

A recent issue of the Manitoba’s provincial farm newspaper, the Manitoba Co-operator, carried some depressing news. The province might be losing the war on herbicide resistant weeds; reports from the U.S. say despite some kind of trade deal with China, U.S. farmers figure they will need more than a $25 billion bailout in 2020 — […] Read more