GFM Network News


The amount of damage caused by cutworm feeding on canola seed-treated with an insecticide was measured. Manned aircraft were used to collect images on 90 acres. Field and data analysis was performed to develop relative density, and per cent cover maps were created to provide an objective estimate of cutworm damage.

How to use remote sensing for crops to its fullest potential

Images from drones and satellites can be part of a much bigger picture

Remote sensing tools can produce a lot of valuable information about what’s happening on farmland and within your crops, but the full potential has yet to be properly harnessed, says a north-central Alberta agronomist after studying the technology for a couple years. Satellite imagery, aerial photography and images captured by unmanned drones are all forms […] Read more

Depending on drill calibration and speed of travel at seeding, it could easily result in a wide variance of seed placement.

Industry ponders ideal canola seeding depth

One of several factors affecting success of stand establishment

Coming up with an ideal recommended canola seeding depth is a bit like the Goldilocks story where the bowls of porridge ranged from either too hot or too cold. When it comes to seeding canola, the ideal recommendation can’t be too shallow or too deep, but what is the just-right depth recommendation — most likely […] Read more


Beef industry urgently needs federal government assistance.

Canadian beef producers – primarily cattle feeders – could be hit with as much as a half-billion-dollars in losses over the next few weeks if the federal government doesn’t soon step up with some desperately needed assistance to help the industry weather the COVID19 pandemic storm. The pressure mounts as processing capacity is dramatically reduced […] Read more

Perhaps I spoke too soon on the coronavirus

COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head

Well, since I last shared my views on the COVID-19 pandemic a couple weeks ago, I am pleased to report that I was completely wrong, and although I am 100 per cent healthy, the spread of the coronavirus has affected/changed just about every other aspect of my life today and into the foreseeable future. I […] Read more


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