GFM Network News


Farmbucks costs $120 for a yearly subscription and is available for a free, 30-day trial. Lynn Dargis, the Alberta farmer who created the Farmbucks website and app, says her goal is to keep the service affordable and of value to pro­ducers.

A quick and easy way to compare grain prices

Farmbucks is an online tool that provides a localized snapshot of actual bids in real time geared to help farmers get the best prices for their grain

Sometimes an idea comes along that seems so obvious it’s hard to imagine why it hasn’t been thought of before. Farmbucks, an online tool to help western Canadian farmers get the best price for the grain they sell, falls into that category. Why it matters: Invented by a farmer for farmers, Farmbucks is a subscription-based, […] Read more

A few years ago, Harding believed bacterial leaf streak would come and go sporadically, remaining little more than a curiosity. Now he thinks it’s here to stay and could become a major threat to cereal crops.

Bacterial leaf streak is a disease you want to watch for

This emerging disease, not to be confused with bacterial leaf spot, is reaching economic levels in some Prairie fields — here’s what you need to know

In case farmers don’t already have plenty of cereal diseases to worry about, there’s a new one pushing its way into Prairie fields — and it’s a difficult one to tackle. Called bacterial leaf streak (not to be confused with its less problematic cousin bacterial leaf spot), the disease is likely to become a major […] Read more


Bacteria streaming from a plant leaf with a bacterial infection as seen under a microscope.

Top tips for managing bacterial leaf streak

There may not be in-season management tools yet, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options

Bacterial leaf streak — a new-to-Canada pathogen that has started to cause economic damage in cereal crops over the last handful of years — is difficult to manage. With no effective, economical, in-season management tools currently available, farmers have few options to tackle the new threat. That said, proactive farmers aren’t entirely without options, says […] Read more

Reports of spraying for diamond-back moths were very low in Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2020 and limited to only a few fields in Manitoba.

Your 2020 canola insect roundup

How big of a bite did pests take out of canola crops last year?

Mother Nature rarely gives an easy ride on the Prairie pest front. And 2020 was no exception, said James Tansey, Saskatchewan Agriculture’s provincial insect and vertebrate pest specialist, at Canola Council of Canada’s Canola Week 2020 held last December. Though some key canola pest species showed relatively low population densities in 2020, other pests caused […] Read more


The first confirmed clubroot cases in the Municipal District of Smoky River (Peace region) and in the Counties of Grande Prairie (Peace region) and Wheatland (east of Calgary) were found in 2020.

And the canola disease surveys say…

The 2020 numbers on blackleg, sclerotinia stem rot, clubroot, verticillium stripe and others across the Prairies

Western Canada’s crop disease specialists have spent the past few months finalizing results from canola field disease surveys executed during the 2020 growing season. Blackleg According to those surveys, 45.4 per cent of 350 canola fields and five mustard fields evaluated across Alberta in 2020 had blackleg. The average rate of infection was 6.4 plants […] Read more

Mike Cowbrough is the weed management lead, field crops, with OMAFRA and co-curator of sprayers101.com. In the photo, Cowbrough shows his audience how mixing order can affect product compatibility in tank mixes.

Two more reasons to consider a jar test before tank mixing

It’s better to be safe than sorry when you combine multiple modes of action or include micronutrients in the tank

When tank mixing goes well, farmers can reduce the number of passes through their fields, saving equipment operating time and man-hours, reducing compaction and optimizing application timing. When tank mixing goes badly, however, the results can be disastrous. Because chemical companies won’t and, in fact, can’t test their products with every possible mixing option, making […] Read more


What were the canola yield robbers in 2020?

What were the canola yield robbers in 2020?

Some farmers benefited from the environmental conditions while others were ready to put 2020 behind them

In 2020, canola fell more than 11 bushels short of the 52 bushels per acre yield target the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) hopes Canadian farmers can achieve by 2025. Though a handful of major factors held yield back last season, hot and dry conditions bit into the most acres, said CCC agronomy specialist Justine […] Read more

Seven reasons to consider controlled traffic farming

Seven reasons to consider controlled traffic farming

CTF benefits may make the practice worth another look

Each time you drive across your field, you’re squeezing the life out of the soil beneath your tires. Sound overdramatic? Studies show as much as 80 per cent of compaction happens during equipment’s first pass. The downsides of compaction are many and varied, and all ultimately lead to lower soil health and decreased crop yields. […] Read more


As some producers are realizing the benefits of inter-row seeding and as soil compac­tion is becoming a more mainstream concern, con­trolled traffic farming and accurate-to-the-inch navigation are gaining attention. This photo shows inter-row seeding of canola using RTK technology.

Real-time kinematic technology use and costs

RTK technology offers ultra-precise, multi-year positioning, but its price remains a significant deterrent for Prairie farmers

When it comes to navigating through your crop, how accurate is accurate enough? It wasn’t so long ago that farmers scoffed at autosteer, saying “straight-ish” was straight enough. Now, as some producers are realizing the benefits of inter-row seeding and as soil compaction is becoming a more mainstream concern, controlled traffic farming and accurate-to-the-inch navigation […] Read more

The photo above shows compaction in a wheat field. Adam Gurr, who has been practicing CTF on his farm since 2011, has observed the most obvious source of compaction-related yield loss is a result of in-season traffic, most notably any seeding prep, seeding and sprayer traffic that occurs on wet ground.

Interested in controlled traffic farming? Start with small steps

CTF can prove both practical and beneficial, even with a step partway toward controlling in-field equipment traffic

For Prairie farmers who measure land in hundreds or thousands of acres, how much does it really matter if you drive your equipment a handful of inches this way or that way? A whole lot, says Adam Gurr, a Manitoba producer who completed a master’s degree in agronomy focused on controlled traffic farming (CTF) and […] Read more