GFM Network News


Colten Bamford in a stringer tractor laying tile during a project on a farm near Pilot Mound, Man., in September 2020.

The value and benefits of tile drainage

Here’s how this practice can make your farm more profitable

Installing drainage tile on farmland comes with a hefty price tag, costing anywhere from $900 an acre up to $1,400 an acre or more by some estimates. Like for any large capital expense, producers need to weigh the decision carefully before moving ahead with this kind of project. Ultimately it comes down to dollars and […] Read more

Lynne Schoenau beside a front-end loader depositing a bucket full of topsoil taken from a slough onto a Rebuilding Productivity in Eroded Knolls research plot in May 2020.

Move soil to where it’s needed most

Landscape restoration can restore productivity on eroded knolls and hilltops

You could say it’s an old idea that’s new again. The idea is taking topsoil from where it has accumulated in low areas and putting it on badly eroded knolls or hilltops to increase the productivity of a field. University of Manitoba soil scientist David Lobb maintains that’s something farmers in hilly regions of China […] Read more


No-till or zero-till systems are generally viewed as the best prevention against tillage, wind and water erosion.

How to protect and save your topsoil

Erosion can be a problem even in zero-till fields. Here are some strategies to stop soil loss

Tillage and not wind or water is the biggest source of soil loss on farmers’ fields. David Lobb, a soil scientist at the University of Manitoba, says for decades people mistakenly thought the eroded knolls or hilltops in fields were caused mostly by wind. “What causes the severe soil loss on hilltops is tillage erosion, […] Read more

Drone image of a tile drainage project in northeast Saskatchewan. The tile drainage was installed over six quarter sections to address issues related to side hill sweep, high water tables and soil salinity.

When is tile drainage a good fit?

If your farmland has a high water table, floods frequently and suffers from salinity issues, odds are it can benefit, if there’s somewhere the water can go

After a two-day downpour drowned out 50 acres of canola last year, Dustin Williams decided it was finally time to do something about a field that had been plagued with paltry crops. “It just rotted out,” says Williams, who also grows wheat, oats, soybeans and edible beans on his farm near Souris, Man. It was […] Read more


The strength or weakness of a basis at any point in time can be viewed as a bellwether that informs grain sellers where the market is at, and where it might be headed.

Have you got your basis covered?

To score a grain marketing home run, understand and monitor basis levels

Basis is a marketing instrument utilized by grain handling companies to attract grain when they need it or to discourage delivery when they don’t. Used for crops that have an active futures trading market like wheat and canola, basis is the difference between a local cash price for a commodity and its price on the […] Read more

“You’re never going to hit the high of the market all the time. That’s just not possible. Don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes.” – Reg Dyck.

The most common grain marketing mistakes

Four traps farmers can fall into, and how to avoid them

Navigating your way around grain markets isn’t exactly easy, and it gets more complicated when you get into the area of trading futures contracts and options strategies. Even the most experienced grain marketer will make mistakes from time to time — here are some common ones you can try to avoid. Go easy on yourself […] Read more


Once you have a network of buyers you’d like to do business with, it pays to stay in touch — it will likely improve your chances of being alerted to pricing specials when they come around.

Be a better grain marketer

It’s more important than ever to be an astute grain marketer. Strengthen your position with these pro tips

Reg Dyck farmed for more than 40 years near Starbuck, Man., but he knew early on that grain marketing was something he wanted to learn more about. In fact, Dyck was still in high school when he started taking marketing extension courses put on by Manitoba Agriculture and other ag agencies. “What motivated me, I […] Read more

Build your grain marketing plan from the ground up

Build your grain marketing plan from the ground up

A robust grain marketing plan will help you get the most out of your hard-earned crops. Use these expert tips to get the ball rolling

Neil Blue had only been farming a year or so when he came to an important realization — if you’re selling grain, it pays to educate yourself on the best way to do it. Blue grew up on a family farm and began farming on his own in Vermilion, Alta., in 1981. When he went […] Read more


anhydrous application

What to do about anhydrous ammonia applications this fall

How to tackle the challenges associated with fall fertility and parched soils

For many farmers in the Prairies, fall nutrient applications are a key aspect of fertility management. Banding anhydrous ammonia is widely viewed as an effective technique for adding nitrogen in the fall, and it generally works best on soils that are well drained and are more dry than wet. But what if the soil is […] Read more

Phosphate being applied with anhydrous ammonia in a dual placement banding on a Manitoba farm last fall. Manitoba Agriculture soil fertility extension specialist John Heard maintains this is an effective application method because it places phosphorus within the soil away from potential runoff losses and the acidifying nature of anhydrous ammonia tends to increase the availability of the phosphorus to next year’s crop.

Your fall fertility primer

Get a head start on next year’s crops with these fertility guidelines, options and pro tips

Many Prairie farmers choose to apply fertilizers to their fields in the fall to save time in the spring — a strategy Farmers Edge agronomist Thom Weir believes makes good sense for a couple of reasons. “There’s lots of data that shows seeding early has a significant benefit to yield,” he says, adding that for […] Read more