GFM Network News



Fertilizing for optimum economic yield requires less fertilizer than fertilizing for maximum yield.

Maximum versus optimum economic yield

Agronomy Management: Often, aiming for maximum yield doesn’t give you the maximum bottom line profit

Is your farm most profitable when you achieve maximum yield or optimum economic yield? There can be substantial differences in the amount of inputs needed for maximum crop yield compared to the economic optimum yield. Applying a higher level of inputs may give you maximum yield but often won’t provide the greatest profit per acre. […] Read more


Rigorous research should be conducted in Western Canada to test products or practices before promotion to Prairie farmers.

Yield boosting production information

Agronomy Management: Just because someone tells you something doesn’t mean it’s true. Base your choices on good sources

At this time of year, the popular press is loaded with promotional information in the form of advertising and news articles, touting the benefits of all kinds of crop yield boosting products. These may include: soil conditioners; nonconventional or speciality fertilizers; wetting agents and surfactants; biological inoculants and activators; and plant stimulants and growth regulators. […] Read more

Pat Pfiffner, a farmer and senior technologist with Alberta Agriculture holing a soil penetrometer.

Rutted fields and soil compaction

What are the best ways to alleviate damaged fields in the spring?

Persistent rains with cold, damp conditions in September and October made harvest last fall even more stressful that usual for many farmers. Trucks, grain carts and combines in wet fields have left moderate to severe ruts in fields across the Prairie. Ruts must be fixed before spring planting. Many farmers are also worried about soil […] Read more


Adding a pulse crop to your rotation will put N back into your soil, some even require less water to produce.

Get your farm ready for global warming

Agronomy management: How can you adapt your Prairie farm to changing climate conditions in the years to come?


Many Prairie farmers have gradually come to accept that global warming is real. Over the past 60 years, our Prairie climate has been gradually changing. In most regions of the Prairies the length of the growing season has increased, the amount of heat (growing degree days and crop heat units) has increased and the number […] Read more

Getting the most from soil test reports

Ratings vary depending on crop type, yield goal and soil zone

When you understand your soil reports, you’re in a better position to develop fertilizer plans with your agronomist. All soil testing labs report the same basic information, but each lab has its own unique format. No matter what your report looks like, first, check the information at the top: your name, address, field name, etc. […] Read more


Eight things to look for in your soil test report

When you understand your soil reports, you’re in a better position to develop fertilizer plans with your agronomist. All soil testing labs report the same basic information, but each lab has its own unique format. No matter what your report looks like, first, check the information at the top: your name, address, field name, etc. […] Read more

Start planning spring crop rotations

Strong crop rotations can bring along a wealth of long-term agronomic benefits

Crop rotations can be used to take advantage of differences in how each crop in a rotation contributes to increased soil organic matter, aids in pest management, manages soil nutrients and controls soil erosion. Rotating different crops in the same field can effectively promote sustainable crop production. If you haven’t already started planning your crops […] Read more


Western Canadian agronomy extension

Working together could go a long way to benefit both farmers and agronomists

Where do you go for reliable, unbiased, up-to-date agronomy advice? It’s difficult to keep up with and evaluate the latest agronomic opportunities, innovations, research and technologies that might benefit the bottom line of your farming operation. To further complicate things, information different sources can be contradictory. Different companies often have conflicting information or recommendations. How […] Read more

Seven steps to accurate soil testing

Many Prairie farmers spend $250,000 or more on fertilizer each year. Are you getting your moneys worth? Applying fertilizer nutrient that is not needed is a waste of money. If you don’t apply a needed fertilizer, you’ll see a loss in yield and revenue. Soil testing can provide an excellent picture of the nutrient levels […] Read more