GFM Network News


Toban Dyck: Voting yes or no to amalgamation

Farmers vote to create the Manitoba Crop Alliance from five commodity groups

I had no idea which way the vote would go. I knew there were people in favour and I also knew there were some opposed and I was pretty sure they would be vocal. This year’s CropConnect Conference in Winnipeg had a layer of complexity and drama to it. At five of the commodity group […] Read more

Toban Dyck: Expanding your knowledge to learn new things

Leaning new things expand your horizons, if you can leave your comfort zone

If you’re like me and you prefer to learn things on your own terms, Google Alerts are an eye-opening exploration into a deep well of information, the bounds of which seem only to be limited by imagination. This was my experience, anyway. This is not a new service. Google Alerts have been around for a […] Read more


A view from above of a display floor at Manitoba Ag Days.

Toban Dyck: Finding your way at the farm show

With things to see and people to meet, there’s a lot to do at a farm show

Focus is a difficult phenomenon. There are too many things actively competing for our attention. I was at Ag Days in Brandon, Man., in January. I sat at the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers booth and I also took some time to walk around the trade show. Climbing on new machinery used to be my […] Read more

'Purchasing loyalties is a common political manoeuvre and not really one worth noting, save for the principle behind it and its relevance to what’s going on in Canadian agriculture.' – Toban Dyck

Toban Dyck: Can loyalty be bought?

Loyalty is trumping common sense in today’s trade environment

U.S. President Donald Trump’s new trade deal with China is an attempt to buy loyalty and in Canada, it’s dividing consumers and farmers. Trump recently signed a trade deal with Beijing, exciting farmers and hopefully breathing new life into a sleepy marketplace. The hope that farmers cling to — myself included — is that someone […] Read more


At the time of writing, Toban Dyck was days away from finalizing the purchase of 120 acres of cultivated land – and he has a few thoughts on it.

Toban Dyck: Taking the plunge and writing a cheque for farmland

Even for those who want to be risk averse, buying land is a test of attitudes

My wife and I, the corporate collective registered as Burr Forest Acres Ltd., are not averse to risk. This is the adage we repeat to ourselves regularly on the hope that one day we’ll believe ourselves at a deep, foundational level. We are days away from finalizing the purchase of 120 acres of cultivated land. […] Read more

Farmers have a lot to say on a variety of issues, and right now there’s a real sense in the ag sector to be loud.

Toban Dyck: Do we have too many speakers in agriculture?

Let’s use the snow rotation to think about what we want to say, and how

“Snow rotation” is a phrase I still hear from time to time. When I first heard it, the person explaining it laughed. The phrase is out of vogue, but there’s something to the idea that Canada’s winters have a restorative power. A few cold days, a bit of snow, a break from work and almost […] Read more


I think everyone would find agriculture endlessly interesting if they had a glimpse into how it works.

Toban Dyck: Explaining agriculture, not whining

There are lots of things about the ag sector that we wish the public knew more about

“It’s just another whining farmer wanting government to bail him out.” This was one of the responses to an article I wrote for the Financial Post. It came after a former ‘Dragon’s Den’ dragon promoted it to his audience. I’ll be honest. I got a little bit nervous about the attention. I was tagged in […] Read more

Many crops on the Prairies were waiting to be harvested at an unknown date due to unrelenting harvest weather, such as these soybeans seen here in Manitoba at the end of November.

Toban Dyck: The first worst year on the farm

For a new farmer, the un-finished 2019 harvest is frustrating and disappointing

It’s Oct. 31, nearly 8 p.m. So far, no trick-or-treaters. We rarely get those on the farm. It’s disappointing. But, for perspective, it’s not nearly as disappointing as having crop still standing on the field. Which, you guessed it, we do. It’s a first for this farm, according to my parents. Never, in their memory, […] Read more


White-out conditions and poor visibility were reported across southern Manitoba on Oct. 11 as winds gusted between 30-70 km/h and whipped blowing snow high into the air.

Toban Dyck: Are October storms a farmer’s wake-up call?

It’s tough to bear the holdups and heartbreak caused by weather this harvest

There are a lot of things in this life that are difficult to process. Weather is one of them. When a storm tore through Manitoba from October 10 to 12, delivering gale force winds over a long stretch of time, accompanied by an entire season’s worth of snow, harvest, tillage and the rest of our […] Read more

A container ship docked on the Port of Vancouver.


Toban Dyck: One country, one agriculture industry

A visit to B.C. to meet with ag writing peers and learn about B.C.’s ag sector

When you have crop standing on the field and the weather isn’t letting you get to it, it’s hard to think, let alone write, about anything else. But, I’ll try. I’ll put my remaining 120 acres of standing soybeans to the back of my mind. It’s raining here and I know that in theory it’s […] Read more