GFM Network News


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

It appeared that some kind of leaf disease had infested the durum and Eric feared the whole crop was in jeopardy.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s causing severe leaf lesions in this durum crop?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 20, 2021 issue of Grainews

Eric is a prosperous grower with a 10,000-acre grain farm near Verwood, Sask., which produces durum wheat, canola, chickpeas and lentils. In early June, he’d been out scouting his durum field for herbicide timing when he saw something that suggested he had a disease problem on his hands. It appeared some kind of leaf disease […] Read more


There is a great diversity of soil microorganisms. Their needs should be considered when starting a new soil management plan. Having a strong soil microbial community will improve physical and chemical constraints.

Take a closer look at your soil assessment

Make sure these important soil health indicators are evaluated

Soil is a complex mixture of organic matter, minerals and countless organisms both alive and dead. To understand whether or not soil is healthy, all of its interconnected properties — physical, chemical and biological — must be evaluated. Through their interconnectivity, these three properties play a crucial role in soil health and affect key parameters […] Read more

Chain Lakes Farms is located east of the town of Ponoka, Alta. This photo was taken during harvest.

Meet your farming neighbours: Mike and Wanda Stretch

The Stretch family farms 4,200 acres near Ponoka, Alta.

Every farm has a story and no two are alike. Its origins, how it operates and who has a hand in its success are unique. This is the story of Mike and Wanda Stretch and Chain Lakes Farms, located in central Alberta. Where do the Stretches farm? The farm is located 13 kilometres east of […] Read more


Many of today’s family farms are growing — in both acres and family members.

How joint ventures may help you achieve your business goals

This farm operating structure could work for farmers looking to lower costs, retiring corporate landowners or extended family farms

Mike Babcock, the new coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team, has options about how to structure his team to win. The system or style the team plays is a function of the resources at the coaches’ and managers’ disposal. Financial resources along with the evaluation of personnel lead to the right […] Read more

A canola seedling was dug up while trying to determine the cause of the delayed crop emergence.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s causing this slow and irregular canola emergence?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 6, 2021 issue of Grainews

Simon has a 2,000-acre mixed grain operation near Minnedosa, Man., where he grows canola, wheat, rye, soybeans and peas. Unhappy with how one of his crops was progressing after he’d completed seeding on his farm, Simon called me in early June to see if I could tell him what the problem was. I told Simon […] Read more


Generational transfer and the task of being fair to the other children is complex.

How to keep the farm together, a complex generational transfer

Farm Financial Planner: Parents devise a plan for middle-aged children to keep the farm whole

A couple we’ll call Max, 75, and his wife, Betty, 70, farm 1,000 acres in western Manitoba. They have three children who are 40, 48 and 45 years old. The eldest and youngest have city jobs and no wish to farm. The middle son, who we’ll call Brian, will take over the farm. The issue […] Read more

Figuring out all the angles on rotation can be a complex challenge for farmers.

Rotation, rotation, rotation are a farmer’s best friend in the field

Not rotating crops and chemistries might just be the opportunity crop pests were waiting for

[UPDATED: April 1, 2021] Rotation isn’t a new word, but applying it to all aspects of annual crop production might be a newer concept for western Canadian farmers looking to keep a step ahead of various crop pests, say specialists with Corteva Agriscience. A proper crop rotation, a proper variety rotation, a proper herbicide rotation, […] Read more


Taking the soil microbiome to lunch

Taking the soil microbiome to lunch

Research is just starting to reveal life below the soil surface

Any farmer who has ever asked questions about whether the wide range of crop biological products are necessary and really work to benefit the soil or serve to improve crop yield and quality need to keep asking questions. It is not that the marketplace is full of suspect product claims — the biological industry has […] 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