GFM Network News


The nymph (juvenile) stage of 
the twice-stabbed stink bug.

New and notable Prairie crop pest insects

Haven’t heard of canola flower midge? Can’t identify those RED BUGS showing up in your fields? Didn’t know alfalfa weevil populations are developing insecticide resistance? Everything you need to know about new insect threats

Most Prairie farmers know more than they might want to about common crop pests like grasshoppers, cutworms and flea beetles. However, nature likes to throw curveballs, and pests are no exception. Here’s what you need to know about several new-to-you pests currently catching Prairie farmers by surprise. Alfalfa weevil While alfalfa weevils are familiar to […] Read more

This photo was taken July 25,2017. It is a good quarter section that has changed hands and belongs to an absentee owner. It was “planted down,” and the result a few years later was a decent stand of bromegrass. This looked like a fair seed crop. But it was later baled as a hay crop.

Les Henry: Fertilizing for forage yields

For higher grass yields, fertilize it like a crop

We often hear “plant it down” when a field is not performing well for annual crops. That may mean simply planting some grass and accepting hay yields determined by the moisture in a given year. It is not uncommon for such stands to perform poorly and then be utilized as pasture. There are many situations […] Read more


Ed Shaw, left and Scott Keller talk about diversification options at FarmTech in Edmonton.

Some good ol’ reminders about diversification

No crazy ideas about what to do with alfalfa and barley

I must admit I haven’t heard much about farm “diversification” in recent years. And maybe that just means everyone these days is already diversified to the max so there is no need to talk about it. I think back 15 or 20 years and there were many actively promoted diversification schemes (and some of them […] Read more

Manitoba beef sector faces tight feed situation

MarketsFarm — An early snowstorm may have been the last straw for Manitoba livestock producers looking to put up feed ahead of winter. While the foot or more of heavy snow that blanketed much of the province over the Thanksgiving weekend has melted, saturated fields continue to limit corn silage harvests and hay cutting. “Feed […] Read more


Observations seem to support the lore that rain will follow a hoarfrost.

Following some old-time weather predictors

Does a foggy fall really forecast heavy snows ahead?

Over the last few years we have started to pay a lot more attention to weather lore. In the old days these nuggets of wisdom were all the farmers had to prepare for Prairie winters. Last winter we started recording little things on the calendar to test how dependable they were and we’re surprised at […] Read more

Ben Stewart talks to farm tour members about an annual forage seeding including triticale and forage brassicas that will be cut for swath grazing.

Species diversity is key to year-round grazing

Annual seedings provide important support to perennial pastures

Ben Stewart believes in using a diverse mix of annual, biannual and perennial forages in his summer pasture and winter feeding program to improve rates of gain on his cattle, reduce winter feeding costs and improve soil health. The fact that he also works with a company that sells forage seed might make him a […] Read more


Successful forage establishment

Q & A with CPS

Q: What are the top factors for successful forage establishment? A: To grow a productive forage crop, consider important factors like soil, weeds, previous crop and herbicide residues. Identify and consider the impact of soil factors like flooding, drainage, low pH (acidity), texture and salinity that may impede establishment, productivity or species/variety selection. Control winter annual, biennial […] Read more

It takes more than water and sunshine to grow grass — you need to
also plan for it.

Where does grass come from?

Aside from the obvious answer, it is important to have a grazing plan

We do some apparently strange things on our operation. We are short on cropland and long on native rangeland in our resource mix, so we run smaller cows and calve later than many of our neighbours. We also try to extend our grazing season, particularly the grass component, for as long as is humanly or […] Read more



Manitoba forages fight past winterkill, pest issues

CNS Canada — The first hay cut is well underway in several parts of Manitoba as favourable weather conditions set the stage for what could be a decent forage season. “Generally speaking they’re (forages) all doing well,” said Pamela Iwanchysko, farm production extension specialist with the provincial government in Dauphin. “The rains were timely.” What […] Read more