GFM Network News


An eight-inch-wide strip of tillage in a field with heavy corn residue.

Several benefits come with an eight-inch-wide strip of tillage

Western Canadian row crop farmers Dean Toews in southern Manitoba and John Kolk in southern Alberta have different levels of experience with strip tillage, but both see the value of working up these eight-inch-wide strips of soil in their fields with a range of production and conservation benefits. Toews, who is part of the family […] Read more

Building soil health for future generations is the main goal on Tim Nerbas’ farm in Waseca, Sask. Nerbas took the first steps toward improving soil health on NRG Farms more than 20 years ago when he made the decision to eliminate tillage entirely. Some of the farmland had not been tilled for more than 30 years. From there, he focused on crop variety and diversity and constant cover, which he sees as crucial to soil health.

Soil health management on Harvest Moon and NRG farms

Alberta and Saskatchewan producers discuss soil care

Since an unexpected disaster in 2017, in many respects, Alberta farmer Andy Kirschenman has had to start over. In October of that year, a massive fire ripped through Harvest Moon Farm. The Kirschenmans lost their house, a shed, a combine, quite a bit of equipment and most of the trees in the shelterbelt. But the […] Read more


Erin and Paul Kernaleguen have found that a change in forage production practices on their Saskatchewan farm has helped to reduce costs and benefit dairy production.

Dairy farmers see multiple benefits from forage blends

Input costs have been reduced and more acres returned to crop production

Dairy farmers Paul and Erin Kernaleguen near Birch Hills, Sask. say they’re convinced about the value of regenerative farming practices in growing forage crops for their cattle. They farm with Paul’s parents, Jos and Brenda Kernaleugen. “We were a conventional operation until 2012 when we started looking at doing things differently,” Paul says. “Our average […] Read more

This full-season cover crop, which ended up being mostly oats and volunteer mustard, provided excellent summer pasture for cow-calf pairs under a strip grazing system.

No such thing as failure, it’s all a learning experience

Plans are good in theory, but moisture is needed to really see what works

When Josh Beck describes some of the practices he’s tried in a bid to incorporate regenerative agriculture practices on his southern Alberta farm, you’ll probably hear him say a few times, “Everything was looking really good early in the growing season … and then it turned dry.” Lack of growing season moisture is not only […] Read more


Southern Alberta farmer Brady Valgardson has been experimenting with cover crops for the past five years. 
One of his objectives is to reduce the risk of soil being lost to wind erosion during the vulnerable post-harvest to pre-seeding period.

The cover crop learning curve

There is plenty of good information in theory, but a Taber grower is learning what works best for his farm

Challenges, commitment, trial and error, faith and steep learning curve. Those are some of the terms that southern Alberta farmer Brady Valgardson uses when he describes his experience with regenerative agriculture over the past five years. Valgardson, who is the fourth generation on the family farm southwest of Taber (about 50 kilometres east of Lethbridge), […] Read more

Friendly Acres Seed Farm’s Kevin Elmy is the founder of Cover Crops Canada and the author of Cover Cropping in Western Canada.

It’s all about making healthier soil

Get soil chemistry and organisms back on track

What do you want to change about your cropping operation? That’s the first question farmers need to think about as they look into the relatively new world of regenerative agriculture (regen ag). It’s a big subject area, with plenty of variables, layers and “twists,” say agronomy consultants who work with producers on implementing regen ag […] Read more


Even as conditions dried out in April, the cover crops hung in to provide feed and weight gain on yearlings.

Cover crops fit in SE Australia

Report from Down Under: Warm-season crops produced excellent gains on grass-fed beef

With rain forecast for the next four days (in early May 2020) I take pen to paper to write about cover crops in southeast Australia. Seeding is well underway for these crops along with cereals, pulses, legumes, forages and others. The rain we are receiving across a wide swath of this part of the country […] Read more

Bayer’s cross symbol hangs in a terminal at Frankfurt International Airport. (Typhoonski/iStock Editorial/Getty Images)

Bayer launches carbon capture pilot for U.S., Brazilian farmers

Chem and seed firm expects to expand plan to other countries

Chicago | Reuters — Bayer launched a pilot program in the United States and Brazil on Tuesday that will pay farmers for capturing carbon in cropland soils, making it the latest agriculture company to capitalize on environmental initiatives. The company seeks to enroll about 1,200 row crop growers in its Bayer Carbon Initiative in the […] Read more


Holding an Earthworm in Hand

Don’t underestimate the power of soil bugs

Save money, increase profits by getting billions of little creatures working for you

There’s that message again — learning to farm without inputs. It is a pretty compelling concept: being able to grow a crop without $200 or $300 per acre invested in added fertilizer and crop protection products. Is it a myth? Does it work? What are these guys trying to sell me? Kevin Elmy says it works. […] Read more

Insuring intercrops in Manitoba

Insuring intercrops in Manitoba

Manitoba farmers can now insure intercrops and also get incentives to grow them

In response to requests from producers for some kind of insurance on unconventional crops such as quinoa or multi-species crops like intercrops, Manitoba Agricultural Insurance Corporation (MASC) has introduced a new insurance product for what it calls ‘novel crops.’ At a recent intercropping workshop at Brandon in November, Robert Manastyr spoke on behalf of MASC […] Read more