GFM Network News


Promise of self-fertilizing attracts investment

Bayer bets big on a future where crops are designed to fertilizer themselves

There are a lot of efforts underway to optimize and minimize fertilizer use in crop production. Precision agriculture tools are improving the accuracy of where fertilizer is placed so that as much of it as possible reaches the plants that need it. And researchers from at least two Canadian universities — Ottawa’s Carleton University and […] Read more

Looking back on 2017’s biggest growing challenges

Agronomy tips... from the field

Looking back on issues that growers had to deal with during the 2017 growing season, two things come to mind: insects and weather. In the spring, several regions across the Prairies experienced heavy flea beetle and cutworm pressure in their canola crops, along with some diamondback moth pressure later in the season. Keep in mind […] Read more


The future of broadcasting nitrogen in the fall

The inefficient practice is on the rise; however limits may be on the way in Manitoba

Broadcasting in fall is the quickest and easiest way to apply nitrogen — and the least efficient. So why, anecdotally at least, does the practice seem to be on the increase? Bigger farms and a shortage of labour could be part of it. Moreover, nobody knows when poor weather will shut down field operations. And […] Read more

Bryce Geisel says that Group 2 herbicides are still important to Western Canadian farmers, despite resistance issues.

Developing resistance: Group 2 herbicides

Each herbicide group kills weeds differently. Weed resistance differs by herbicide group


When talking about herbicide resistance, Bryce Geisel likes to make sure people realize that spraying herbicides doesn’t cause resistance in a weed. Instead there are individual plants that, by chance, resist the herbicide. Those plants survive and pass on their resistance traits. “And with Group 2s in particular, it’s just altering the target site,” says […] Read more


This BASF-supplied photo shows a still vigorously growing pea crop (left) produced with Nodulator Duo compared to pea crop produced with a competing inoculant product.

New bacteria enhance N-fixing performance

Natural soil molecules recruited to help increase pulse crop growth and yield

BASF Canada and Monsanto BioAg have both added different naturally occurring soil bacteria to pulse crop inoculants to enhance the nitrogen fixing capability and growth of pea and lentil crops. Pulsea crop growers are no doubt familiar with BASF’s Nodulator and Monsanto BioAG’s TagTeam pulse crop inoculants. They’ve been around for years. For the 2018 […] Read more

Farming through the drought cycles

Soils and Crops: Even with modern ag technology, we’re still reliant on rain or soil moisture

As the combines started to roll this fall, many were very surprised at how hard the truckers had to work. While not a barn burner, the 2017 crop will go in the books for many as good, and considering the lack of rainfall some will say it is great. We all like to point out […] Read more


Different types of soil have different properties. University of Alberta research is focusing on measuring soil quality.

Controlling traffic to improve your soil

A new test offers another way to test soil quality improvements

It can be called “fractal hierarchical aggregation” or just “fractal aggregation.” Whatever the moniker, the new method of soil health testing promises to offer an important way to assess soil quality and land stewardship, says Guillermo Hernandez, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. Hernandez is the lead researcher on a suite of projects […] Read more

Everyone enjoys seeing wildlife, but they can have a negative impact on farming and ranching operations.

Managing wildlife/agriculture conflicts

Animal Health: Proper compensation part of the solution

There have been many articles written on the escalating conflict between wildlife and agriculture (both livestock and grain production) in certain areas of Canada. Our governments struggle to find balanced management options. The most recent survey (2014) on wildlife damage by Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) and the Miistakis Institute shows a high percentage of farms […] Read more


Lystek takes municipal waste and turns it into a rich fertilizer for your land.

Turning city waste into good fertilizer

Soil Management: Lystek International’s CFIA-registered fertilizer takes waste from sewage to nutrition

One man’s trash is another’s treasure. It’s a familiar idiom at the heart of a Canadian company’s process for turning municipal sewage into fertilizer. Faced with the challenge of dealing with sludge, Canadian municipalities have done everything from dumping it in landfills to letting it flow into the ocean. Lystek International, based in Cambridge, Ontario, […] Read more

Farm it like you’re ‘just’ renting it?

Do farmers look after rented farmland differently than land they own? Should they?

We’ve all heard the term “drive it like a rental” but could that also apply to farmland? Is a farmer more likely to use conservation practices like no-till or variable rate technology, or apply more fertilizer and/or manure to improve the fertility on land he or she owns than on rented land? In April 2013, […] Read more