GFM Network News


The photo shows NE26 Township 11 Range 11, west of Meridian 1, three miles east of Austin, Man. The soils are of the Almassippi association. The details of individual soils are all available online at Manitoba Agri-Maps at the Agrimaps website (see link at right).

Les Henry: Nitrate down the well

Quit porking on so much N

This song has been sung before in this column. With the death of babies as a possible consequence, it bears repeating. Nitrate in the environment In a native grass environment like my grandfather and yours broke up to farm, nitrate was a rare molecule. Native grass evolved by staying brown and doing nothing when it […] Read more

The facts and fallacies of foliar feeding and other mistaken beliefs

The facts and fallacies of foliar feeding and other mistaken beliefs

Environmental conditions can dramatically affect the uptake of foliar-applied nutrients

Foliar feeding has been frequently advocated in recent years as a way to boost crop yields, or in the case of nitrogen (N) as a boost for grain protein in wheat. In reality, plants take in very little fertilizer directly through their leaves or stems. In a way, it is a process that does not […] Read more


Sulphur pollution has been greatly reduced in recent years, so much so that some croplands now require sulphur for specific high-demand crops.

Why is there no mention of sulphur?

The reasons behind this nutrient’s anonymity

Sulphur (S) is one of the big four macronutrient fertilizers required by both plants and animals. Calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) could be added to this list but for reasons unknown they are given a lesser role in crop production in North America. When I was first involved in agriculture in the 1950s, nitrogen (N) […] Read more

Les Henry: The fifth fertilizer R: nutrient balance

Les Henry: The fifth fertilizer R: nutrient balance

As the fertilizer industry focuses on 4Rs, let’s not forget that balance is important

In the fertilizer business, the 4R concept has received much attention in recent years. The idea is to ensure that fertilizer use decisions are based on selecting the right fertilizer, supplying it at the right rate, at the right time and with the right placement of fertilizer. The first three Rs go back over 40 […] Read more


Smoke rises from the site of burning railcars at a CP derailment near Guernsey, Sask., on Feb. 6, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Nayan Sthankiya)

Canada to cut speed limits for trains hauling dangerous goods

New curb follows another Saskatchewan crash, fire

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters — The federal government said Thursday it would impose temporary speed limits on trains hauling dangerous goods after a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) crude oil train derailed and caught fire. The accident, which happened in the early hours of Thursday near Guernsey, Sask., about 40 km south of Humboldt, was the second […] Read more

The Red River, shown here at Winnipeg, forms most of the border between North Dakota and Minnesota as it flows northward into southern Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg. (File photo by Dave Bedard)

Trump administration scales back U.S. water protections

Washington | Reuters — The Trump administration finalized a rule on Thursday to pare back the types of waterways protected from pollution under federal law, easing burdens on industries such as agriculture and mining but angering environmental groups. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule could win political points ahead of the November election for Republican President […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Third-quarter grain handle down for CN, CP

Canada’s Big Two railways both booked reduced traffic but increased their revenue per carload in their grain handling segments for their third fiscal quarters ending Sept. 30. Canadian National Railway on Tuesday reported third-quarter net income of $1.195 billion on $3.83 billion in total revenues, up from $1.134 billion on $3.688 billion in the year-earlier […] Read more

A federal ban on plastic bags won’t extend to bags such as these, shown here at a recycling depot, stewardship group Cleanfarms says. (CNW Group/Cleanfarms photo)

Agricultural plastics not part of federal ban

The federal government’s plan to halt Canada’s consumption of single-use plastics such as shopping bags, straws and stir sticks over the next couple of years won’t extend to farm chemical containers and grain bags. Cleanfarms, the national industry stewardship body operating waste management and recycling programs for agricultural packaging, said Thursday that plastic products such […] Read more


Anhydrous Ammonia tanks

Les Henry: Anhydrous ammonia and the 4Rs

Time to bring back what should be the cheapest form of nitrogen fertilizer

Almost all farm press of late that talks about fertilizer use emphasizes the 4R concept. That means that we will take each nutrient and decide what is the “right” source to use, what is the “right” application rate, what is the “right” placement and what is the “right” time to apply that nutrient. The nutrient […] Read more

Get the most efficiency from your nitrogen

Get the most efficiency from your nitrogen

Generally, banding is the most efficient method for reducing nutrient loss

If you’re looking for a quick and easy guide to choosing the right placement for your nitrogen application, there isn’t one. Neither is there a one-size-fits-all strategy for timing or rate. There are, however, clear guidelines on how to improve nitrogen efficiency while limiting environmental impact. University of Manitoba soil science professor Don Flaten explains. […] Read more