GFM Network News

Federal fund, Alberta government back irrigation upgrades

Infrastructure Bank lends cash for system improvements

Eight irrigation districts in Alberta are set to tap into the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s new $1.5 billion pool of funding earmarked for irrigation, to receive loans worth about $407.5 million. The Alberta and federal governments on Friday announced a total investment of $815 million — including repayable CIB funds, provincial support and irrigation district contributions […] Read more

Federal irrigation pledge seen flowing mainly to Prairies

Infrastructure plan also includes promised broadband support

Prairie provinces will receive the bulk of Ottawa’s $1.5 billion commitment to support irrigation projects, according to federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday launched a three-year, $10 billion infrastructure plan aimed at five different sectors, including agriculture. The $1.5 billion is expected to result in 700,000 acres of irrigated land. […] Read more

Brandon Hunnicutt and his family farm near Giltner, Nebraska.

Corn, corn, and more corn

There’s a lot of it, but 
there’s also a plan behind Nebraska crop rotations

If you drive through Nebraska in the summer, expect to see a lot of corn. It towers on both sides of grid roads and secondary highways, hiding deer just as well as forests do in northern Canada. Sometimes drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum fill corners and line borders, as a pollination buffer for seed corn. […] Read more

Ontario power utilities offer farm water pump rebate

Ontario farmers buying certain types of high-efficiency water pumping systems for irrigation, horticulture or stock watering could now be up for rebates. Hydro One and Niagara Peninsula Energy (NPEI) on Friday announced the AgriPump rebate program, which the two electricity utilities described as the first plan of its kind in the province. For farmer customers […] Read more

Water Use Efficiency (WUE) and your crop

Q & A with CPS

Q: While we have little control over available moisture for crop production, how can it impact the final result? What is meant by the term “Water Use Efficiency (WUE)?” A: When we consider inputs that are essential for crop growth we tend to think of fertility. However, there is one ingredient that every single cropping […] Read more

Stubble soil moisture map, November 1, 2017

Les Henry’s annual map of fall soil moisture going into the winter months

The November 1, 2016, fall soil moisture map was, in a word, wet. In Manitoba and much of Saskatchewan all soils were at field capacity (holding maximum available water) and many areas were so wet that water tables were near enough to surface to be a factor. When the water table is within about five […] Read more

This graphic, from a University of Minnesota Extension Bulletin, shows some common designs for tile drainage.

Trying tile drainage on your farm

There's information out there. Do your homework before starting tile drainage

I am not an engineer and will not give recipes for pipe size, spacing or equipment. Rather, I’ll look at the principles and steps a farmer should take before investing big bucks in tiles. Tile drainage is not a new technology. Many of the better soils of the world are on flat, low lying, high […] Read more

Tile drainage in progress south of Melfort, October 2014. The water table was high and tiles were running as soon as installed. The drain outlet is Melfort Creek. This project is on the Alan Hurd farm. Mark Gordon of Agri-Trend provided the soil EC mapping of the site and Stu Brandt of NARF (Northeast Agricultural Research Foundation) installed the observation wells and is monitoring the site.

Soil salinity: causes, cures, coping

After recent wet years, we’re seeing salinity again. Learn to cure it or cope with it

A few years back we predicted that the super wet years would lead to a marked increase in soil salinity. It is now happening. In this piece I am not going to talk about Solonetzic soils or true Alkali (high pH , low salts) soils. I’m talking only about saline soils — soils that have […] Read more