GFM Network News


The photo above shows compaction in a wheat field. Adam Gurr, who has been practicing CTF on his farm since 2011, has observed the most obvious source of compaction-related yield loss is a result of in-season traffic, most notably any seeding prep, seeding and sprayer traffic that occurs on wet ground.

Interested in controlled traffic farming? Start with small steps

CTF can prove both practical and beneficial, even with a step partway toward controlling in-field equipment traffic

For Prairie farmers who measure land in hundreds or thousands of acres, how much does it really matter if you drive your equipment a handful of inches this way or that way? A whole lot, says Adam Gurr, a Manitoba producer who completed a master’s degree in agronomy focused on controlled traffic farming (CTF) and […] Read more

AGCO is testing the effect of tire inflation pressures on crop growth with its new Fendt Momentum planter.

High tire inflation pressures stunt plant development

AGCO Crop Tour demonstrates tire pressure’s effect on crop growth

Two years ago, AGCO media relations staff introduced Jason Lee at a press event at the AGCO assembly plant in Jackson, Minn. He was the company’s new agronomist and farm solutions specialist and his job — among other things — was to measure the brand’s equipment designs’ effects on crop production. That data, he said, […] Read more


Ontario-based AgriBrink offers an ultra-rapid, on-the-go tire pressure change system.

How often should you check tire pressure and why does it matter?

You could be risking your soil health, crop yield and operating efficiency

Quick quiz: when was the last time you checked your equipment’s tire pressure? Very few farmers manage the recommended weekly tire pressure checks; even fewer meet the ideal of a daily pressure check. The result? Tire experts agree that almost all western Canadian farmers routinely operate at damagingly incorrect p.s.i. The results are quietly costing […] Read more

The No. 1 cause of compaction is working soil when wet.

How to minimize soil compaction on your farm

Compaction facts, how to tackle it and its effect on your farm’s bottom line

If you’re driving alongside your field before your crop comes up this spring, it will likely be very easy to see the paths your grain carts and combine drove last fall. Look a little closer and you might be able to see the lines your sprayer and even your seeder drove months before harvest. The […] Read more



Les Henry’s stubble soil moisture map, as of Nov. 1, 2018

Les Henry’s stubble soil moisture map, as of Nov. 1, 2018

There’s more red ink (dry areas) than we’d like to see on this year’s map

Each year when I make up this very general map, I keep hoping for a young generation to come along with better technology and smarts to make a better map. I now see a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. My December 12, 2018, article talked about the soil moisture sensor probes […] Read more


Handful of arable soil in hands of responsible farmer, close up, selective focus

Scientists say it’s all about the soil

Farmers and ranchers need to keep society connected to the land

So a soil scientist steps up to a conference microphone about to deliver a one-hour talk and my first thought — “is 8:30 in the morning too early for a nap?” But not so. What a great talk given by Henry Janzen, a long-time researcher at the Agriculture Canada Lethbridge Research Centre to open the annual […] Read more

Canadian manufacturer AgriBrink has introduced an aftermarket auto tire inflation system for ag tractors and equipment.

AgriBrink introduces an auto-inflation system

Aftermarket system allows for auto tire inflation from the cab

That big, new aircart that recently arrived on the farm has the widest available radial tires on it, so there’s no need to think about soil compaction, right? Wrong. Choosing the right rubber is only the first step in ensuring equipment does the least possible damage to soil. “Big tires are great, but they’re useless […] Read more


Engineer in training Alex Barrie talks with machinery editor Scott Garvey during Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ontario.

Engineers study machine-related soil compaction

Ontario team working to establish 
tire inflation guidelines

It wasn’t all that long ago that many agronomists in Canada weren’t even willing to concede soil compaction might be a problem. The freeze-thaw cycle, many argued, significantly mitigated it. But now with more available data and new thinking, most seem to agree that the seasonal temperature cycle doesn’t fully eliminate the problem. And preventing […] Read more

Most hoping for rain in the forecast

Most hoping for rain in the forecast

With low soil moisture reserves most Prairie farmers are hoping for snow and rain early this year

It would be a hard sell to convince Robert Semeniuk of Smoky Lake, Alta., that 2017 was a very dry growing season. He is the only participant in the January 2018 Farmer Panel who, on his northeast Alberta farm, had to fight with too much moisture from seeding through to harvest. In many other regions […] Read more