GFM Network News


The zero- to four-inch level is the new topsoil hauled in from the lower land. The four- to seven-inch level is what passed for topsoil for many years. It’s really upper subsoil.

Precision ag on Blackstrap farm

Extracting a soil sample to help identify a problem

My Dundurn farm is rolling Weyburn/Elstow loam with some very eroded knolls. For many years the combine raced over the knolls with little pouring in the hopper. The erosion over the decades was by water, but much of it from annual tillage — especially in the days of summerfallow. A few years ago I acquired a […] Read more

Well at U. of S. Goodale farm (r).

Artesian wells are not always good

Artesian wells are amazing phenomena. But they can cause salinity in the soil

Flowing artesian wells are a fascinating piece of Mother Nature in action. “Artesian” means that the water level rises above the depth of completion. The sand aquifer is confined by clay layers and pressure builds up. If the water level in the well is above the completion zone but below the ground, it is a […] Read more


Farming your marginal land

Pulling marginal acres into production may look like an attractive proposition. But there are strings attached

Pushing marginal land into grain production may add up to short-term gains when grain prices crest. But it comes with risks, too. “I would have some grave concerns about the notion of bringing marginal land back into annual grain production,” says Dr. Reynald Lemke, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Lemke examines how farming […] Read more

Todd Botterill says strip till can offer lower fuel and equipment costs.

The profit in strip till

There is increasing interest in strip till. 
When considering it for your farm, think 
about profit and conservation, not just yield

Strip till is becoming a common practice through much of the U.S. corn belt, especially in Highly Erodable Land (or HEL ground) areas where the U.S. National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has strict guidelines against working the full width of the seedbed. Many wonder if this practice can be transferred to Western Canada, especially with […] Read more