GFM Network News


It didn’t take much disturbance to raise the dust during a tillage demonstration at the 2018 Ag In Motion farm show.

Well here is a game changing concept

Profitable crop production with little or no added inputs. Is someone talking nonsense?

Talk about an interesting contrast in messages! In one week during my summer travels I attended a first-in-Canada Soil Health School in Manning (Alberta Peace River region) and a few days later I was eating dust at a tillage demonstration at the Ag In Motion farm show at Langham, Sask. My old brain had to […] Read more

Four ways to increase your organic matter

A question that I hear a lot is, “How do cover crops fit into a grain operation?” Lots of grain farmers have no desire to get into the livestock business and no interest in producing hay. But many have some soil issues that need to be addressed. This can be done by buying more iron […] Read more


Testing the calcium response

Cavalier Agrow is running field trials to test the agronomics of calcium

An independent ag retailer in northwest Saskatchewan is examining the agronomics of applying calcium. So far they’ve found the best yield response and economic return in the most calcium-deficient soils. “As those calcium levels went up — no surprise — our returns came down,” said Greg Frey, location manager for Cavalier Agrow near Meota, Sask. […] Read more

The plants in the unaffected areas were showing typical drought symptoms, such as pale colouring, shorter stature, minimal plant branching, and trace pod abortion throughout.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s wrong with this patchy canola crop?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the March 6, 2018 issue of Grainews

Ted, a Saskatchewan producer who owns a 3,000-acre mixed grain operation near Elrose, asked me to visit his farm last year on July 12. The visit was to assess if diamondback moth larvae populations in his canola field had reached levels necessary to warrant an insecticide application, to save the crop’s yield. Due to lack […] Read more


Derek and Tannis Axten with their children Kate, 13, and Brock, 11, know if they look after the soil it will produce.

Canada’s OYF: Nominees from Saskatchewan

Derek and Tannis Axten focus on encouraging soil biology

Daring to be different may enrich your spirit, but it can also leave you cash poor. If you’re Derek and Tannis Axten, however, you wind up having your fungicide-free cake and eating it too. While the 2017 Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Award winners for Saskatchewan began their farming career on a well-trodden path, the route […] 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


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



OMAFRA seen needing a soil health ‘tuneup’

Ontario’s environmental commissioner is calling on the provincial ag ministry to rebuild its soil health expertise and find ways to encourage farmers to adopt soil-friendly production practices, to deal with what she calls a “catastrophic” loss in soil organic matter levels. The report recommends better soil carbon level monitoring and 10-year programs to financially encourage […] Read more

Soil health sensor project largest in North America

A new $2-million soil health research project aims to figure out the impact of different cropping systems on the environment. Research will also be conducted on crop productivity relating to soil health. The result should be new knowledge on productivity of traditional cropping systems versus those with cover crops. The project, at the new Soil […] Read more