GFM Network News


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

New dean of agriculture named for U of S

Soil science prof Angela Bedard-Haughn takes over Aug. 15

One of Western Canada’s major post-secondary ag institutions will get a new hand at the wheel this summer. The University of Saskatchewan announced Wednesday it has named soil science professor Angela Bedard-Haughn as the dean for its College of Agriculture and Bioresources for a five-year term starting Aug. 15. Raised on a family farm in […] 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: Soil salinity and tile drainage

Can investing in tile drainage make your Prairie soil less saline and more profitable?

The idea for this subject came from a recent phone call from a farmer in west-central Saskatchewan. He was considering the purchase of a piece of land that was priced below recent sales but did have salinity problems. He was wondering about the feasibility of tile drainage to fix the problem and make the land […] Read more


Dwayne Beck, research and production manager at the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, spoke at the Regenerative Agriculture Forum in Brandon, Man.

Want to reduce pests and increase profits?

On the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, regenerative ag means good soil, good profits

When a group of farmers near Pierre, South Dakota, established the Dakota Lakes Research Farm in 1986, their main focus was on irrigation and water issues. At the recent Regenerative Agriculture Forum in Brandon, Man., Dakota Lakes research and production manager, Dwayne Beck, described how he and his team have focused on better managing the […] Read more

Farmers take a look at smaller-scale plots on a tour of the research farm at Carman, Man., in the summer of 2019.

Testing the cover crop hypothesis

Agronomy researchers are catching up with what farmers are doing in their fields

It’s an exciting time for cover crop research. Last summer, many large-scale cover crop trials were underway across the Prairies looking at everything from cover crop combinations, rotations and planting methods to pollinator strips. One of the biggest ongoing projects, funded by Western Grains Research Foundation, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers and Manitoba Pulse and […] Read more


This graphic shows salty patches on my Blackstrap farm. The main actor is the aquifer underneath the water runways. 
A neighbour’s flowing well in a runway about a mile away is the evidence for the artesian condition.

Les Henry: How does ground get salty?

What causes salty ground, and a two-step process to fix the problem in your fields

After scribbling for this many years, it is no surprise that I’ll repeat the same song several times. Perhaps if I sing the song in a different tune it will resonate with more people. Salty ground is one such topic and this time I’ll try a new approach. A few years back this column predicted […] Read more

Some modern agricultural practices are reducing stable organic matter and driving many soils to be bacterially dominated.

Bacterial-based soils: addicted to crop inputs

Adding high-quality carbon to our soils can make farming more fun and profitable


Soils everywhere in the world consist of air, minerals, water and organic matter. Where the difference occurs is in the composition of soil in different places. As agricultural producers, we can only really manage the organic matter. In a conference this winter, Jay Fuhrer, a conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bismarck, North […] Read more


Soil health can often be defined in the eye of the beholder.

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

Warren Eilers, in a slough bottom with an EM38. This spot is flushed of almost all salts.

Horse pasture soil salinity: beware of new ground

Land has been left in grass for a reason. And sometimes this reason is salinity

In the mid to late 1970s soil salinity was the biggest issue on many Prairie farms. The hue and cry was that we would soon have little land left to farm. Some said salinity was increasing by 10 per cent per year but I never bought into that number. From 1975 to 1980 we held […] Read more