GFM Network News


This operator holds the NutriScan soil diagnostic tool against a soil sample in the field. A soil analysis is available 
within minutes.

A real-time soil analysis in minutes

New technology brings diagnostic tool to the field

Are you ready for in-field soil testing technology that in a matter of minutes can give you a read of what nutrients are available or perhaps, more importantly, deficient for your crop? Here comes NutriScan. That’s the technology Concentric Ag and its plant nutrient division, ATP Nutrition, is offering to western Canadian farmers this fall, […] Read more

John Deere has added real-time nutrient analysis for 
liquid manure to the HarvestLab 3000.

John Deere adds to HarvestLab 3000

Real-time manure nutrient-sensing feature added

One of the most difficult things for producers who use liquid manure to aid in field fertility is determining what level of nutrients is actually being applied. John Deere’s HarvestLab 3000 can now provide a real-time analysis of applied manure and allow operators to even out application rates. Deere introduced the HarvestLab 3000 back in […] Read more


Getting ready for next year’s crop

Q & A with Nutrien Ag Solutions

Q. As the 2019 growing season wraps up, what should I do to plan for 2020? A. As the current season ends, growers have an excellent opportunity to carry lessons learned into next year. Now is a good time to take stock of observations made from the swather or combine cab. Lodging may be an […] Read more

Clark Brenzil speaks to farmers at Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Crop Diagnostic School in 2017.

Herbicide carryover may be high risk

If it was dry after last year’s application, there may be soil-residual herbicides

Crop selection for the 2019 growing season could prove challenging for growers in some parts of the Prairies, as a lack of rainfall means soil-residual herbicides could impact crop establishment. Moisture after application is critical for herbicide breakdown. In areas where rainfall was patchy at best, growers need to be conservative when selecting crops to […] Read more


Les Henry: Peanut scrambles or problem solving?

We need agricultural research, but we also need to fund the right agricultural research

The need for ongoing programs of agricultural research to keep our industry functioning and profitable is without question. But how it is organized, how the money is spent and on what basis the money is allocated needs some discussion. Recently I have spent some time perusing the websites of various agricultural research funding organizations — […] Read more

LaserAg offers these small cups for soil collection. Sample takers can use LaserAg’s software to determine where to sample. Scanning the bar code on the top of the cup with a smartphone after the sample is taken will automatically record information about the sample, including the exact location. Filled cups can be submitted by mail, and results will be returned electronically within two weeks.

New soil test company on the block

New technology is bringing another way to test the soil on your farm

Jacques Nault’s brother Charles Nault first heard about Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technology at a pharmaceutical conference. “It was presented as a tool to do quality control, to make sure pills contained the right molecules,” Jacques Nault says. As co-founders of LogiAg, an agronomy service and technology firm based in Chateauguay, Quebec, the Nault brothers began imagining how LIBS […] Read more


Five Q and As on soil testing

Here’s what you need to know to make sure your plants have all the right nutrients

Soil testing will help you give your crop the best possible start. Dr. Jeff Schoenau, soil fertility expert at the University of Saskatchewan, delivered a free webinar on soil earlier this winter. Schoenau had answers to five common questions about soil testing and fertility.

Pea root rot.

Researching root rot control in peas

Evaluating the benefits of seed treatments, soil amendments and soil tests

There’s still a lot to learn when it comes to managing root rot, especially aphanomyces. When are seed treatments most effective? Do soil amendments help? And can soil testing help farmers pick the best pea fields? Fortunately, research is underway to answer those very questions. Dr. Syama Chatterton, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researcher […] Read more


This photo and the one further down are of the canola on my “breaking” land — recently broken land (this is only the second time its been under a seed drill). The pictures were taken on July 27, 2015. In fall 2014 the soil test N in this field was only 20 lbs./acre to one foot but the zero to six inch level organic matter was 6.5 per cent. The “normal” areas in this field got 94 lbs. N/acre as anhydrous. This area got only the 20 lbs. N/acre as broadcast 21-0-0-24. Obviously, mineralization is providing much of the N. My zone fertilization plan involves telling the custom applicator to leave out the breaking and salty ground. It works!

Soil: Test the right pound of ground

If you don’t measure what you have, you can’t know what to add. Know the basics of taking soil tests

First, some general tips around soil testing. The first thing to note about soil testing is that it is an index — it is not like a dipstick in a crankcase. A soil test (index) rates a soil as very low to excessive and is one piece of information to guide fertilizer use. But, use […] Read more

Euan Evans, plant pathologist points out the value of providing a crop the whole nutrient package to optimize yields.

Soil testing more relevant than ever

If you don’t know what nutrients are in the soil it’s hard to meet your crop’s needs

To optimize crop yields, Ieuan Evans, a well-known western Canadian plant pathologist, urges farmers to get back to the basics — do a soil test and follow the recommendations. Evans, speaking to farmers at the Ag In Motion farm show near Saskatoon in July says farmers have been advised since the beginning of modern agriculture […] Read more