GFM Network News


As late as 1987, one big rain event did all this damage to a summerfallow field near Eastend, Sask.

Les Henry: Soil productivity, quality and health

Nature and nurture

Soil health is a prominent topic in current scientific and farm management literature. It is good to see attention being paid to the soil resource our industry depends on. In this piece, we will try to unravel some of the principles and the practical application of those principles. From the get-go, we must realize farming […] Read more

The MobiLab requires precise but not difficult sample preparation and processing.

iMetos releases its newest version of MobiLab

A fast, easy-to-use, portable soil lab that measures nutrients from soil and plant sap

To maximize crop yields depends on optimizing nutrient management: applying the right product at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. Since no field is perfectly consistent, the challenge lies in figuring out what precise nutrients are needed where. Enter MobiLab, an easy-to-operate, portable lab that produces on-farm, lab-quality, soil […] Read more


Some crops are a little more salt tol­erant — like canola shown above as well as alfalfa, corn, oats and wheat — and you will probably not see sig­nificant yield loss until you hit a conductivity number of about two mS/cm, says Lyle Cowell with Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Crops and saline soils

Plant something, but choose carefully

When it comes to planting most annual cash crops on saline land, Lyle Cowell does not mince words: stop. “When a cattle farm has a cow that is no longer productive, that cattle farmer will not continue to try to breed that cow. It will be culled,” says the agronomist with Nutrien Ag Solutions in […] Read more

John Deere says its new line of heavy harrows features a quick folding and unfolding sequence to help farmers move more quickly between fields. (Deere.com)

Degelman to make heavy harrows for Deere

Regina company reaches OEM agreement for new line

Major U.S. farm equipment manufacturer John Deere Co. has launched a new line of heavy harrows — and is going to Saskatchewan to get them. Regina equipment maker Degelman Industries announced Tuesday it has reached an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) agreement to provide Deere with a line of three heavy harrow models, the HH50, HH70 […] Read more


A soil core showing the dry layer from one- to three-foot depths. In this situation, the only plant-available water is in the top foot. Roots will not penetrate the dry layer to access the moist soil beneath. Sufficient rain must fall to wet up the dry layer before the deeper moisture comes into play.

Les Henry: Soil moisture and rain

One plus one does not always equal two

Soil moisture as a soil management issue has finally come into its own with the advent of tech savvy young folk using soil moisture probes to get real information in real time. Thanks to those who provide me with information to help make the annual, three-province, Soil Moisture Map as of freeze-up. To make a […] Read more

Friendly Acres Seed Farm’s Kevin Elmy is the founder of Cover Crops Canada and the author of Cover Cropping in Western Canada.

It’s all about making healthier soil

Get soil chemistry and organisms back on track

What do you want to change about your cropping operation? That’s the first question farmers need to think about as they look into the relatively new world of regenerative agriculture (regen ag). It’s a big subject area, with plenty of variables, layers and “twists,” say agronomy consultants who work with producers on implementing regen ag […] Read more


Les Henry: The ground beneath our feet

Les Henry: The ground beneath our feet

To understand soil, we must understand what is beneath it

Hang on tight — this could be a rough ride. I will take you down some very deep gopher holes and hopefully stretch your mind a bit in the process. We are not talking about those claustrophobic tubes that run underground in places like Toronto or New York or about criminal activities. We are talking […] Read more

“For a long time, producers have been using automation and ECUs to control their application pieces. We’re starting to see that come into the tillage units now.” – Kris Wright.

Seedbed-sensing system optimizes tillage tool operation

Case IH’s Soil Command brings remote-sensing tech to the world of tillage

Remote sensing has become part of the furniture on a great deal of farm equipment over the past several years. Whether used for data collection, feedback or variable-rate functions, the tech has become almost synonymous for precision agriculture. Why it matters: The seedbed-sensing system delivers real-time feedback from shank-mounted sensors to the tractor cab, informing […] Read more


How to get the best results from your tillage tools

How to get the best results from your tillage tools

Farm equipment leaders from Case IH, Lemken and Salford Group offer their top tips on diagnosing and removing compaction areas and tillage tool efficiency

What do agronomists and equipment companies have in common? At one time or another, both talk to producers about how to improve production on their farms. Use the correct tillage tools and make the appropriate adjustments to them to ensure you’re getting the best results. Agronomists do this because, well, that’s their explicit job description. […] Read more

Figure 2. A field of Weyburn loam soil association.

Les Henry: The importance of naming soils

Let’s peel away the fancy stuff and boil it down to something useful at the farmgate

[UPDATED: Oct. 30, 2020] Naming (classifying) soils is not the same as naming plants or animals. Plant classification can be a purely scientific endeavour and they name a plant by genus (Triticum = wheat) and species (Triticum aestivum = bread wheat). Classifying soils is a complex affair not always understood. In this short piece, we […] Read more