GFM Network News



My experiences with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance have been mostly positive. – Les Henry

Les Henry: Government farm programs

My experience as a two-bit farmer

Farm programs are much in the news these days. “I am from the government and am here to help you.” Have you ever heard that one before? Full disclosure — I am not an ag economist so this is largely opinion backed up with facts based on my experience as a two-bit farmer. A bit […] Read more


‘When moisture is the overriding limiting factor to crop yield, even the best land will not pay the mortgage in the long run. The past decade of extra precipitation has led to prices that, I think, are not sustainable.’ – Les Henry.

Les Henry: Farmland prices and net farm income

Beware the other side of the average

We have had recent inquiries about an update on farmland values. Our previous columns on this topic have included only Saskatchewan data. As I began to search for updated data, I stumbled upon Statistics Canada data for all three Prairie provinces. As well, net income from 1926 to 2019 was available. The raw data is […] Read more



The original wood framed EM38 complete with store string. Readers of Henry’s Handbook can check out page 81 to get the story behind the store string.

Les Henry: The EM38 Field Scout

The EM38 always gives the right answer — what that answer means in terms of soil interpretation is up to the user and experience

This piece is intended primarily for PAgs and CCAs and the farmers they serve. Field scouting of crops and soils has become an important part of the services provided. Grainews carries a regular column highlighting examples of crop-problem scouting by agronomists with Richardson Pioneer. I read the column each issue and often learn something new […] Read more

This well data can be interpreted as a 30-year net cumulative drought from 1975 to 2005.

Les Henry: On salty ground

We’ve come full circle in the soil salinity cycle

This topic was not on the to-do list for this winter. Soil salinity is a very hot topic right now and many farmers are concerned they will have no land to farm if it carries on like this. The last time I remember such concern about soil salinity was during the late 1970s and early […] Read more


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 photo shows NE26 Township 11 Range 11, west of Meridian 1, three miles east of Austin, Man. The soils are of the Almassippi association. The details of individual soils are all available online at Manitoba Agri-Maps at the Agrimaps website (see link at right).

Les Henry: Nitrate down the well

Quit porking on so much N

This song has been sung before in this column. With the death of babies as a possible consequence, it bears repeating. Nitrate in the environment In a native grass environment like my grandfather and yours broke up to farm, nitrate was a rare molecule. Native grass evolved by staying brown and doing nothing when it […] Read more


Les Henry: Harvest, not crops with a combine but information online

Les Henry: Harvest, not crops with a combine but information online

Hopefully this “old stuff” will prevent folks from rediscovering the moon

This is a bit of a different theme. It is all about harvesting information that could be useful in planning and executing farm operations on the Canadian Prairies. The title, “Harvest,” comes from our very own University of Saskatchewan Library research archive, and the wealth of information that can be obtained with a few mouse […] Read more

Snow on March 28, 2013, at my Dundurn farm. My asparagus patch is between the quonset and the trees. Snow was four to six feet deep.


Les Henry: A snow job

Snow as a water source for crops

When we made the first-ever Soil Moisture Map in 1978, it was early days in the quest to get rid of as much summerfallow as possible. Those with Henry’s Handbook can check out page 109 to see that first map. The legend has stayed much the same. The objective of the map was to let […] Read more