GFM Network News


This almost-robot looking device is the John Deere Field Connects weather station that collects a wide range of environmental data such as rainfall, solar intensity and wind speed. The weather station also ties into the moisture probe which is installed near the steel post at right.

Are you leaving water on the table?

New app and service gives producers a better handle on moisture

Since technology so far can’t make it start or stop raining on dryland farms, it is obviously important to make the most efficient use of moisture that is available during the growing season. But how much moisture do or will you have for that crop? Depending on the year and location, spring seedbed soil moisture can range from […] Read more

Saskatchewan to tap farm leaders for drainage board

Representatives from four Saskatchewan farmer organizations will sit on a new provincial advisory board on farm drainage policy. The provincial government on Tuesday announced the creation of two advisory boards: a policy development board and technical review board. Specific members haven’t yet been named to either board, but the province said the policy advisory board […] Read more


This graphic, from a University of Minnesota Extension Bulletin, shows some common designs for tile drainage.

Trying tile drainage on your farm

There's information out there. Do your homework before starting tile drainage

I am not an engineer and will not give recipes for pipe size, spacing or equipment. Rather, I’ll look at the principles and steps a farmer should take before investing big bucks in tiles. Tile drainage is not a new technology. Many of the better soils of the world are on flat, low lying, high […] Read more



A centre-pivot irrigation system.

Manage water to optimize wheat, canola production

Use your irrigation system to its full potential by asking these four question about water needs

Often the most limiting nutrient in irrigated crop production is water! Many irrigation farmers tend to under-irrigate their crops, which limits yield potential. Often the main reasons for under-irrigation are simply not checking soil moisture frequently and starting the irrigation system too late. Knowing the answers to these four questions can help. 1. How much water does […] Read more

Though there have been worse floods along the Red River in Manitoba, 2009 still packed a punch for many farmers.

Extreme weather events: Part 3 of a three-part series

In the third part of a three-part series on water, Les Henry takes a look at the long term

The past few wet years have left some folks wondering if this is the new normal. What with Global Warming and all, perhaps we will have to live with these wet extremes. What we fail to recognize is that our experiences — even old fossils like me — are but a very brief flash in […] Read more


There are parts of southern Ontario where nearly three quarters of all agricultural land is tile drained. It’s what farmers do there.

Understanding farm water issues

Water: it’s necessary for life. But add the word “drainage” and it can also start fights

Corn prices. Why am I getting emails with those words in the subject line? Why does Gmail’s spam filter let that slip by? I’ve been telling people for a couple years now that I farm. To border guards and others who’d trust or like me more if I worked with my hands, I am a […] Read more

This farmer is doing a diy tile draining installation.

Do-it-yourself tile drainage

Combine easy-to-use GPS technology with high land prices, and more Manitoba farmers are installing their own tile draining

Tile drainage has become increasingly popular in Manitoba. With only a few installers to go around and costs anywhere from $800 to $1,000 per acre, some adventurous farmers are opting to give it a go themselves. Northern Plains Drainage Systems Inc. of Carman has sold over 50 tile plows to farmers across Western Canada in […] Read more