GFM Network News


Manure being spread at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center.

Troublesome weeds spread through manure

Weed seeds pass unharmed through the digestive tracts of animals such as cattle and sheep

Using some kinds of manure as fertilizer can lead to the spread of noxious and troublesome weeds. “It is a known fact that weed seeds pass unharmed through the digestive tracts of ruminant animals (cattle, sheep),” says Mary Keena, livestock environmental management specialist based at North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center. “This means that whatever weed seeds

Ben Hartman and Rachel Hershberger grow vegetables on just over half an acre near Goshen, Indiana.

Ruthlessly cutting waste can allow small farms to prosper

A mindset originally developed in the rice fields of Japan still translates to the modern North American farm

Ruthless cutting of waste in all its forms has long allowed farmers — from 1600s Japan to reconstruction-era Alabama — to make a living on tiny plots of land. It’s how today’s small-scale farmers can do the same, says farmer and author Ben Hartman. “Turning waste into useful channels should be the slogan of every


A truck spreads manure onto a field in this file photo.

Province issues variance on nutrient application

Based on soil conditions and weather forecasts, Manitoba Conservation and Climate has issued a variance on winter application of nutrients. Producers could begin applying nutrients as of 12:01 a.m. March 23, 2021. Manitoba Conservation and Climate reminds producers to assess current weather conditions and periodically check weather forecasts when applying nutrients prior to April 11.

Thanks to Jim Lundgren, who farms at Glenora, Man., about 85 km west of Morden, for this photo of his early start to spring tillage on March 20, 2021, owing to the recent absence of snow and/or rain in the area. Not that it’s a race, but is spring fieldwork already underway where you are? If yes, feel free to snap a photo and email us at daveb@fbcpublishing.com. (Photo courtesy Jim Lundgren)

Manitoba soil temperatures allow for spring fertilizer

Winter ban lifted, with cautions

Farmers across Manitoba are now cleared to apply spring fertilizers including livestock manure on their fields, thanks to sufficiently warm soil temperatures, the province said Tuesday. Though the winter nutrient ban has been lifted, the province cautioned producers to “assess current weather conditions and periodically check weather forecasts” if they’re applying anytime between now and

Don Flaten.

The head of his class

Don Flaten became one of Western Canada’s first agronomists — and he’s been training them ever since

When Don Flaten looks back over his career, one of the standout memories was a doubt-ridden walk across the parking lot at the University of Manitoba in 1995 as he transitioned from administrative duties to teaching. “I didn’t cross that parking lot with a lot of confidence that day. I really wondered if it would


Alastair Handley, president of Radicle.

No getting off the carbon reduction train

Farmers might be able to sway government but Mr. Market is speaking loud and clear

Climate change initiatives such as carbon taxes might elicit a lot of negativity in the Canadian agriculture sector. But ignoring them could also mean ignoring big opportunities, according to Alastair Handley, president of Radicle (formerly Carbon Credit Solutions). He’s been involved in carbon markets since 2007, when he started developing a system for Alberta farmers

An agronomist examines cotton plants in Batesville, Mississippi in 2018.

Aiming for green profits

North American farmers benefit as consumers pressure food businesses to go green

Reuters – Beer made from rice grown with less water, rye planted in the off-season and the sale of carbon credits to tech firms are just a few of the changes North American farmers are making as the food industry strives to go green. The changes are enabling some farmers to earn extra money from industry giants like Cargill,

Forecast: Seasonable with a chance of snow

Forecast issued Nov. 6, 2020, covering the period from Nov. 11 to 18, 2020

Once again, last week’s forecast did a pretty good job with the major weather features. We saw a nice warmup last week with a few locations breaking record highs last Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the weather models predicted a storm system over the weekend, and as I write this on Friday, it looks like that


(Valio84sl/iStock/Getty Images)

Tech firm aims to boost regenerative ag through A.I., machine learning

Terramera proposes to cut emissions, sequester carbon through efficiencies

A Vancouver ag tech firm is pitching a proposal to both public- and private-sector investors that would use Microsoft technology to help the ag sector “pull carbon from the air.” Terramera on Monday put forward a $730 million proposal for an initiative it calls the Global Centre for Regenerative Agriculture, which would oversee efforts to

Karen Klassen farms near Manitou with dad George.

N2O study a call to action, say advocates

Farmers for Climate Solutions is calling on the federal government to incentivize reducing N2O emissions

Farmers and the federal government must work together to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), says one advocacy group following the publication of a new study showing global increase in the gas. N2O can ‘gas off’ nitrogen fertilizer applied to fields. “There are many promising ways to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use that are