GFM Network News


Canadian farmers can help save the planet and themselves by cutting petroleum-based farm inputs, according to a discussion paper written by farmer, researcher and author Darrin Qualman in co-operation with the National Farmers Union.

Rethinking the Green Revolution

Canada needs to ‘swing for the fences’ and transform its agriculture, says a new discussion paper

The climate change and farm income crisis have many of the same causes and solutions, according to a major new discussion paper. Cutting back on petroleum-based inputs, including nitrogen fertilizer, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and increase net farm incomes by lowering input costs. The result: more farmers and revitalized rural communities, says the

Today’s drones are great at selecting pastures and tracking cattle, can read an ear tag from 70 metres up, and offer spectral imaging a hundred times more powerful than 
satellites, says researcher John Church. And while they’re not good at herding, drone technology is close to offering health assessments of individual cows.

Plunging prices and better tech should put drones on your radar

Drones with sophisticated imaging tech can be robust precision tools for managing cattle on pasture

Producers are always being pitched new technology, and the marketing din is arguably louder than ever in this age of precision agriculture. So when producers ask if unmanned aerial vehicles are just expensive toys, it’s a fair question. While John Church would be the first to admit he has a lot of fun researching the


Don Flaten shows the students how to mix and package soil samples to be sent to the lab.

Revisiting the basics of soil sampling and testing

We 
tagged along 
with agronomy students for a soil-sampling primer, and how 
it helps farmers 
make informed decisions

Soil testing. One could call it the agricultural equivalent of a blood test, which shows which and what quantity of nutrients are in the soil so producers can make informed decisions about next year’s nutrient strategy. But less than half of farmers soil test every year, according to stats from Manitoba Agriculture. In 2016, 41

Editor’s Take: Productivity potential

A recent agriculture report from the Royal Bank of Canada paints a picture of a sector with big opportunities and big challenges. Farmer 4.0: How the coming skills revolution can transform agriculture is all-in on the concept of farms thriving in the digital age. It paints a picture of autonomous equipment, sensor-driven agronomy and other

Amy Mangin of the University of Manitoba displays her results on split nitrogen application in high-yielding spring wheat. Wheat was one of many crops highlighted during Crops-A-Palooza in Carberry in July.

Split nitrogen pays off on protein, not yield

High-yielding wheat varieties need a lot of nitrogen, but new research suggests that splitting that application may decrease the economic and ecological risk while also paying dividends on protein

Split nitrogen application could boost protein in spring wheat, but it might be hard to gauge whether that boost adds actual financial value in a given season. Amy Mangin and Don Flaten, both crop nutrition researchers with the University of Manitoba, have been hoping to update nitrogen management in spring wheat, given the new genetics


Faster internet may bring technology to more farms

In 2017, 84 per cent of farmers were using precision ag tech, but half said their internet wasn’t fast enough

Rural internet improvements may have implications for precision agriculture, farm technology — and Netflix binging. “We all hate waiting for that circle of death,” said Trevor Armitage, vice-president of global operations at Farmers Edge, referring to the familiar buffering symbol used while waiting for available bandwidth to catch up to demand. He said user experience drives much

Christian Wytinck of Cypress River says GPS has a myriad of uses on the family’s farms, mostly revolving around greater efficiency.

Section control helps farmer find more acres

GPS locates overlooked acres

Christian Wytinck always seemed to run out of seed be- fore he finished seeding one of the fields on the family’s farm operation near Cypress River, Man. “We just bought this one field close by and when we went to farm it, Dad thought it would seed 295 acres, but when I went to actually