GFM Network News


Water is key to spraying operations, and that’s been in short supply this spring.

Where’s the water?

Water restrictions threw another wrench into spray season for producers in early June

In a spray season that has already seen frost warnings, heat waves and high winds, producers in early June were dealing with yet another problem — lack of water. Water restrictions were making headlines in early June, with some treatment plants reporting worryingly low levels of potable water. Why it matters: High-quality water is in

This field of alfalfa in Manitoba’s Interlake on June 12 got a boost with recent precipitation, but many forage crops are stunted due to cool temps and very dry soils this season.

Cream of alfalfa crop to come up short

Dairy producers anticipate alfalfa shortfall as high quality first cut approaches

Growers targeting high quality alfalfa are typically rolling by mid-June, but this year’s dairy quality hay might involve a lot of driving for little yield. David Wiens, chair of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, said he expects stand quality to be high, but that yield will likely to fall shy of normal. Alfalfa crops, “look


Second list of Crown lands opened for hay

Second list of Crown lands opened for hay

Producers have until June 21, after the province announced a second list of Crown lands opened for haying due to concerns of looming poor forage

Livestock producers have one more week to put their names in the hat for an extra list of Crown lands opened for haying this year. On May 18, the province announced that parcels of wildlife management areas and non-agricultural Crown land would once again be listed for casual hay permits, echoing similar provisions made in

The Manitoba Pork Council claims that the price of a farm visit to pick up deadstock has dramatically increased compared with other provinces where the biowaste recycling company, Rothsay, operates.

Rendering complaint fails to gain traction

The Manitoba Pork Council says its pricing complaint will not be pursued by the Competition Bureau of Canada

The Manitoba Pork Council says it is disappointed it won’t get its day with the Competition Bureau of Canada after filing a complaint on a hike in fees for on-farm deadstock pickup. Why it matters: The Competition Bureau of Canada has opted not to take up the Manitoba Pork Council’s complaint against deadstock pickup fees.

Walmart Canada will be the first retailer in Canada to offer on-pack certified sustainable claims on a line of beef products.

Walmart to add sustainable beef label

Packages of Walmart Canada beef patties will sport a sustainability claim from the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

Canadians buying their groceries at Walmart will be getting more familiar with certified sustainable beef. On May 10, Walmart Canada announced that beef patties from the Your Fresh Market brand will add an on-package product claim based on standards from the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB). The brand will now feature the CRSB’s “mass


Manitoba farmers are finding the spray window an elusive target this season.

It’s a hard crop protection season on multiple fronts

How to manage a dry and windy spray season that has gone from below freezing to extreme heat in a matter of days

Producers are told to spray when weeds are growing, but with both weeds and crop both reeling from a string of stresses and Mother Nature not co-operating, that spray window has been hard to pin down. Why it matters: Hardened weeds and poor spray conditions may leave producers with less effective weed control than they

Agriculture has not escaped the pressure to cut back or find alternatives for plastics, including commonly used products like bale wrap.

Agriculture an opportunity in the push against plastics

Agricultural residues are often critical pieces in bioplastics, including products now being developed as plastic alternatives for agriculture and agri-food

The world according to bioplastic developers would look a lot more cyclical. In an age of campaigns against single-use plastic, zero-waste social media influencers and increased public interest in sustainable packaging, bioplastics — which replace polymers from fossil fuels with biological sources — have been touted as a biodegradable and sustainable alternative. But as much

Avoiding the greenwash

Avoiding the greenwash

Biodegradable does not always mean compostable when it comes to bioplastics

“Biodegradable” bioplastics are not always equal, according to Amar Mohanty, director of the University of Guelph’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre. In fact, he says, “the term ‘biodegradable’ is very misused by many people.” Bioplastics have been touted as a more sustainable option to traditional plastics, but not all bioplastics are biodegradable, and not all


A new recycling program has been announced for grain bags and bale twine in Manitoba.

Agri-plastic recycling program launched

Bale twine and grain bags will be accepted under the new provincially regulated program

Manitoba is looking to recycle more agricultural plastics. On May 26, the province announced the launch of an agri-plastics stewardship program targeting grain bags and bale twine, to be managed by agricultural recycling organization Cleanfarms. “What this means, really, is that farmers have access to a reliable program and one that’s going to be available year over year to recycle their grain

A very dry period caused a major bout of blowing dust earlier this month, seen here near the outskirts of Portage la Prairie.

No rush to roll pulses

Dry soil might make this a good year for post-emergence field rolling, according to experts

Producers may want to adopt their dry-weather mentality when it comes to managing pulse acres. For many Manitoba growers, it’s time for field rolling once crops like soybeans are safely in the ground. But Dennis Lange, a pulse specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, says rolling should not be automatic. Instead, he argues, producers should be actively gauging whether rolling is