GFM Network News


The one-metre side wall fans are angled at 22 degrees and spaced every three metres providing one fan for every four beds.

New hybrid barn solves ventilation challenge

A new take on free-stall barn design meets its functionality goals

One of the most difficult decisions dairy farmers face when building a new free-stall barn is determining the best ventilation system for the facility. A building can be ventilated naturally by putting a hole in the roof and allowing air to come in through the side, while the cow heats the air up. A barn

Carol Boonstoppel says she’s already seen European cheese displacing Canadian products as loss leaders at supermarkets.

Canadians want their own dairy farmers

Shoppers are seeking out the Blue Cow logo in a show of support

Manitoba’s dairy farmers are beginning to find their footing in a new world that, for the first time in decades, includes significant dairy product imports. That was the message a three-producer panel shared with the Manitoba Co-operator, at the recent Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM) annual convention. A year ago those same producers spoke to


Getting HR right a challenge

A new focus on human rights requires care and respect by farm employers

One of the biggest challenges facing farmers is finding the right people at the right time to work on their farms. It’s a situation made even more challenging by a changing hiring landscape that puts limitations on the kind of questions an employer can ask of a prospective employee, according to one expert in the

There’s a trend to higher yields for earlier-seeded crops — but don’t ignore the risks.

Early seeding comes with risks

They can be managed but the issues shouldn’t be ignored

As the weather warms, thoughts turn to early seeding — but how to balance the risks and rewards of the practice? According to crop insurance data, early-seeded crops tend to show increased yields compared to later-seeded crops. But there are risks involved. For example, nutrient availability and uptake, particularly phosphorus, is severely hampered in cold,

The heavy coulters seen here use their uneven profile to transmit forces sideways. Some say it breaks up soil compaction 
but local soil specialists aren’t so sure.

The vertical-tillage question defies pat answers

The controversial practice can serve a purpose, but won’t solve soil compaction

Vertical tillage is a tricky term to grapple with. It’s less a method of tillage than it is a grouping of implements sold under that banner. It is marketed as a means to deal with soil compaction but in reality the implements marketed under that umbrella do little to address that problem. Yet, in certain


Brian Tischler’s autonomous tractor.

The future of autonomous agriculture is here. Should we embrace it?

The answer to that question boils down to liability, liability and more liability

We have heard a lot in recent years about self-driving vehicles. Technology has arrived that makes the concept affordable and relatively simple. Alberta farmer, Brian Tischler spoke to an audience at the CropConnect conference in Winnipeg last month to provide insights into what that new tech means for farmers. Tischler is something of a hobbyist

Manitoba growers haven’t yet voted with their acres when it comes to accepting corn as a major crop in the province, 
despite some modest growth.

Corn’s future should be bright in Manitoba

The results of five years of corn agronomy research show it to be among the most profitable crops but farmers aren’t yet adopting it widely

Corn has seen some moderate acreage gains recently as a crop for farmers in Manitoba, and for good reason. The yield per acre seeded has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. But that growth in acres hasn’t been exponential as well. It’s been more in the realm of the slow and steady. For example,

Root galls are the only way to know if a dead patch in your canola field is clubroot.

Clubroot: Coming soon to a canola field near you

Manitoba Agriculture tour offers insights and strategies on clubroot management

Clubroot isn’t yet a significant challenge for Manitoba canola growers. But the emphasis these days is on ‘yet.’ The first cases in the province were discovered in 2013, and more cases are popping up every year. Last August Manitoba Agriculture announced a further eight. That demonstrates how the disease has persistently and stubbornly survived and


Morag Margerison, a farm safety consultant, hopes five years of guaranteed funding will mean many farm visits in the future.

Government fixes farm safety funding

The Manitoba Farm Safety Program: It’s free, confidential and funded for at least another five years

In the midst of a farm safety seminar kicking off the annual meeting of the Keystone Agricultural Producers, some good news arrived. In a joint announcement the federal and provincial agriculture ministers revealed a $1.1-million funding program over five years to support farm safety programming in the province. The program is designed to develop safety

Desmond Essien speaking at the New and Emerging Research session on December 12 at the Prairie Livestock Expo in Winnipeg.

Biofilters a natural way to control hog barn odour

Odour mitigation is an important question for the future of Manitoba’s growing hog industry

A new research project at the University of Manitoba is taking aim at hog manure odours the natural way. PhD student Desmond Essien is investigating the potential of using biofilters as an odour mitigation technology for use in swine barns in Manitoba. Essien spoke about his research at the New and Emerging Research sessions at