GFM Network News


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

Calgary-based Bio-Cycle Solutions says it has spread its compost-based product on about four million acres.

It’s cheap and plentiful but is elemental sulphur a fertilizer option?

Calgary company touts the benefits of its compost-based product

[UPDATED: Oct. 10, 2019] When you consider the cost and bulkiness of conventional sulphur fertilizers, producers can hardly be blamed for seeking out alternatives to meet their crops’ sulphate needs. One of these alternatives is elemental sulphur — a byproduct of the oil and gas industry that is plentiful and cheap in Western Canada. But


Backers of the certified sustainable beef program are urging more producers to sign up as demand exceeds supply.

Fast-food chain joins beef sustainability effort

Harvey’s signs on to program as demand for certified sustainable beef continues to grow

Fast-food chain Harvey’s has become the latest major buyer to sign up for the ‘sustainable’ beef initiative. But even while the number of retailers is increasing, most cattle producers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach that has resulted in a gap between supply and demand. However, that gap is closing, said Ponoka rancher Greg

This is an example of an intact fire separation that did its job and prevented fire from spreading through the barn.

Simple steps for avoiding the nightmare of a barn fire

Annual electrical inspections, hard-wiring equipment and good housekeeping are proven risk reducers

A barn fire can be one of the most distressing disasters on a farm — no amount of insurance can rectify the loss when livestock are killed this way. Although there are fewer barn fires today, the pure destruction factor has never been higher. For example, Ontario had 89 barn fires from 2014 to 2018,

A CN train hauling grain cars circles the loop at GrainsConnect’s Maymont, Sask. loop-track/power-on terminal. The locomotive never has to be detached from the train when loading or unloading, which cuts the time it spends at an elevator by up to half compared to conventional grain terminals.

Don’t stop: Loop tracks set to revolutionize shipping

If you never decouple the locomotive, you never lose braking pressure – and that's huge

The loop-track/power-on grain terminals popping up throughout the Prairies are kind of like the marines — no rail car gets left behind. That’s one example of how these terminals improve efficiency in Canada’s grain transportation system, said Warren Stow, president of GrainsConnect Canada, whose company is currently building two such facilities in the Alberta communities


There’s no shortage of data on today’s farms but the most important number — profit per acre — is not easy to determine.

The search for a ‘win-win’ solution to unprofitable acres

Precision agriculture meets precision conservation in ongoing profitability mapping research

Farming and farmland conservation sometimes seem at odds with each other — a win for one is seen as a loss for the other. After all, taking land out of production for conservation purposes is seen as a loss of productive farmland, while the ecological community sometimes views intensive ag production as a threat to

Four steps for better seeding this spring

It’s an age-old conundrum: You need to expand so you acquire more acres of land to get more return, but then the rush to get a crop in means seeding some acres too early, too late, or too fast. “There’s a lot of potential for making a mistake when it comes to seeding,” said Harry

Shoe on the other foot? Look for improved grain basis at the elevator this year

It’s a very different situation from two years ago — now grain companies are keen to ‘keep their pipelines moving’

A bad-news year for crop production is a good year when it comes to basis — and so farmers should be shopping around this harvest, say market analysts. “In general in years when supplies are tight locally or in a region, you would normally expect to see basis levels that are stronger than what you