GFM Network News


In the tight-margin business of raising cattle, a host of smaller factors is pulling down profitability – and herd numbers along with it.

Cattle sector facing silent crisis

The cattle sector isn’t facing one big crisis, but rather the cumulative effect of many challenges, a new study says

Canada’s cattle industry may not be facing another near-fatal blow like BSE, but it’s hemorrhaging all the same. And this time, it’s a death by a thousand cuts, says a new study from the heart of Canada’s cattle country. Government regulations. Global trade wars. Rising land prices and ever-higher costs. Drought. Feed shortages. Head taxes

Like it or not, climate change will change your farm, say two experts

The growing season is already longer and extremes more common, say climatologist and crop specialist

Canada’s best-known climatologist always knows when he’s lost a crowd of producers he’s presenting to. It’s usually right around the time he starts talking about climate change. But he gets it. “Farmers have been beat up a lot — they’ve been accused of causing climate change,” said David Phillips, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s senior


The Harrington Seed 
Destructor has come a long way since it was first developed in 2012.
 Originally a tow-behind unit that 
attached to the back of the combine, the new weed seed management tool is now a mill that can be integrated with the combine ― at half the price.

Is the weed seed ‘destructor’ ready for prime time in Canada?

Aussie invention is much cheaper, easier to use, but is still in the ‘promising, not proven’ category

In the battle against herbicide-resistant weeds, the Harrington Seed Destructor might just win us the war — if farmers can justify the $100,000 price tag. “If herbicides are still working, it can be hard to convince producers to spend that kind of money to purchase this kind of equipment,” said federal research scientist Breanne Tidemann.

On a typical farm, nozzles on a sprayer are running 37.5 per cent of the time. But at Hebert Grain Ventures, that figure is 54.8 per cent, an efficiency gain that adds 75 cents per acre to the bottom line.

How one farm put data analytics to work

This grain farm makes money by assessing data on everything from employees to soil moisture

Most people say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But at Hebert Grain Ventures, their motto is, “If it’s not broke, you haven’t looked hard enough.” “We don’t believe that, just because we had a good year or a good yield, that’s enough,” said Evan Shout, the Saskatchewan farm’s chief financial officer. “If we

Stored grain has to be both cool and dry to minimize the risk of spoilage.

Drying grain may become the norm as harvests trend later

Natural air drying with supplemental heat hasn’t caught on in Alberta yet, but it soon could, says expert


Prairie farmers may need to get used to leaving grain in the field at harvest. “Harvest might be starting earlier, but poor weather during the harvest season is slowing down that last little bit of harvest, and there’s more and more crop being left in the field in October,” said Joy Agnew, program manager at


Two new blackleg tools for the 2018 growing season

Tools to estimate yield loss and pinpoint the strain infesting your fields can help reduce the economic hit

Blackleg has become an expensive problem for canola producers, but growers will soon have two new tools to reduce the economic impact of the disease. “Blackleg wasn’t a real concern even a few years ago, but now it’s becoming increasingly important,” said Stephen Strelkov, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Alberta. “This

Crop rotation and disease-resistant varieties are the best ways to manage blackleg in canola, said canola council agronomist 
Clint Jurke.

New blackleg diagnostic test available this fall

A new diagnostic test will make it easier for producers to match the right kind 
of blackleg-resistant seed to the specific race in their fields

There are things you can do this fall to reduce your risk of blackleg next spring — and the first step is to scout for it. “The more you can identify it, the more you’re going to know whether you’re successful at controlling it,” said Clint Jurke, agronomy director for the Canola Council of Canada.

Ask the right questions of your management consultant

Farmers can go online and get 10 different quotes for the same model of tractor — but that’s not so with hiring a farm business management consultant. “Farmers get frustrated when they look on the soft side of business — the management or consulting side — because they don’t know if they’re getting fair value,”