GFM Network News


Don Cruikshanks, manager of the Deerwood Soil and Water Management Association, at a unique research site in the Pembina Hills where two watersheds meet. The location allows researchers to do comparative analysis of farm management practices related to water and nutrient management.

Agriculture’s role in nutrient loss

Ultimately, storing water on the land isn’t just about flood control, it’s about capitalizing on available nutrients as well

Checking the news feeds across my conservation agriculture news, I see a common thread. Increased nutrient loads at Lake Erie, Chesapeake Bay, the ever-present “dead zone” of the Gulf of Mexico and calls for more action on the state of Lake Winnipeg. The human contributions are relatively constant, albeit constantly increasing, so when things go

Reflecting on the flood that didn’t happen

After dire predictions and many preparations on both sides of the border, citizens have started breathing a huge sigh of relief. Unless we receive very large levels of precipitation in the coming days, the threat of flooding seems to have been alleviated. Some of us are just relieved; others are asking why the forecasts were


Conference discusses keeping water on the land

As a people, we need to look at fresh water as a valued asset, not something to be flushed down the river

To flood or not to flood, and will spring ever come? Those were the thoughts on many minds as we entered Canada Water Week. Held annually on the third week of March to coincide with World Water Day on March 22, the Manitoba Eco-network celebrated with a conference in Brandon entitled “Keeping Water on the

Reflections on the new age of grain marketing

Now there are a few months under our belts, just how accurate were those horror stories about grain marketing post-CWB monopoly?

Much has been written about how farmers will market their grains in the post-single-desk world. Horror stories abound about how the grain companies won’t take the CWB contracts until they have filled their own, pools won’t reflect fair market prices, and farmers won’t have the expertise to market in the new climate. Now that we

Light up for safety

With this year’s harvest winding down, I can’t help but reflect over a season that has resulted in both one of the earliest combining seasons I have ever seen, and also one that has seemingly dragged on forever. Early seeding and hot weather in August and September has ripened off plants and allowed producers to


The Brand X elevator and corporate control of the food supply

The potential for contracted acres to be linked to herbicide and fertilizer purchases as well as point of delivery was already there

When Manitoba Pool Elevators and the Alberta Wheat Pool amalgamated in 1998 to become Agricore, I joked at the local watering hole that we really needed to invent an elevator sign that was Velcro backed. Even then, it was apparent that there was a lot of work involved in rebranding trade names on very tall

Magic-bullet solutions only last so long

We’ve all done it. Pushed our crop rotations, that is. You know that field had canola on it two years ago, but the seed you have already purchased, the fertilizer you applied last fall, or the delivery contract you already signed all make us do things that we know are not in our best agronomic

A Spring We Would Rather Forget

It must be summer. They show up like visiting relatives on the doorstep and they don’t know when to leave. Wood ticks, mosquitoes and black flies that think the Parklands have just moved down to the international border. Adding injury to the insult of the spring that never really happened, farmers across the province have


Canola Survey Asks The Right Question

We’re all rational people here, right? I would hope that if one of us has a new idea, we should be able to bring it forward and debate it, discuss its merits, and reach some kind of a logical conclusion. It all sounds simple enough. So why is it that the minute there is any

Silent Hog Barn Marks End Of An Era

It’s not like I have never been in a hog barn before, and yet this time as I enter the door, it’s very different. Gone are the familiar squeals of someone waiting to be fed. It’s silent. Deathly silent as a matter of fact. I can hear the melting snow dripping off the eaves and