GFM Network News


The 100th meridian west (solid line) has long been considered the divide between the relatively moist eastern United States, and the more arid West. Climate change may already have started shifting the divide eastward 
(dotted line).

Where the Great Plains began?

The 100th meridian may not mark the start of the Prairies much longer

It’s always been a point of pride in Manitoba that the Prairies begin here, at the 100th meridian. That north-south line cleaves North America in two from Mexico to Manitoba, as first noted in 1978 by explorer John Wesley Powell, who called it the boundary between the humid East and the arid West. Now scientists

A detailed look at Prairie heat and rainfall

It has been hot and dry across much of the region, but there’s variation within that trend

There have been more and more news stories coming out about the hot and dry conditions across the Prairies so far this summer, especially across Alberta and Saskatchewan. I figured we should take a little time to look at what has been happening weather-wise across the agricultural Prairies to see just what’s been going on.


Weather pattern becoming more active

Issued: Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 – Covering: Nov. 26 – Dec. 3, 2014

Last week’s forecast didn’t turn out exactly as the weather models predicted. A large storm system moving across the central Prairies last weekend washed out as it moved into Manitoba, and was replaced by a second system that was forecast to move by us to our south. This system became much stronger than forecast and,

Winter starts without the snow

Issued: Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 – Covering Nov. 12 to Nov. 19, 2014

If you remember back to last week’s forecast I pointed out the confidence level was not that high. Well, the overall pattern proved to be pretty correct but, as they say, the devil is in the details. The large low over Hudson Bay formed as expected and did drag a cold front across our region

Weather models point to a fall heat wave

Issued: Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 – Covering: Oct. 15 - Oct. 22, 2014

The long weekend turned out to be a little nicer than expected as the large Pacific low ended up staying off shore, with only a few pieces of energy moving through our region. Overall, the forecast for the next couple of weeks looks to be pretty good. Confidence is actually fairly high as the weather


Weather to bring a nice start for Thanksgiving long weekend

Issued: Monday, Oct. 6 – Covering: Oct. 8 - Oct. 15, 2014

As we begin to transition from fall to winter the weather can often behave unexpectedly, and we definitely saw this happen last week. Around this time last week the forecast called for a fairly strong area of low pressure to move northward out of the States, then move off to the northeast. Well, this low

This graph created by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, shows the monthly global lower troposphere temperature anomaly since 1978. The data used in this graph are gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites and measures the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometres above sea level. You can see that since about 2001 global temperatures have routinely been above average.

Nice fall weather moving in

Forecast issued Monday, Sept. 15 - Covering: Sept. 17 – Sept. 24, 2014

Last week’s forecast didn’t work out quite as expected. The strong arctic high did build southward, but it remained farther to the west than originally forecast, resulting in more cloud cover. While some areas did see some light frost late last week, the extra clouds kept most places a little warmer at night and a little cooler

Change is constant

The next time you have an hour or two to spare, find your way to the National Centre for Livestock and Environment’s website and download a paper called: Moving Toward Prairie Agriculture 2050. But be forewarned, while reading through it doesn’t leave one with any overriding sense of panic, neither does it leave one feeling


Dry soil a concern for some on the Prairies

Dry soil conditions heading into winter could cause problems next spring. “There are some concerns with pasture recovery and just starting up the season next year,” said Trevor Hadwen, agro-climate specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “In terms of native pasture, the dry fall doesn’t allow the recharge of the soil moisture, which doesn’t allow

New wheats in the Prairie pipeline

The recent Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale (PRCWRT) meeting marked the first time a feed wheat developed by the Western Feed Grain Development Co-op was recommended for registration. The variety, WFT603, is a Canada Western General Purpose wheat. “The unique thing about this is any farmer in Western Canada can be a