GFM Network News


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

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


Soil scientist Frank Larney showcases his work at a field day, which is an open house for farmers and agriculture industry representatives to learn about the latest field research.

Pulses plus conservation practices equal healthy soils

Combining pulse crops and soil-friendly farming practices looks like a real winner

Pulse crops are playing an important role in building soil quality, especially when they’re combined with a host of soil-friendly farming techniques. That’s the finding of a 12-year study by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre, led by soil scientist Frank Larney. In the study, published in Agronomy Journal, Larney and company

Alonsa Community School students have been finding out what a super food kale is and learning different ways we can eat it.

Tiny school turns school turf to gardens and orchards

Conservation Champions: Alonsa Community School has transformed its school lawn into an edible playground

It’s not unusual to see classes held outdoors at Alonsa Community School. Students regularly eat their lunch there too. That’s because what they’re learning — and what they’re eating — comes from the school’s yard. Two years ago, this tiny school of 130 students decided to dig up part of the schoolyard lawn and fill

The importance of composting

Understanding how to make and use compost important as problem of waste disposal continues to grow

Compost is decomposed organic material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen waste. It provides many essential nutrients for plant growth and therefore is often used as fertilizer. Compost also improves soil structure so that soil can easily hold the correct amount of moisture, nutrients and air. It improves the texture of both clay soils


Bruce Berry of Almost Urban Vegetables uses composted manure to power his plants.

Winter no barrier to composting

Manure composting has many benefits, including concentrated nutrients, 
reduced volume, no smell and easy transport

Like any recipe, making a good composted manure requires the right ingredients, a proper mixer and some heat. “There are a lot of misconceptions as to what composting actually is, some think that if you have a pile of manure it’s called composting, it really isn’t,” said Mario Tenuta. “So we want to talk to

Tips on naturally recycling your kitchen wastes

Prairie Fare: Spinach Artichoke Dip (Slow Cooker)

Julie, Julie, how does your garden grow?” people often ask me when inspired by my maiden name. Yes, that reminds me of the “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” nursery rhyme. Fortunately, people leave out the “quite contrary” part. Well, they usually do. This year, my garden has hosted rabbits enjoying buffets

Leanne MacKay standing beside potatoes she has growing in straw bales.

Garden flourishes in recycled square bales

You’ve heard of bale grazing. How about bale gardening?

Leanne and Ed MacKay have found a new use for old square bales. They’ve turned them into a garden. The couple lives and gardens near Lake Wahtopanah at Rivers, which first of all meant enclosing their garden area within a 12-foot-high fence to keep the deer from feasting on their produce. “When touring Winnipeg Conservatory


Lloyd Jensen, a part-time farmer just outside Stonewall, composts several hundred tonnes of yard waste the town produces annually.  
PHOTOs: LORRAINE STEVENSON


Leaf it to Lloyd

Local farmer composts several hundred tonnes of grass and leaves for use as fertilizer on his small hobby farm

Stonewall residents love their picture-perfect lawns, but all that watering, fertilizing and mowing create a pile of grass clippings. Leaves and grass clippings amount to nearly 450 tonnes of yard waste generated annually in their community, say town of Stonewall staff. And it all might end up as a methane-emitting mountain of mush in a

Yeukai Katanda, a researcher from the University of Manitoba, presents the results of a study that looked at hog manure-derived struvite’s effect on canola seedling mortality at the recent Manitoba Soil Science Society’s annual conference.

Struvite from manure safer in canola seed row

Manitoba Soil Science Society serves up a heaping helping of new research

There’s a whole lot of stinky goodness in hog manure, and researchers at the University of Manitoba have been working hard to make it more convenient for grain farmers to use. Experimental extraction of struvite, or magnesium ammonium phosphate — the same greyish-white crystallized minerals that kidney stones are made of — has shown promise as