GFM Network News


Zero in on a specific goal when intercropping so you can measure progress over time, and “learn from the failures,” says researcher 
Yvonne Lawley.

Intercropping can be a win win for mixed operations

The practice comes with a learning curve, but can increase grazing options while boosting soil health

There is a lot of buzz in beef and forage production systems around the concepts of sustainability and soil health, and the numerous different production practices that can support those ideas. Intercropping is one strategy that can improve efficiency and soil health. Manitoba producer Alan MacKenzie considers intercropping to be two crops that are grown

Intercrops peek out between the corn rows of MBFI’s latest look into corn grazing practices.

Spicing up the mix in MBFI’s corn fields

Corn grazing at MBFI will see a few new species in the undergrowth, part of a project on intercropped corn grazing

Corn grazing at MBFI will see a few new species in the undergrowth, part of a project on intercropped corn grazing

For most of Manitoba’s cattle, it’s time to settle into the yard. The herd at Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) north of Brandon however, is getting ready to hit the cornfield. Corn grazing itself is no surprise at MBFI. It’s how the applied research and demonstration farm, which has a goal of keeping cattle


Chickpeas. (CalypsoArt/iStock/Getty Images)

Pulse weekly outlook: Chickpea production expected up in 2021

MarketsFarm — Following an expected 11.4 per cent drop in Saskatchewan’s chickpea harvest this year, provincial pulse specialist Dale Risula is expecting an increase in 2021. In Statistics Canada’s most recent field crop report, issued last week, chickpea production in Saskatchewan was estimated to have dropped from 224,600 tonnes in 2019 to 199,010 tonnes this

Lana Shaw is asking for producers to give $200 to “adopt” one of 48 plots in her flax-fababean intercrop trials in Redvers, Sask., this year.

Research to go to a good home

‘Adopt a Plot’ campaign turns to crowdfunding to test novel intercrop combinations

Lana Shaw has a long list of crop combinations she would like to test in the intercrop trial plots, and she hopes farmers themselves will give her the funds to get that research off the ground. The researcher from the South East Research Farm is back again with another crowdfunding research campaign. Shaw is asking

Hemp underseeded with clover.

Keeping hemp company

Studying ways to maximize agricultural potential by underseeding hemp crops

One Manitoba agriculture research group is trying a few new things with hemp that involve the crop sharing the land. In 2017 and 2018, the Westman Agricultural Diversification Organization (WADO) conducted a study on relay and intercropping with hemp. With most of the data in from that two-year study, WADO’s Scott Chalmers spoke to an


Hemp underseeded with hairy vetch.

Hemp quality starts at the farm

Good agronomy is the starting point to ensure food-grade hemp

Hemp processors are fixated on quality, and one of the most important links in that chain is at the farm level. Jeff Kostiuk, Hemp Genetics International director of operations, Central Canada, U.S. & international, recently spoke to an audience at the Canadian Hemp Trade Association Conference about what practices growers should work towards when considering

Doing the math on intercropping

Doing the math on intercropping

Rocket science starts to look easy when farmers delve into the complexity of this system

On the surface intercropping is a simple idea — grow two crops together in one field and take advantage of the synergies that result. Proponents say it helps build the farm’s bottom line and soil health while lowering dependence on expensive inputs. But underneath that simple idea is an array of complicated decisions and compounding

Beef producers want better insurance for new grazing techniques, among other requests.

Time to tailor insurance, says Manitoba Beef Producers

The issue is also expected to be front and centre for the upcoming annual general meeting this winter

Manitoba’s beef producers say it’s time insurance options for feed and pasture get with the times. The Manitoba Beef Producers is chewing through a wish list of insurance changes after its fall district meetings. Farmers in several districts are now looking for more support on alternative grazing strategies, something MBP general manager Brian Lemon says


A tour attendee takes a closer look at quinoa variety trials near Melita.

To the bin or bust: quinoa a risky proposition

Producers find new challenges with the South American transplant

Five years after planting his first quinoa crop, Ryan Pengelly of Tamarack Farms near Erickson has tasted success and failure. He’s placed his direct-marketed product on retail shelves and in farmers’ market stalls. He’s also experienced total crop failures other years. Pengelly, like other producers pioneering quinoa in Manitoba, is looking for agronomic answers in

Photo: Thinkstock

Four ways to increase your organic matter

A question that I hear a lot is, “How do cover crops fit into a grain operation?” Lots of grain farmers have no desire to get into the livestock business and no interest in producing hay. But many have some soil issues that need to be addressed. This can be done by buying more iron