GFM Network News



Robert (Bob) McNabb, with wife Elaine, was inducted into the Canadian Conservation 
Hall of Fame on November 13.

Manitoba zero-till pioneer inducted into conservation hall of fame

Robert (Bob) McNabb called for greater passion for soil, aligning profit with ecology

Manitoba farmer Robert (Bob) McNabb called for greater passion for soil as he was inducted into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame in Winnipeg, November 13. In his acceptance address, McNabb called on those gathered to approach soil conservation with the same passion as teenage, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. “If we could get on


Ryan Pritchard and Yvonne Lawley point out the features of his strip tiller, which Pritchard modified himself.

Soil is complicated… so are people

Soil Council of Canada's summit on soil health explored diverse issues of soil health across Canada and how to win people to the cause

It used to take six or seven passes over Ryan Pritchard’s fields to get them ready for spring — harrow, cultivate, harrow, deep till, fertilize. Pritchard, who works full time off farm, was looking for a way to save time. “Can’t go no till. It’s too cold a climate,” he told a tour group during

People climb a dike formed by wind soil erosion during a field tour at the Global Forum on Soil Stewardship.

Soil degradation a costly global issue

About a third of the world’s soil is degraded, which has economic and food security implications

When Prairie-dwellers think of soil erosion, they may think of iconic photos from the Dirty ’30s: towering clouds of black soil blowing across desolate land, teacups turned upside down against drifting grit. But as Francis Zvomuya told the classroom of farmers and agronomists at the Global Forum on Soil Stewardship, soil degradation is far from

Farmers, agronomists, and people with an interest in global soil health met in Carman July 25 and 26 to discuss the challenges of protecting soil.

Carman event serves up common ground on soil health practices

Canadian and African agronomists shared perspectives on conservation agriculture at a recent Canadian Foodgrains Bank forum

Jocelyn Velestuk stood in front of the research station classroom filled with people and confessed to an addiction of sorts. “I am obsessed with soil,” the Saskatchewan farmer and agronomist told her audience. “I even had a mud-themed birthday party when I was young,” she said in a later interview. “The first soil science class


Clayton Robins is among the few farmers happy about the state of his pastures and hay crops, something he partly credits to his pasture management and integration of alternative grazing on annuals. His take on cover crops has earned him a place in the CFGA’s national carbon sequestration project.

Manitoba forage growers tapped for carbon project

The national project is the next step toward the CFGA’s goal of having farmers paid for storing carbon

Five Manitoba farmers are helping the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) put a value on carbon storage. Ryan Canart of Miniota, Allan Preston of Hamiota, Matt Van Steelandt of Melita, Jonathan Bouw of Anola and Clayton Robins of Rivers are all recognizable names on the grazing, soil health or regenerative agriculture field tour circuits

Comment: Can we bring back our soil?

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada is calling for a united effort from the farming community, government and agriculture industry to make soil health a priority

If soil health isn’t top of mind for you, it should be. Canada has some of the world’s most viable and productive farmland. This farmland is where you make your living. It sustains our rural communities. It grows our food. While Canada is a world leader in improving our soils, further steps are necessary to

Yvonne Lawley (l) presenting tillage research to growers at a field meeting last summer.

Soybeans raise tillage issues

As the low-residue crop creeps into new areas, new techniques are needed

Agriculture researcher Yvonne Lawley doesn’t want Manitoba farmers to rethink soybeans — she wants them to consider techniques to incorporate them into their production system more safely. The University of Manitoba professor says the crop’s earned a reputation as a soil buster, and at times that’s warranted. But they also bring a lot to the


A combination of snow covered in dirt is colloquially known as “snirt” and it’s a common sight around Manitoba this year, including here, east of Winkler.

Erosion lessons learned… and forgotten

The dust-covered snow of this winter suggests there’s a soil erosion 
problem brewing, MSSS speaker says

Disappearing shelterbelts and blackened fields have some wondering if the soil conservation lessons learned during the ‘Dirty ’30s’ dust bowl are being forgotten. “From the edge of Fargo to the edge of Winnipeg I did not see one flake of white snow on my way up yesterday (Jan. 31),” Daryl Ritchison, interim director of the

Opinion: Ongoing evolution necessary in farming

Not only are farmers being trusted to look after the land, crops and animals, we also want to do the best possible job ourselves. The problem is we don’t always have the clearest picture of what the best practices really are, and we of course operate within the confines of present technology and profitability. Take