GFM Network News


Adding heat, such as from a portable direct flame heater like this one, can turn “poor drying days into good drying days.”

Now is the time to start thinking about conditioning canola

Having the right setup and the manpower capacity for turning bins are keys to avoiding spoilage

Two late and wet harvests in a row have greatly increased canola spoilage — and upped the need to have a conditioning plan in place early on. “It’s really important to consider this topic now when there is time rather than being in the heat of harvest and having to make decisions,” said Lorne Grieger,

New shatter-resistant canola varieties may hold the key to parking your swather.

Pod shatter reduction canola sounds swathing’s death knell

Sixty per cent of Manitoba’s canola acres this year have pod shatter reduction technology, even though the innovation has only been available since 2014

Western Canadian farmers have adopted pod shatter reduction canola faster than expected — and industry officials predict the innovation, which is as much about harvest flexibility as straight cutting, will soon be on almost every acre. “InVigor (canola from BASF), which is on more than half of the acres in Western Canada, this year over


It doesn’t all make it into the grain cart — and if you’re not measuring harvest loss, the amount left on the ground may be a lot higher than you think.

How much grain are you willing to let fall on the ground?

An ‘acceptable loss’ can be a moving target but those who don’t measure harvest lost may be losing far more than they think

Joel McDonald of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute has seen the full spectrum of techniques for minimizing harvest loss. He has seen lead-footed farmers blaze through their acreage, but leave a substantial part of the harvest behind. He has also seen farmers crawl their combine at a mile and a half per hour to avoid

“If you’re covering lots of acres or your commodity is highly valuable, maybe just bombing through that last 20 acres just to get it done might not be the best economic decision.” – Joel McDonald, PAMI

Weighing the balance on harvest loss

Experts are urging farmers to be more deliberate when defining ‘acceptable’ harvest loss

Joel McDonald of the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) has seen the full spectrum of techniques for minimizing harvest loss. He has seen lead-footed farmers blaze through their acreage, but leave a substantial part of the harvest behind. He has also seen farmers crawl their combine at a mile and a half per hour to

Stored grain has to be both cool and dry to minimize the risk of spoilage.

Drying grain may become the norm as harvests trend later

Natural air drying with supplemental heat hasn’t caught on in Alberta yet, but it soon could, says expert


Prairie farmers may need to get used to leaving grain in the field at harvest. “Harvest might be starting earlier, but poor weather during the harvest season is slowing down that last little bit of harvest, and there’s more and more crop being left in the field in October,” said Joy Agnew, program manager at


Remaining canola fields were weighed down by inches of snow after September took a chilly turn Sept. 22.

Remaining canola promises tough harvest

September’s sudden snowfall should be treated like a frost if crops were immature and a rain event if pods were ready to come off the field, according to the Canola Council of Canada

Canola growers are casting more than one mournful look to the field after an unseasonable snow dump and chilly rain stopped harvest in its tracks. Manitoba’s weather took a turn to the cold and wet in the last weeks of September, with many regions reporting rain, temperatures well below 10 C and, in a stark

Understand that straight cutting canola will mean taking a look at how the entire combine operates.

Different harvest, different combine settings

Those combine settings may not be doing you any favours if you’re aiming for straight cut and they’re still set to swath

First-time canola straight cutters might want to take another look at their combine settings. “When we’re comparing picking up a windrow to straight cutting, we, again, want to kind of treat this like a different crop,” Angela Brackenreed of the Canola Council of Canada stressed during a recent Manitoba Agriculture webinar. “The same combine setting

Soybeans have long been rolled in Manitoba, but researchers are starting to question if it should be a blanket recommendation.

Are you rolling soybeans for the sake of rolling?

Rolling soybeans has some benefits, but also a downside

To roll or not to roll? For soybean growers, ‘tis the question. It’s become the standard strategy to keep dirt and rocks out of the combine come harvest, but Manitoba Agriculture says it may be time to take a second look at the practice. “We want to reduce earth tag,” Terry Buss, pulse specialist with


Dr. Bernie Zebarth of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada explores drone use during the 2018 Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon earlier this year.

Mapping a new frontier: Potatoes and precision agriculture

The root crop has a number of quirks that make it both a prime candidate for 
precision agriculture and a little different than other crops

Potatoes may, in many ways, be the perfect candidate for precision agriculture. They’re a high-volume, high-value and high-input crop and the industry has already invested more than other sectors in soil and drainage mapping, variable rate technology and management zones, according to one agronomist who works closely with potato growers. Trevor Thornton’s Crop Care Consulting

Harvey Chorney presents PAMI study results.  

Study suggests ways to reduce soybean harvest losses

Going slow and using an air reel are two important techniques

Soybean growers can avoid major seed losses at harvest time by using air reels and driving combines no faster than four miles per hour, a new study says. Air reels significantly decrease header losses, and between two and four miles an hour is the optimal ground speed for harvesting soybeans, says the study by the