GFM Network News


... the health of one soil can be very different from the health of another and both are healthy.” – David Lobb, University of Manitoba.

Soil health a moving target

There’s no one-size-fits-all measure of soil health, David Lobb says

Saying a soil is ‘healthy’ isn’t something simple like running through a checklist. David Lobb, a soil scientist at the University of Manitoba says it’s a moving target that takes many variables into account. There are hundreds of different soils across the province, thousands across the country and the development of each one moves toward

The long shadow of the 1930s dust bowl may have resulted in an inaccurate assessment of wind erosion risk.

Soil erosion concerns overblown?

Academic says soil loss to wind erosion isn’t backed up by data

David Lobb has spent much of the last year challenging long-established beliefs about wind erosion. The University of Manitoba soil science professor and his team recently completed a study of the historical and contemporary evidence of wind erosion on the Prairies and the findings run counter to deeply rooted assumptions about wind erosion that have


Soil scientist David Lobb speaks to a tour group during a Soil Conservation Council of Canada conference this October.

What’s blowing in the wind? Maybe not your soil

A recent study on land rolling shows that wind erosion doesn’t cause severe soil loss

A recent Manitoba study shows wind erosion may not be the soil stealer it’s cracked up to be. “It’s a perception issue,” said David Lobb, a soil scientist from the University of Manitoba. While recent images of dirty snow — or “snirt” — and the towering clouds of topsoil from the dust bowl era are

Natural vegetation on and above the slopes of the Manitoba Escarpment slows run-off, reducing erosion.

Sustainable slopes project renewed

Aproject to preserve natural cover on the steep slopes of the Manitoba Escarpment is being renewed and reconfigured with new funding. Funds will concentrate on outreach, education, and providing research management planning for landowners willing to preserve tree cover on slopes. Clearing the slopes of the Pembina Valley and Manitoba Escarpment reduces the land’s ability

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


The heavy coulters seen here use their uneven profile to transmit forces sideways. Some say it breaks up soil compaction 
but local soil specialists aren’t so sure.

The vertical-tillage question defies pat answers

The controversial practice can serve a purpose, but won’t solve soil compaction

Vertical tillage is a tricky term to grapple with. It’s less a method of tillage than it is a grouping of implements sold under that banner. It is marketed as a means to deal with soil compaction but in reality the implements marketed under that umbrella do little to address that problem. Yet, in certain

Defeating the 10 little dust devils

Defeating the 10 little dust devils

Our History: April 1949

Our April 21, 1949 issue carried this “10 little dust devils” cartoon from the USDA Soil Conservation Service. The 10 arrive at a windbreak and drop one by one as they meet a windbreak, a listed field, a clover field, a grass waterway, a fish pond, a field of stubble mulch, a cover crop, a

A root wad buffers the bank from erosion and simultaneously provides fish habitat.

Project stabilizes creek bank, enhances fish habitat

Roseilse Creek is home to a state-of-the-art project 
that looks like an all-round winner

A riverbank stabilization project on the Roseilse Creek is demonstrating how to restore, rebuild, rehabilitate and enhance fish habitat and the riparian area along the waterway. The project, which involves the Pembina Valley Conservation District (PVCD), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership program, AAE Tech Services and the Rural Municipality of


Editorial: Who needs convincing?

Maybe it’s just a guilty pleasure or maybe you can justify it by saying it’s good mental exercise, but one way or another I confess — I watch “Jeopardy.” One of the benefits of being semi-retired is that you can be home to watch it at 4:30. Considering the U.S. drug commercials (with their terrifying

VIDEO: A return to the Dust Bowl days?

VIDEO: A return to the Dust Bowl days?

Are the soil conservation lessons learned from the Dirty Thirties being forgotten? Manitoba Co-operator reporter Allan Dawson spoke with Jim Tokarchuk of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and University of Manitoba soil science professor David Lobb about this very issue at the Manitoba Soil Science Society’s meeting on Feb. 1, 2018. Watch for more