GFM Network News


University of Manitoba researchers Mario Tenuta, Don Flaten and Xiaopeng Gao, along with provincial soil fertility specialist John Heard, were at the field tour site July 23 to answer questions.

Self-guided 4R tour brings new research in era of COVID-19

Through video, University of Manitoba researchers presented new research on increasing nitrogen use efficiency in grain corn

Soil fertility specialists from the University of Manitoba brought the latest “4R” research to the public while keeping a healthy distance, thanks to an innovative self-guided field tour July 23-25 near Carman. “The beauty of a self-guided tour is that people can do it at their leisure,” soil ecology professor, Mario Tenuta told the Manitoba

Eight participants in the Manitoba Soil Science Society's drop-in tour Aug. 12 will be able to extract their own soil monolith for a $50 fee. Everyone must register to attend the tour and monolith extraction spots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Soil society modifies its Aug. 12 summer tour

Bus tour replaced with self-guided tour that requires registration

The Manitoba Soil Science Society (MSSS) has replaced its annual summer bus tour with an event Aug. 12 at three sites in rural Manitoba participants get to themselves, MSSS president Megan Westphal said in a recent email. The sites are near Elm Creek (Red River Clay), Haywood (Almasippi) and Bruxelles (Dezwood). Participation is free, however,


Canola stubble pokes out of the hills in Chad Berry’s direct-seeded potato demonstration.

Spud growers let soil lie

Under the Hill Farms is testing minimum-tillage potatoes on a field scale

Potatoes aren’t usually the poster child for minimal tillage. The reality of the planting, hilling and digging cycle usually means plenty of black dirt, some of it airborne. But dramatically reducing tillage is exactly what Chad Berry, of Under the Hill Farms near Glenboro, is trying to do. Berry’s farm, in association with Simplot Canada,

Seeding season is underway, but many producers are facing fields like this one near Somerset.

Filling in the trenches before spring seeding

Producers are trying to find time to deal with the ruts they left while scrambling to get crop in last fall

Manitoba’s grain farmers are still racking up the butcher’s bill from last year’s “harvest from hell.” Some are still trying to get last year’s harvest off the field, some have been forced to burn that unharvested crop thanks to fields too wet or crops too far gone to be worth combining. Some are trying to

Ray Archuleta (left) with his volunteers, (left to right): Mike Bennet, Tyson Dueck, Codie Dueck and Markus Dueck.

Spreading the word

Pioneers of regenerative agriculture speak in Rosa

In late January, U.S. conservation ag guru Ray Archuleta asked for four volunteers to come to the front of the room and help him with an experiment. Called the ‘slake test’ it was designed to demonstrate soil stability to the 100 attendees at a soil health workshop at the Shevchenko Ukrainian Centre in Rosa. Archuleta,


Soil moisture and crop data can combine to create a powerful tool to help farmers make more informed decisions.

Wet enough for you?

Bringing weather data into your crop planning decisions can be a powerful tool

If you want to know if you should top dress fertilizer in season, a great place to start is with just how much soil moisture is available. Knowing the answer to that question will tell you if there’s any opportunity still out there to be captured, says Ryan Hutchison, of South Country Equipment. South Country’s

A cover crop cocktail?

Pre-made mixes promise an easy jumping-off point on cover crops, but some worry that they increase the amount at risk

Joe Gardiner of Clearwater has spent a lot of effort getting ahead of the curve on cover crops. His cover mixes can include up to 15 species in a season-long cover. He does relay cropping. He picks his seed to include a range of cool- and warm-season plants, legumes, forbs, broadleafs and grasses. He thinks

Soil-stored carbon is easily released due to warmer temperatures or drought, a recent discussion paper claims.

Sequestering carbon won’t solve climate change

Some farmers say they’ve already done their bit for climate change through reduced tillage, but it’s a dubious argument, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU). “We should not become confused by claims that we can somehow fix the climate crisis by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and ‘sequestering’ it in soils,” says an


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

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