GFM Network News


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

 Guy Ash, of Pessl Instruments, 
demonstrates how a soil probe can 
augment weather station data.

Probe deep into your soil to solve farm’s moisture mystery

Soil probe expert says you can use soil probes and their data to your farm’s financial advantage

Looking around at the wet conditions, at first glance you could think our moisture levels are more than adequately stocked going into the 2020 crop year. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving, and the same goes when looking at your soil profile. When it comes time to plan your planting timing and strategy, knowing the actual

Questions over the sustainability of crop production are increasing.

Roundtable to form code of sustainable crop practices

This program will help producers tell the story of crop sustainability 
in Canada, something Cam Dahl says isn’t done enough

A sustainable crop code of conduct will help farmers tell the good story of agriculture in Canada, say members of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC). “We need to do a better job of telling (these stories),” said Cam Dahl, who is president of Cereals Canada and chair of the steering committee for the


Don Flaten shows the students how to mix and package soil samples to be sent to the lab.

Revisiting the basics of soil sampling and testing

We 
tagged along 
with agronomy students for a soil-sampling primer, and how 
it helps farmers 
make informed decisions

Soil testing. One could call it the agricultural equivalent of a blood test, which shows which and what quantity of nutrients are in the soil so producers can make informed decisions about next year’s nutrient strategy. But less than half of farmers soil test every year, according to stats from Manitoba Agriculture. In 2016, 41

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