GFM Network News


A certified crop adviser says Canadian farmers are losing close to $3 billion a year due to lost productivity caused by degraded, unhealthy soil.

Tending to your farm’s factory floor: its soil

The health of your farmland can have a big impact on your bottom line

In any manufacturing business productivity is a matter of managing the building, the machinery and the workforce to put the product together in a cost-effective way. In farming, soil is the factory floor and growing a profitable crop is a matter of managing the biology and chemistry of the field within the limits imposed by

Flea beetle. (Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Forecast, flea beetles complicate canola timing

Dry conditions make ideal seeding time difficult to peg

Drought conditions, and the odds of more to come, have some Prairie canola growers pondering when to roll the dice on seeding, if they want to do more than feed the flea beetles. Small-seeded crops, such as canola, have garnered particular concern from agronomists and producers worried about germination, given power dry topsoil across much


Many people with livestock are searching for grazing land and a growing number of farmers are thinking about integrating livestock into their farms.

MOA soil health project to match livestock producers, landowners

Livestock integration, reduced tillage, perennials and cover crops to get a boost on organic farms with Conservation Trust funding

A website that will pair landowners with livestock producers in search of grazing land, and a cost-shared consultant agronomy program are two projects the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) is taking on in a project called “Improving soil stewardship on Manitoba organic farms” funded by the Conservation Trust. “Organic farms are really well positioned to be

Salinity issues turn field edges in southwestern Manitoba white this spring.

Plan now for a salty spring

Manitoba’s dry conditions have done little to beat back salinity in areas prone to the issue

Snow wasn’t the only white creeping across Manitoba’s fields this spring, and unlike snow, this white stuff won’t be melting away. High salinity is not a surprising topic for provincial soil specialist Marla Riekman, given the province’s still-dry conditions and the rise in salinity questions she’s fielded from producers in the last few years. Salinity

Fertilizing tips for dry soil if you didn’t apply last fall

Fertilizing tips for dry soil if you didn’t apply last fall

One option is safe amounts with the seed and topping up later if the crop looks good

Dry soils increase the risk of in-row fertilizer damaging early plant stands, but there are things farmers can do to make it safer, says John Heard, a soil fertility specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MARD). “We like to take as much nitrogen and sulphur out of the seed row as possible in order


Take a systematic approach to improving the ecosystems beneath your feet.

There’s a teeming world of diversity and complexity in your field’s soil

This soil ecologist says six principles can be applied to improve soil health

Soil is more than just dirt, a place where plants put down roots to grow seeds. It’s a complex ecology, teeming with infinite varieties of flora, fauna, microbes and minerals that provide both the raw materials and machinery to build crops and livestock. It’s a factory floor with a lot of moving parts and we’re

... 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

Paying farmers to store carbon in their soils is, at least in theory, a win-win scenario.

Editorial: The carbon credit reality

Canadian farmers, industry and governments should pay close heed to the recent announcement that one of Canada’s largest food processors has inked a deal to buy carbon credits from American farmers. Maple Leaf Foods will pay $20 per tonne to U.S.-based Indigo Ag for carbon stored on American farms applying soil-building practices. It represents a


John Deere says its new line of heavy harrows features a quick folding and unfolding sequence to help farmers move more quickly between fields. (Deere.com)

Degelman to make heavy harrows for Deere

Regina company reaches OEM agreement for new line

Major U.S. farm equipment manufacturer John Deere Co. has launched a new line of heavy harrows — and is going to Saskatchewan to get them. Regina equipment maker Degelman Industries announced Tuesday it has reached an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) agreement to provide Deere with a line of three heavy harrow models, the HH50, HH70

“Soils, wherever you are on the planet, were never formed with monocultures.” – Blake Vince.

This farmer sees cover crop benefits

It’s not just about the environment; it’s also about the bottom line

Farmer Blake Vince says he’s seen both benefits and challenges as he’s made cover crops part of his operation near London, Ont. At November’s Farm Forum Event virtual conference, he appeared by way of a pre-recorded presentation done weeks earlier at his no-till farm. Standing in the middle of a cover crop that was planted