GFM Network News


Turning precision ag data into higher profits

Seeding and Tillage: The fast-evolving technology can bring a lot of value if you know how to manage it

Adam DeVisser is a recent convert to using precision agriculture, but he’s practical about its application. “The value is not in computers making decisions for us, but in us making more informed decisions,” he said at a recent crops conference in Ontario. DeVisser and his fellow panellists — farmer Mark Brock and Brandon Dietrich of

David Rourke (right) takes a closer look at a green manure blend during an organic field tour near Boissevain this summer.

Field work gap means spring shifts for organic growers

Organic farmers are starting from behind this spring after little field work got done last fall

Organic farmers are gearing up for a more complicated start to the growing season after missing much of their field work last fall. Last year’s “harvest from hell” is still sending shocks through Manitoba operations, with wet weather leaving many farmers with unharvested acres and incomplete fertilizer applications. For the organic sector, that same delay


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

There was plenty of interest in a comparison of roller crimping versus tillage for cover crop management at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ont.

To till or not to till

Demo highlights differences between tillage and no-till cover crop practices

As more producers start to incorporate cover crops into their soil health strategy, machinery companies are racing to develop tillage and non-tillage options to manage them. When choosing how to manage your cover crops, the first thing to address is whether you want to use tillage or go to a non-tillage option like a roller


Fall is the time when you can see what’s survived your crop season’s control efforts.

Fall management key to weed resistance

It’s in the fall you see what worked and what you can change up for next year

When it comes to weed control, fall is often one of your best windows to find out how it’s going and what issues are on the horizon. Tammy Jones, Manitoba Agriculture weed specialist, says the fall season offers a planning window for next year and lets farmers evaluate what went right or wrong this season.


Comment: Bring back the PFRA

Soil conservation in Canada has been losing ground despite a general feeling erosion is a problem of the past

Some say it saved Western Canada. But the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, perhaps the most respected government agency in Canada’s history, was dissolved in 2003. It’s time to bring it back. Scientific principles are one thing. Encouraging farmers to use them are another — that requires expertise in ‘extension,’ a word which has unfortunately fallen


Comment: Can we bring back our soil?

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada is calling for a united effort from the farming community, government and agriculture industry to make soil health a priority

If soil health isn’t top of mind for you, it should be. Canada has some of the world’s most viable and productive farmland. This farmland is where you make your living. It sustains our rural communities. It grows our food. While Canada is a world leader in improving our soils, further steps are necessary to

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