GFM Network News


KAP wants drainage regs changed to encourage on-farm storage

One farmer says he is successfully using excess water to irrigate crops instead of pushing downstream on others

The Manitoba government promotes water retention on farmland, yet has policies that seem to discourage innovative and economic ways to do it, Deloraine farmer Kelsey Sunaert said during the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ 35th annual meeting in Winnipeg Feb. 5. Farmers like him, who want to consolidate water bodies on their own land and keep it

Crop irrigation in the U.S. withdraws 118 billion gals. of water daily while its livestock sector uses an additional two billion gals. a day.

Comment: Brother, can you spare a cup of water?

Agriculture is a very thirsty industry and that could spell trouble

Humanity depends on three critical threes: Without oxygen, most humans will die within three minutes; without water, life expectancy is three days; without food, we’ve got three weeks. Few here give three seconds of thought of any of these life-ensuring elements because, here, food is safe and plentiful, air quality laws are in place and


A small sign in the foyer of the Riverside Holiday Inn in Minot, North Dakota reminds visitors how high the water reached in 2011 when the Souris River flooded to its highest levels since at least 1881.

International Souris River Study Board seeks public input

Study board aims to recommend ways to reduce flood risk along the 700-km river

An upcoming study will make recommendations on how to reduce flood risks along the Souris River. That’s the goal of the International Souris River Study Board (ISRSB) which, over the next two years, will look at different options for improving the 1989 international agreement between Canada and the U.S. Its efforts aim to improve the

No such thing as ‘unprecedented’ weather, delegates at ARBI conference told

Delegates with the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI) met in Regina February 14 and 15

If 1930s seems like the worst drought we could ever have, scientific records show pre-settlement dry spells lasted far longer. Likewise, there were wet spells on the Prairies much more intense than events like 2011’s — a flood we tended to call “unprecedented.” Neither are unprecedented, say Saskatchewan scientists. Both extremes have occurred before on

Dry spell sparks call for voluntary water use reduction in Pembina Valley area

Longer-term plan needed to avoid water shortages in more drastic situations, officials say

Parts of the Pembina Valley were asked last week to reduce their water use as a dry spell across the region endured and demand for water peaked as farmers sprayed fields and residents watered lawns. The Pembina Valley Water Co-op’s CEO Greg Archibald said the request was voluntary and came after they had problems with


Saskatchewan to tap farm leaders for drainage board

Representatives from four Saskatchewan farmer organizations will sit on a new provincial advisory board on farm drainage policy. The provincial government on Tuesday announced the creation of two advisory boards: a policy development board and technical review board. Specific members haven’t yet been named to either board, but the province said the policy advisory board

One more webinar remains in the four-part series, sponsored by the Red River Basin Commission.

Four-part webinar series takes tile drainage education into the digital age

A recent educational effort by Agriculture Manitoba and the Red River Basin Commission means farmers are staying home to take in information on tile drainage

Manitoba Agriculture and the Red River Basin Commission have taken to the web on tile drainage. A series of four webinars is running until March 18, with topics spanning the on-farm benefits, downstream implications, environmental concerns and government considerations of tile drainage. “It’s established in other places, such as south of the border, but here

Controlled traffic farming is generating interest around the world, as seen here in this photo of an Australian spray rig sticking to established traffic zones.  PHOTO: WESTERN AUSTRALIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

The benefits of a controlled traffic crop

Confining equipment traffic could pay production dividends

Ten years ago Adam Gurr was surfing the Internet one evening and came across an idea that would change the way he operates — controlled traffic farming. Just as the name sounds, it’s a farming system built around permanent wheel tracks in each field; the crop zones and traffic lanes are permanently separated. It leaves


Mitchell Timmerman speaks at St. Jean Baptist Farm Days.

Retention not needed for tile installation

Tile drainage can increase yields, but increased returns require carefully crunched numbers

Tile drainage installation is on the upswing in Manitoba, but producers need to take a hard look at their operations and evaluate beneficial management practices before making the plunge. “Addressing excess moisture is definitely a worthy pursuit,” Mitchell Timmerman told producers gathered for St. Jean Baptist Farm Days last week. “In this province, we know

A flooded field in the Interlake in 2013.

North Interlake drainage issues to be addressed

Pilot program aims to improve water management in the RM of Bifrost-Riverton

A recent announcement is a watershed moment for a largely producer-led group seeking to reduce flooding and increase agricultural productivity in Manitoba’s Interlake region. The federal and provincial governments have announced $1 million in Growing Forward 2 funding for a pilot project in the Rural Municipality of Bifrost-Riverton, which aims to improve drainage and address