GFM Network News

Their quota of doubt

TPP may not have opened the floodgates, but it will let in enough imports to alter the outlook for Canada’s dairy farmers

Reading Time: 5 minutes It would have taken a lot more than a butter knife to cut the tension on dairy farms across Canada this past year while the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators were talking behind closed doors. So now that the deal is out in the open, and now that it appears — at least on the surface […] Read more

Knowledge: The next agricultural ‘commodity’

It doesn’t take a genius to haul megs and megs of farm-based info off the ’net. But actually using that information to build a better business? It turns out you can get good at that too

Reading Time: 8 minutes So you get Country Guide. Probably you also subscribe to other publications too, on top of the ones that your commodity associations send you. Maybe you get freebie updates from your machinery and chem companies as well, plus all the e-newsletters from marketing analysts, bankers and accountants, not to mention everything you get from the […] Read more

How agricultural marketers are using your data

You farm better by studying the stacks of data you collect about your crops. Ag suppliers sell better by studying the stacks of data they collect about YOU

Reading Time: 7 minutes Using customer knowledge to outperform the competition has been a critical survival strategy for small-town businesses as they struggle to fend off competition from mega-retailers. Now, those mega-retailers are showing they can get to know their customers too. They can even get to know them better than the small shops. Don’t believe it? Then just […] Read more

Initial symptoms of tar spot are brownish lesions on the leaves. Black, spore-producing spots appear later, making the leaf feel rough or bumpy.

Two new diseases in corn crops

The flow of sub-tropical diseases continues in the the North American heartland

Reading Time: 4 minutes It has been an interesting year for field crop pathologists in the U.S. Although many seasons often pass without the discovery of any new diseases, this year they were treated with not just one but two new corn diseases in the country. Tar spot and bacterial leaf stripe were both discovered late in the growing […] Read more

Your own HR scorecard

Guide Excellence: These tools can help you assess your skills and figure out what strengths you can build on, what skills you need to sharpen, and where you should hire help

Reading Time: 5 minutes There was a time when going up against your neighbours in a plowing match was the best and sometimes really the only way for farmers to assess their skill level. But that was then. Today, farm businesses have grown way more sophisticated and, although they still aren’t always easy to find, skills assessments have improved […] Read more

It was planned as a steady, gradual entry into commercial grain storage for Peter Archer. Then he saw the scale of the opportunity.

Built on the basis

For this farm, finding a way to participate in how local grain prices get calculated has opened the door for growth and success

Reading Time: 6 minutes Top marketers know that marketing isn’t only the act of selling, it’s the act of knowing. In particular, top farm marketers not only know their own strategies, strengths and needs, they also know how they can make them mesh with the strategies, strengths and needs of their customer, whether that’s an elevator down the road […] Read more

What is wheat basis anyway?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Like a lever pulling open a chute, basis makes grain flow. Or it shuts it off. Grain buyers use basis to attract grain when they need it. If they offer a higher local cash price, they’re in fact offering a stronger basis than other buyers in the area. A weak basis means the cash price […] Read more

Better employees for a better business

It turns out that giving your employees opportunities to improve their skills really can be good for business

Reading Time: 6 minutes When you want a little more crop from the field, you shell out a little more for fertilizer. Or if it’s a few more pounds you’re looking for from your livestock, you spend a bit more on feed. Is it true of employees too? Can a little extra investment boost your results? There’s an extra […] Read more

Amy Petherick.

The young are on board, literally

In Ontario’s Northumberland County, young farmers make up the majority on many commodity and farm boards. Here’s how we do it

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s nothing like an unexpected dinner invitation to get the attention of a person who is normally responsible for daily meal preparation. The invitation arrived by text, and it didn’t take long to figure out whether to accept. Accept first, I said. Ask questions later. When I did ask the question, I was right to […] Read more

Increasingly, farms that close themselves to diversity will face a tougher and tougher time finding good employees in the new Canada.

Managing today’s diverse workforce

How you’re prepared to deal with diversity in your work crew and even in your family can help or hurt your farm business

Reading Time: 5 minutes If the new Canada is supposed to be a cultural mosaic rather than a melting pot, you wouldn’t guess it by attending most agricultural trade shows. From the 2011 census, we know that 72.5 per cent are men and 48.2 per cent are over the age of 55. The mother tongue of 72.3 per cent […] Read more