GFM Network News


Digitizing the farm

Digitization got its start with a focus on the agronomic side, but now you’re going to hear more promises of business benefits

Reading Time: 9 minutes Farms that go digital may find a myriad of wins that go way beyond just better agronomic and production planning. All that information can help at the bank too. It can also lead to better business decisions, and it can even help develop new partnership or succession agreements. Of course the agronomic decisions may be […] Read more

“The previous generation is underused,” says psychologist Michael Rosmann. “If you could address that, it would make a significant contribution to agriculture.”

The retiring farmer

In the dictionary, to be “retiring” means to bow silently out. Now, one of North America’s top farm retirement experts, shares why it’s the wrong strategy for our older farmers

Reading Time: 6 minutes Retirement can be a daunting prospect for nearly everyone, especially if they have had a meaningful career. Still, the adjustment in agriculture really is more acute than in many other sectors. “In agriculture, we have the added problem of being tied closely to the land,” says Iowa psychologist, speaker, author and farmer Dr. Michael Rosmann. […] Read more


Yvonne Lawley checking cover crops intercropped with corn at the University of Manitoba Carman Research Farm in September 2019. Lawley and colleague Emma McGeough hope to get funding for a Prairie-wide project on intercropping.

Going wide on corn row spacing

In this research, allowing more space for the intercrop has little or no effect on corn yield

Reading Time: 5 minutes Get used to a new term in corn production — “solar corridor.” The idea is to provide a wide enough row spacing to allow sunlight to reach intercrops such as clover and hairy vetch. How wide? How does 60 inches sound? Intercropping is attracting more interest from straight grain as well as livestock producers. Grain […] Read more

Since soybeans don’t need specialized equipment, Prairie growers can easily move in and out of the crop every year.

Prairie soybeans settle back

Three years of dry Augusts might make for good cereal harvesting weather, but leave soybeans struggling for pod fill

Reading Time: 3 minutes After a stratospheric climb early in the last decade, Prairie soybean acreage has been on a downturn for the past three years. Manitoba acreage rose from 520,000 in 2010 to almost 2.3 million in 2017, but fell every year since to 1.15 million this past spring. Saskatchewan followed a similar pattern, reaching 850,000 acres in […] Read more


To help insulate a farm business in unpredictable times it needs internal strength, but what does that look like?

How fit is your farm?

Financial fluency helps the farm prepare for anything

Reading Time: 5 minutes A growing number of financial advisors are talking a different language today than they were 10 or 15 years ago. Increasingly they see the financial health of the farm in terms that go way beyond the numbers on the balance sheet or income statement. So, what are those fundamentals? “Healthy finances and internal strength in […] Read more

“They were surprised I could do it,” Bob Baloch says, but that’s exactly what he has done, working, dreaming and sweating to become a Canadian farmer.

A new farm story

Most of Canada’s farms got their start when previous generations of immigrants made sacrifices and worked hard to gain a toehold, often via truck farming. Is it still happening?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Bob Baloch has taken what he has learned about logistics and marketing from working in the IT world, married it up with his experiences of growing up on a family farm in Pakistan, and applied it to create a highly diverse and successful fruit and vegetable farm on 23.5 acres of land at Rodney, Ont. […] Read more


The leftover ruts from last year’s wet harvest and early snowfall made some Manitoba corn growers a bit less keen on the crop this year.

Corn hybrids still waiting to launch with farmers

Despite limited adoption so far, corn breeders continue to develop hybrids suitable for production across Western Canada

Reading Time: 5 minutes Four years ago we heard predictions of 10 million acres of corn in Western Canada by 2026, but it turns out that they have yet to launch on that trajectory. Grain corn acreage in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta peaked in 2017 and remained between 470,000 to 480,000 acres for the next two years. While this […] Read more

Consumers continue to love the farm-to-fork concept, says Braden Douglas, founder of CREW Marketing Partners.

Building the chain

When should you give an expert chain-builder like Braden Douglas a call?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Farmers are expert at producing food. No one doubts that. Increasingly, farmers are also expert at finances and myriad other sorts of business management. Again, that’s beyond debate. But are you expert at launching startups too? It’s one of the big questions of 2020, when so many of the ideas that are bubbling up across […] Read more


Owning the supply chain

B.C.’s third-largest hog producers Charlotte and Bob Lepp thought they’d test the waters with a small step into retail. It’s led to incredible learning, and growth

Reading Time: 8 minutes It isn’t exactly unusual. Time and again, all across the country, and especially now with COVID-19, farmers have looked at what they produce and thought, “If only I could cut some distributors and wholesalers out of the chain, I’d get to keep a lot more of what the end-user actually pays for the food I […] Read more

“In Canada, we have a lot of opportunity because so many people own their own land,” says Phil Loring. It gives us an edge over other countries. But will we exploit it?

How are Canada’s top conservation farmers faring through COVID-19?

It's a tough question, but an associate professor at the University of Guelph is asking it

Reading Time: 5 minutes Phil Loring, associate professor and Arrell Chair in Food, Policy, and Society at the University of Guelph has his eye on a question that’s been getting little attention so far, but may turn out to be crucial in shaping the direction of our agriculture over the next decade. Loring wants to know: How are the […] Read more