GFM Network News


University of Manitoba associate professor Yvonne Lawley and graduate student Virginia Janzen have just begun a trial at Carman Research Farm to assess the impact of different termination dates for a fall rye cover crop seeded with soybeans the following spring.

Seeding soybeans into rye

Green growth in spring helps to manage excess moisture, provides early-season protection from soil erosion, and also suppresses weeds

Reading Time: 5 minutes Grain farmers across Western Canada are showing interest in cover crops, but few have taken the step, as many North Dakota farmers have, of green-seeding soybeans in the spring into a fall rye cover crop. “The context of green seeding is to push that shoulder season fallow period out of the rotation by using annuals […] Read more

For Dean, Devin, Darren and father Bernie, on-farm manufacturing provides a kind of balance. But make no mistake… this is a farm first, with all the challenges that implies.

Auger-steer invention drives farm family’s business success

Diversifying into manufacturing creates more opportunity for the Toews family, but there have been many lessons along the way

Reading Time: 12 minutes It was 2008 and things just weren’t working out for Bernie Toews. From his tractor cab, he’d tried again and again to manoeuvre an auger around a tight corner on the family farm near MacGregor, an hour and a half west of Winnipeg, and it just wasn’t going to happen. Now, Toews was backing the […] Read more


Investment model offers opportunity for farm expansion

Could Joelle Faulkner’s partnership concept work on your farm?

Reading Time: 9 minutes It’s a common scenario: Farmer Bill has been renting land from his neighbour for years but the time has come and he is ready to sell. He wants Bill to have first refusal on the land, but Bill has just financed a new barn and bought a new combine, so he’s too over-extended to raise […] Read more

After the first time that farmers visit with the social group, Jill Rennie says she doesn’t have any trouble getting them to come back.

Retired farmers show they have a lifetime to share

Support for these farmers stopped the moment they left the farm, until Jill Rennie developed this innovative dementia support group

Reading Time: 8 minutes Retiring from the farm can have a massive impact on farmers’ mental and physical health. It can seem the lucky ones are those who can still live on the farm site, do a few odd jobs, run some errands or help out at busy times. Indeed, the ones who end up moving away from the […] Read more


The only in-crop products registered for grass control in flax are Group 1 chemistries: sethoxydim (Poast Ultra), clethodim (e.g. Centurion) and quizalofop (e.g. Assure II), and broadleaf products such as clopyralid and MCPA (Curtail M).

Don’t rely completely on the herbicide’s label for advice when seeding flax

Making sure the crop receives good fertility, planting into warm, moist soils and bumping up seeding rate can all help improve the outcome.” — Michelle Beaith, Sask Flax

Reading Time: 5 minutes If your flax isn’t looking as healthy as it should, you might consider the usual suspects — disease, insects or nutrient deficiency. But you might add another to the list — residual herbicides. “The main concern is impact on the crop such as decreased emergence and reduced plant stand,” says Michelle Beaith, an agronomist with […] Read more

Owen Fijala of Manitoba was only 16 years old when he set his sights on dairy farming.

Early days

How young is too young to make major farm decisions? Meet Owen Fijala, and get ready to rethink your assumptions

Reading Time: 11 minutes Just like any farm kid, Owen Fijala grew up helping out on the family grain farm near Manitou in south-central Manitoba. Things got a bit different, though, when he got a part-time job helping out a neighbouring beef farmer and he began to get interested in livestock production as well. He’d kept his eyes open, […] Read more


“Not having family members that were farming made some things more difficult,” Lydia Carpenter says. “In other ways, it was an asset to us.”

The way it happens

How do new farmers get a start in Canada? Every story is unique, but so often it starts, as here, with the right people somehow getting together

Reading Time: 10 minutes If, as the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet,” Lydia Carpenter and Wian Prinsloo are the living embodiment of it. They have always had an interest in food production, yet neither had grown up on a farm, and when they set out to follow their passion in their […] Read more

One study found that low soil temperature caused slower emergence in the spring, but it did not affect yield later in the season.

Check the calendar, or the thermometer when deciding to plant soybeans?

Selecting the right soybean variety for the area is the best strategy for avoiding frost damage at either end of the season

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the space of a few years, soybeans on the eastern Prairies have gone from an experimental crop to a standard in the rotation, but there’s still that lingering thought that soybeans are a sensitive short-season crop and you need to get them in early to avoid fall frost. But how early? And what about […] Read more


In a farm family context, the Goal Tree can help parents explain their decisions to the next generation.

The Goal Tree

Big corporations use this decision-making system. Should you too?

Reading Time: 7 minutes We all know what it’s like to sit at the kitchen table with the whole family and to ask yourself, “Should I bring it up now? We’re all together… is this the right time to talk about the next big step for the farm?” Agriculture prides itself on its family foundations. But sometimes, those family […] Read more

George Meggison with his Japanese host family.

Want to travel? Here’s how

‘Opportunities are out there,’ says 4-H’s Melina Found. It’s a case of saying yes to them

Reading Time: 5 minutes As is clear from the photograph above, George Meggison loves travelling and learning about different people and places. Plus, with plans to study agriculture at university and then return to the family farm, he wants to see as much of the world as he can while he is young. “I think it’s very important to […] Read more