GFM Network News


Many students coming out of college and university aren’t aware they lack some of the core skills they will need on the job, says BASF’s Melissa Parkinson.

Job starts

Here’s how one corporation is responding to the same challenge farmers face — creating great team members out of today’s college and university grads

Maybe their parents are starting to understand that a key trend for Canada’s young people — whether they’re on the farm or off — is to look to social media to find the people and the opinions that will shape them and their careers. Still, the parents are worried, sometimes with good reason. After making […] Read more

Selling sales

When schools look down on sales, marketing and personal skills, you the farmer lose as much as the students

Ask most recruiters or human resource professionals working in ag today and they will tell you there is a growing gap between the skills needed to perform key roles in agribusiness and the skills that high school, college or university students can bring to the job. Lori Litherland, founder of agricultural recruiter Litherland and Company, […] Read more


There is an urgent need to develop and equip farm advisers with the tools and skills they need to help farm families successfully pass on the farm to the next generation.

Better steps for farm transition

Canadian agriculture is suffering a shortage of family farm advisers with the training and skills to help our farms through succession and transition

It’s expected that three in four Canadian farms will change hands in the next 10 years, many of them from one generation of the family to the next. But where will these farms find help they can trust to navigate their increasingly complex transitions? There aren’t enough trained and experienced farm advisers to go around […] Read more

Kristen MacMillan says interactions such as bean type, variety, inoculant type and environment can affect how edible beans interact with the N in the soil.

How much N? A soil test isn’t the only answer

Different crops, different varieties, different inoculants, and different soil environments all affect the N-application decision these days

You need to know two things to calculate your nitrogen application — the crop requirement and the available N in the soil. At least that used to be the case, but it’s not now, not since pulse crops have become such an important part of the rotation. When it comes to fixing N, not all […] Read more


Importing the LEAN philosophy to your farm

Money Management: At first, it seemed ‘Lean’ might only work on small farms. Now it’s showing how to drive out waste and pump up profit on large farms too

Lean” is a management and organizational system originally developed by car manufacturer Toyota. There wasn’t a farm in sight. But now, after boosting balance sheets for so many other businesses worldwide, some think it’s about time mainstream agriculture got onboard. We will meet Indiana farmer Ben Hartman who has been applying Lean principles to his […] Read more

Embrace those business growing pains

Money Management: A look at how Lean manufacturing is implemented

Let’s say your farm business has been bumping along much as anyone would expect. You’ve been experimenting with some new crops, maybe investing in some updated technology along the way, all the while riding the inevitable ups and downs of the farming road. Then, out of the blue, something is keeping you up at night. […] Read more


Lean on this farm

Five steps for lean management

For the past 10 years, Ben Hartman and his wife Rachel Hershberger have been running a Lean farm near Goshen, Indiana. That’s “Lean” meaning efficient and highly productive, not in the sense of barely surviving. Today Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, is recognized as one of the United States’ leading experts on applying lean […] Read more

Acres of corn are a more common sight right across Western Canada these days.

Taking the corn plunge in the West — gradually

Experienced farmers on the Prairies say to start by planning how you’ll dry your trial corn crop. Then, everything else will fall in place

Access to new shorter-season genetics means many Prairie farmers would like to give corn a try, but they’re put off by the considerable upfront costs for equipment such as planters, combine headers, grain dryers and additional storage. For those who want to start with a trial run, however, there are options such as sharing equipment […] Read more


“Soil is life,” says producer Blain Hjertaas. “Our job as farmers is to be stewards of that, and improve it as we use it.”

The building block of soil

Soil scientists are putting more focus on the value of organic matter for feeding important microbes and boosting moisture-managing capacity

Without it, soil is just dirt. There’s a new recognition of the importance of soil organic matter, and not only for improving crop yields. It’s also a tool in the effort to mitigate climate change. Blain Hjertaas, a holistic management farmer and grazier at Redvers, Sask., participates in the Soil Carbon Challenge, an international “competition” […] Read more

The ‘succession effect’

Setting transition as a goal for your farm can spur growth and profitability, until about three-quarters of the way through

All farmers, no matter where they farm in the world, share certain characteristics. They are all born worriers, and they all have lots to worry about — weather, crop prices, markets. And on top of the day-to-day production issues, and the management challenges involved in running today’s complex farm operations, farmers also have a lot […] Read more