GFM Network News


Lane Stockbrugger on his farm in Saskatchewan.

Sizing up the farm

Lane Stockbrugger is betting that the age of the family farm has got a long ways to go yet

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was in the wide-open spaces of Saskatchewan where the trend was perhaps most apparent a few short years ago. A one-two combination had suddenly brought a lot of new attention to farming and farmland. First, crop prices spiked, creating attractive margins for the first time in a generation. Then, predictably, farmland followed suit, as […] Read more

Making change for cereal crop development

In the wake of deregulation, the cereals sector has needed to reorganize itself, and so far it seems like the major pieces have been picked up

Reading Time: 7 minutes When the Canadian Wheat Board was losing the single desk, there was no shortage of dire predictions about what the fallout might be. Even many of those in favour of an open market conceded that there were a lot of moving parts, and it was going to be necessary to proceed with caution lest very […] Read more


Is this the shape of Prairie grain? Monsanto is betting $100 million on it.

The Corn Belt moves north

Monsanto has plans to produce varieties that can be grown on half the acres in Western Canada

Reading Time: 7 minutes It might not look like it at first glance, but this nondescript boardroom in a steel building beside a busy highway in southern Manitoba is the heart of the western Canadian corn pipeline. The site near Carman is home to Monsanto’s major corn expansion project, announced just over two years ago with much fanfare and […] Read more

There may be ways to cut herbicide costs this year, but one of them should not be cutting rates.

Where do you cut when you have to cut costs?

As crop prices drop, growers have a new focus on cost containment. Weed control is always a big bill, so it’s only natural this gets a hard look — but taking the wrong steps could cost you money

Reading Time: 4 minutes High crop prices always make the decision to apply crop protection products relatively easy. Just a few years ago, when canola was north of $700 per tonne and wheat was sitting near $500 per tonne, the question was never “Should I spray?” it was “Why wouldn’t I spray?” After all, at those prices if you […] Read more


In Arkansas, there’s only one tool left for managing herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth — the hoe.

We need to get our herbicide resistance response right

Dealing with what's become a global problem could end up being one of Canada's key competitive advantages as a grain-exporting nation

Reading Time: 7 minutes In Australia, the problem is so bad growers are catching chaff with mechanical seed destructors or burning it in windrows in order to destroy weed seeds. In the U.S. Cotton Belt, the unthinkable has happened and crews walk through fields, hand-roguing Palmer amaranth at $150 per acre. In Europe, they’re resorting to more and more […] Read more

“We believe, coming in as a small player in this industry, we’re going to have to provide a different value proposition to the farmer and the market.”

Head of G3 promises to shake up Canada’s grain industry

Karl Gerrand thinks high-speed logistics are the answer to moving grain. But will his competitors play nice?

Reading Time: 7 minutes If there’s one thing Karl Gerrand understands, it’s that Canada’s newest grain company can’t afford to be just another “me too” operator. Gerrand is heading up Global Grain Group, or G3 as it has quickly been dubbed in the business, a phoenix arising from the ashes of the former Canadian Wheat Board with the backing […] Read more


Unique farmer-driven funding model achieving the ‘im-pulse-able’

The Prairie pulse sector has developed from a few hundred acres to a few million

Reading Time: 6 minutes Sometime in the next year or two, University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre pulse breeder Bert Vandenberg expects the sector will quietly cross a very important milestone. In the early days people like him set themselves a lofty goal of capturing a significant number of acres with soil-building, protein-rich legume crops like field peas and […] Read more

Preliminary research suggests strip tillage is an option for exposing enough soil to get it warm enough to plant corn in Western Canada.

Corn isn’t just about crop heat units

New shorter-season hybrids are just part of the Prairie corn picture. Just as important will be the local research to fine-tune how they’ll fit into the production system

Reading Time: 5 minutes As the life-science companies begin to deliver on their promise of shorter-season corn for the Prairies, another challenge arises. Typically corn is grown in rotation with soybeans in a far wetter climate in a corn-soybean rotation. How will it fit in a drier landscape, and in rotation with wheat, pulses and canola? There aren’t many […] Read more


Are Canadian farmers becoming more European?

Canada’s farmers are getting more and more regulated. Do we have to become just like Europe?

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the mid-1970s, when David Rolfe made the decision to sell up in rural England and set up shop in rural Manitoba as one of Canada’s newest immigrant farmers, burdensome regulations were certainly part of the equation. It would have been one thing if they had been sensible regulations well-grounded in reasonable desires, which is […] Read more

Fabulous fababeans

Good results for the past few seasons have led to increased interest in fababeans, but like any new crop, there are still a few hurdles to clear

Reading Time: 6 minutes After a false start in the 1970s, it looks like fababeans are back on the Prairies for good this time. Alberta farmers planted only 15,000 acres in 2012, but most estimates put acreage at well over 100,000 acres last season. This interest has crossed the border into Saskatchewan too, with more than 15,000 acres going […] Read more