GFM Network News


‘Soap opera’ prenups

Marriage agreements built on fairness can be a legitimate risk management tool

Reading Time: 7 minutes Picture this. The bride, decked out in finery, arrives at the church on the morning of her wedding. As she reaches the church doors, a man in a suit blocks her way. In his hand is a prenuptial agreement ensuring she has no rights to the property of the farmer she’s marrying. If she wants […] Read more

CDC Fraser shows good lodging resistance, an important trait for maintaining malting quality.

Balancing demands for both quality and yield in barley

New barley varieties show yield gains over old favourites AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland. What’s needed now is industry acceptance

Reading Time: 4 minutes A quick scan of the farm press this spring might have been enough to convince you Canadian barley has a yield problem. The sharp drop in Prairie acreage suggests farmers may think the same thing — only 6.2 million acres were seeded last year, about two million less than 10 years earlier and half the […] Read more


Terry and father Harry Aberhart find their advisory team widens their management options.

A farm advisory team that works — for you

Advisors can help take the emotion out of business decisions

Reading Time: 8 minutes A few years ago, Harvey Aberhart came to a family farm meeting looking stressed out. Like many farmers across the country, he wanted the family to find their way to a healthy, forward-looking succession plan, but the night before the meeting, he had been kept up all through the early hours by thoughts of a […] Read more

FHB infection in barley. The Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute and the Canadian Grain Commission are testing an innovative post-harvest treatment from a Scandinavian company called ThermoSeed. It has potential to eliminate the pathogen during malting and brewing.

Careful grain sampling key when looking for mycotoxins

Ontario’s worst-ever year for DON infection in corn may provide some guidance for managing the problem in Western Canada

Reading Time: 5 minutes For Ontario corn growers dealing with an outbreak of deoxynivalenol (DON), 2018 was a year to forget. “It was a really major, widespread issue,” says Art Schaafsma, a professor in field crop pest management for the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus. He says the last time the industry saw widespread issues with DON was in […] Read more


Western Canada’s “King wheat” acreage is now equalled by the former “Cinderella crop” of canola, but that’s at the expense of the recommended frequency in rotation.

Taking a long-term look at agronomy for canola

Researchers say canola’s environmental footprint has improved but a new agronomic struggle is on the horizon

Reading Time: 4 minutes Canola-based rotation systems can improve long-term sustainability by using less energy and storing carbon below the ground, but keeping them going on top is proving to be a challenge. A study by Saskatchewan Research Council’s Susan MacWilliam, along with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist Reynald Lemke and others, compared the impact of changing management […] Read more

“A lot of the newer wheat varieties are moving toward semi-dwarf stature and that doesn’t fit well with what I need for wheat competition characteristics in organic wheat production.” – Ian Cushon, Oxbow.

Homegrown ‘boutique wheat’

Breeding program lets farmers participate in breeding wheat and oat varieties suited to organic production

Reading Time: 5 minutes Not many remember that the Canadian Seed Growers Association started with a seed-selection competition for children. In the early 1900s, agriculturalist James Robertson and philanthropist Sir William MacDonald, wanting to encourage farmers to use seed selection to improve the output and resilience of Canadian farms, targeted their children with a contest: the children would select […] Read more


Treatments included three yield zones and four N fertilizer rates — 0, 50, 100 and 150 per cent N based on soil test.

Zone-by-zone nitrogen application may not pay

A three-year study finds surprisingly little response to extra nitrogen in both high- and low-producing areas

Reading Time: 3 minutes A new Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada study suggests producers should take soil test nitrogen prescriptions by management zone with a grain of salt. They don’t necessarily reflect what researcher Alan Moulin calls the “supplying power” of the soil, and since fields vary, there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription to meet crop nutrient demands. This doesn’t mean producers […] Read more

AAFC tests have been on a pull-type Harrington Seed Destructor, but a newer version is integrated with the combine.

Weed control from the back of the combine

Prairie manufacturers are offering chaff collectors, and AAFC continues tests with the Harrington Seed Destructor

Reading Time: 4 minutes Mechanical weed control hasn’t been widely adopted in Western Canada but it soon will be, says Trevor Thiessen of Redekop Manufacturing in Saskatoon. “We don’t have the same stress on the resistance issue that other parts of the world are seeing. In Canada, we’re five years behind Australia in terms of thinking about mechanical weed […] Read more


General Mills and Cargill Canada have both announced programs aimed at regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture hits the mainstream

Big Ag is getting on the bandwagon, but market premiums still aren’t on the table

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’re a cattle producer, you may already have heard the term “regenerative agriculture.” If you’re a grain producer, maybe not. But that’s about to change. This spring, General Mills announced a plan to advance regenerative agriculture practices on one million acres of farmland in the U.S. and Canada by 2030, and Cargill Canada announced […] Read more

Shallow-rooted pulses such as peas and lentils not only add nitrogen but leave some deeper moisture for a following crop.

A sure-fire piece of crop advice

While there’s no ideal rotation for Western Canada, long-term studies show that over time, diversification will pay off

Reading Time: 3 minutes There are no silver bullets in agriculture — agro-ecosystems are too complex for any one tool to guarantee outcomes. All the same, some tools seem to have an outsized benefit. This holds true for pulses, according to a suite of research studies led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist Yantai Gan, whose focus […] Read more