GFM Network News


The researchers found that an N rate of 90 lb./ac. provided the most consistent economic returns when oat prices are between $2.50 to $3 per bushel.

Boost the N and boost the fungicide?

Study shows oat growers should make separate decisions on how much of each to apply

Reading Time: 3 minutes With the increasing demand for oats in the food market, growers these days are paying attention to both yield and quality, leading to questions about managing both nitrogen and fungicides. Does use of one affect how much you should use of the other? Not by much, according to research published this spring. Agriculture Canada crop […] Read more

“We have a strong connection to our land,” says Howard Besser, with wife Jannette. “It’s hard to up and sell.” A phased approach proved to be their best answer.

Winding down: How will Canada’s aging farmers sell their land?

As the Besser family discovered, it can pay to play the long game

Reading Time: 5 minutes In 2011, Howard and Jannette Besser found themselves at a crossroads. The pair, who farmed 3,000 acres near Plumas, Man., had reached their 50th birthdays, their sons were not interested in farming, and they could see they’d have to start purchasing bigger, newer equipment if they wanted to carry on. “We decided to step out,” […] Read more


Producer Jay Schultz found that despite a tough 2019 harvest with slow-maturing crops and tough moisture conditions, early-seeded wheat came off earlier than normal and graded No. 1 CW.

Pushing the wheat seeding envelope

Good seed treatments are recommended, but research at Lethbridge suggests you should start the drill when the soil is at 2 C

Reading Time: 4 minutes Statistically, early seeding equals higher yield, at least over the long term. But how early can you seed without having a wreck due to cold spring conditions? Earlier than you might think, apparently. Last spring, Jay Schultz started seeding his CWRS wheat (mainly Brandon, with some Eli and Viewfield) on April 15 — the earliest […] Read more

If you’re feeling more isolated lately out in the country you’re not alone. According to Stats Canada, rural populations are on a slow decline.

Alone on the farm, or lonely?

Farm life can be more isolating and more challenging than ever, making it even more important to ask yourself these questions

Reading Time: 5 minutes Christi Friesen has learned to recognize signs that she’s heading into a spiral of negative thinking — and it usually happens when she’s pulling 18-hour days on the tractor on her Peace River farm in Alberta. “When you’re out in the boondocks, your closest neighbour is a half-mile away and you’re working alone and you’re […] Read more


Giving wheat midge a few susceptible wheat plants to feed on ensures that the resistant population doesn’t eventually take over.

A decade of midge-tolerant wheat

New varieties are in the pipeline for CWRS and SWS classes

Reading Time: 4 minutes Over the past 10 years, western Canadian farmers have deliberately seeded 27 million acres of wheat susceptible to orange blossom wheat midge — and saved themselves an estimated $1 billion in lost yield and quality. To be clear, only 10 per cent of the seed on those acres was susceptible to midge, and that’s been […] Read more

‘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