GFM Network News

A crop of soft red winter wheat, grown at Szentimrey Seeds near Cambridge, Ont., in 2019.

The struggle for longer crop rotations

Growers know the benefits, but often the economics seem just too steep

Reading Time: 7 minutes Modern agronomic science is clear. Longer rotations are better. Three crops are better than two, four are better than three. Yet commodity prices and weather conditions often confound the search for an ideal rotation. In 2019, corn had two knocks against it. The planting season turned wet. Plus, the market was weighed down by heavy […] Read more

Winter canola has some challenges but could provide growers with another rotation option for corn and soybeans.

Winter canola could be your next ‘third crop’

Winter canola opens the door to late-summer planting, double cropping and longer rotations

Reading Time: 5 minutes Growers across much of southern Ontario have long been on the lookout for another “third crop.” The standard is winter wheat, but in the past few years, more growers have felt pinched by everything from its crop prices to poor planting conditions in the fall. If they don’t have another option, it isn’t for lack […] Read more

Cover crops can get as complex as you want but the best advice is always to start slow and simple.

New directions in cover crops

Today, factors like microbial interactions and soil quality are influencing choices and practices

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the midst of a renaissance in soil health, researchers, agronomists and extension personnel have been pushing the message that everything a grower does in a field is connected to everything else. Fertility is linked to planting depth, just as mycorrhizal fungi are connected to weed management. Nothing happens on its own without some effect […] Read more

The agriculture industry must realize growers and consumers can see the same thing differently.

Can innovation soothe consumer fears?

CRISPR promises huge potential gains for the entire world, but first it must develop signs of consumer acceptance

Reading Time: 7 minutes Agriculture has done a better job of creating advanced genetics than of gaining public acceptance for them. Ever since the arrival of Bt corn and RR soybeans, growers have seen yield increases and simplified weed and pest management spread across crops and across the country. Yet in 2020, a segment of society still opposes those […] Read more

UAV or drone imagery has its strengths and weaknesses the same as satellite or nanosatellite imagery.

‘Sky-high’ technology takes to new heights

Hmmm… If drones are good, would a nanosatellite be even better?

Reading Time: 6 minutes With every piece of equipment and every line of computer software that the precision ag sector creates, farmers are playing catch-up. Yes, it’s exciting to learn about new technology and the endless possibilities around the corner, but in the real world, that corner is still out of sight. The requirements for huge amounts of data […] Read more

Diligent screening of susceptible varieties and better fungicide timing means growers are managing fusarium head blight.

New cereal fungicide seeks to carve out its own niche

Cerefit's dual mode of action acts as a preventive and curative

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the fight against diseases in winter wheat in Eastern Canada, the agri-food industry has done a remarkable job in effectively managing fusarium head blight — for decades considered the crop’s greatest disease threat. Seed companies have screened and eliminated susceptible varieties while timing of fungicide applications has advanced to the extent that fusarium is […] Read more

Bean leaf beetle is another pest increasing in numbers in soybean and edible bean fields.

What’s going to ‘bug’ you in 2020?

Western bean cutworm is quickly climbing the ranks as our biggest threat

Reading Time: 6 minutes Insect pests never seem to get the respect they deserve. If they present a threat during a growing season, they move front and centre, but more often they’re a much lower concern than fertility, weeds and diseases. Some of that is thanks to today’s improved genetics and commercial varieties and hybrids that produce their hardier, […] Read more

To be effective, a good stewardship strategy should provide options for this year and a glimpse ahead to next year.

The stewardship challenge in farming

With field management getting more complicated, it’s time for a new approach

Reading Time: 7 minutes As the 2020 planting season approaches, growers, advisors, agronomists and industry stakeholders are all hoping for something better than the past two years. Does every year have to have a challenge like 2019’s difficult harvest, or 2018’s run-in with gibberella ear rot (GER) in corn? If it weren’t for the headaches imposed by weather, a […] Read more

The 2018 growing season was bad for gibberella ear rot in many corn fields and it remains a challenge.

Disease outlook for the 2020 crop season

We can’t be sure which diseases will attack this year, but indications are that once they arrive, they’ll be here to stay

Reading Time: 7 minutes What will be the big disease concern this year? Will it be tar spot in corn, or frog-eye leaf spot in soybeans? Or will growers be facing more of the same, with soybean cyst nematode and northern corn leaf blight? Forecasting diseases is iffy at best. The truth is that most disease pathogens, once they […] Read more

Many farmers still rely on dial-up service or muddle through limited broadband capacity to download information on their cell phone.

Rural isolation in a digital world

If farmers have to wait 10 years to catch up on high-speed internet access, will it be too late? No one knows

Reading Time: 7 minutes The internet has become such an integral part of our lives that it’s hard to remember 20 years ago when only 30 per cent of households had access. Life without clear, reliable connectivity in today’s business world is a little like asking a doctor to go back to the days before penicillin or having to […] Read more