GFM Network News


An experimental laboratory set-up for testing the effects of bacterial endophytes.

Stress relief for crops

These bacterial endophytes may give farmers more control over their crops than anyone has ever dreamed could be possible

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the chase to increase agricultural productivity, science has turned to hybridization, transgenics, soil fertility, pest resistance and even CRISPR. Every year there’s been something new. So what more could there be left to explore? Well, what if we could effectively stop stress? How much would our yields go up if stress was no longer […] Read more

ELDs are primarily a response to the falsifying of information and trucks exceeding hours of service.

Digging into the details of electronic logging devices

ELDs are improving safety and logistics, and pointing the way forward for farm transport

Reading Time: 4 minutes Change can be daunting in any field. When it’s imposed, especially by government regulation, it can get off to an even rockier start, such as with the subject of this article — electronic logging devices (ELDs) and Transport Canada’s implementation of the technology. Initially, many truckers and fleet operators who have installed the systems were […] Read more


The Dot A-U1, during a field demonstration at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, in September 2019.

Robotic weed management takes to the fields

The potential for cost savings and precise control is enormous

Reading Time: 6 minutes Extraordinary. Revolutionary. Game-changing. Those are just some of the adjectives being used to describe robotic weed management, a technology that is generating considerable anticipation based on the initial research into its benefits in a row-crop environment. The list of key players and systems includes WEEDit, Xarvio, Bosch, Agrifac and Einböck. And the potential is large […] Read more

Researchers are assessing the benefits of crops seeded into potato hills, similar to this nurse crop in carrots.

Call in a nurse. A “nurse” crop that is

A second crop planted along with potatoes protects the soil and boosts yields

Reading Time: 3 minutes Recent years have seen increased attention on the health of the soil used in potato production, and attempts to bring potatoes into longer rotations with other crops. In the Maritimes, seed companies are promoting soybeans or corn as rotational options and McCain has developed one- and two-year multi-species cover crop blends to help boost organic […] Read more


Soil micronutrients get a closer look

There’s a growing realization that soil fertility means more than just N, P and K

Reading Time: 5 minutes Some days, it’s hard to keep track of the latest word on soil health and fertility. One minute the word on sulphur is that it’s no longer a secondary nutrient and that’s it right up there with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. The next, we’re hearing that boron or molybdenum levels need more attention. According to […] Read more

“I believe we can reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides by bio-based fertilizers and pesticides.” – Dr. Ze-Chun Yuan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The next green revolution

In this Ontario lab, bacteria are working to drive nutrient uptake and accelerate crop growth

Reading Time: 4 minutes Scientists are delving deeper into the soil in hope of finding that next innovation to boost yields while enhancing soil health and reducing pollution concerns. And it seems they’re onto something. Or, better yet, some things. In particular, a scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has looked inside decomposing corn roots in southern Ontario […] Read more


A nitrogen stabilizer will benefit corn growers since it's the crop that receives the highest rates of nitrogen.

In search of better N efficiency

Next-generation nitrification stabilizers are another step in plant health, with a boost to the environment too

Reading Time: 4 minutes There was a time when farming was simple: plow the ground, plant the seed and harvest the crop. Now, farmers need to make decisions on tillage practices, crop rotations, pest management, fertility, precision ag technology, soil health, genetics and a changing climate. And just to make it that much more challenging, each decision overlaps and […] Read more

Epigenetics is already working in sorghum trials, and has cleared initial regulatory barriers too.

Is this what farmers have been waiting for?

Based on promising early results, “epigenetics” may help save agriculture from climate change

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the past 25 years, the agricultural landscape has seen several significant changes, from the advent of herbicide-tolerant crops to precision agriculture systems and soil supplements. Many were dubbed game changers when they were introduced, and we’re glad to have them all, but they also met with unexpected issues like weed resistance, or they didn’t […] Read more


An NDVI image of a corn crop that indicates side-dress nitrogen effects on corn maturity.

Field imagery much more just a pretty picture

Overhead imagery can transform how you farm, but it’s essential to choose the right technology — and commit to it

Reading Time: 8 minutes Precision agriculture has had a rough go since it was first conceptualized in the mid-1990s with the advent of the yield monitor. At that point, “variable rate” became part of agriculture’s vocabulary, followed by zone mapping, aerial imagery and a growing list of technologies now available to growers. Yet there’s still reluctance to rely too […] Read more

Yield remains the primary focus in breeding, but other quality parameters, like standability, are also important.

Public cereal crop breeding rebounds

With eight public breeders at work in Eastern Canada, look for more cereals in your future

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s so much to like about cereals in Eastern Canada, whether you’re talking winter or spring wheat, oats, barley or even rye. They’re great for the soil, with stubble and roots that help improve soil organic matter levels and boost yields in subsequent corn and soybean crops (especially winter wheat), and there are benefits for […] Read more