GFM Network News


“The formality of it encourages every member at the table to feel equally respected,” Chris Clarke emphasizes.

Working with change, instead of fearing it

Non-farm family businesses are in the throes of succession planning too. With the help of Chris Clarke, here’s how they’re elevating their team skills for superior succession planning — and why it’s driving their business performance as well

Reading Time: 5 minutes By now, every farmer has encountered more than a few articles on succession planning, and maybe the thought of even one more doesn’t seem all that appealing. Indeed, you’ve probably read the first few paragraphs of quite a few of these stories and paused, wondering if you’ll learn anything new. Well, this article is a […] Read more

“I’m not sure the message is getting through,” says CFIB’s Corinne Pohlmann. But the stats are brutal… 70 per cent of businesses that don’t plan for succession end up failing.

Sharing succession stories

What can farmers learn from the transition struggles of Canada’s other independent, family-based businesses?

Reading Time: 5 minutes From a business perspective, whether it’s a family business, a family farm business or any other kind, succession planning is not only smart, it’s a condition of survival. According to the Family Business Institute for example, after the leader of a family business exits the picture for whatever reason, 70 per cent of these enterprises […] Read more


The SWAT maps show a 3D image such as this one. Zone 1 (red) is water-shedding, thin topsoils with low organic matter. Zone 5 (yellow) is a field average soil. Zone 10 (green) areas are water-collecting areas with deep topsoils with high organic matter.

The best place for crop inputs…

Is where there’s enough moisture to grow a good crop. SWAT technology says it can tell you where that is

Reading Time: 5 minutes The description of Cory Willness’s canola field near Naicam, Sask., this year could fit hundreds of others across the Prairies. It has variable topography with too much moisture in the depressions. The topsoil on the knoll is poorer because of erosion over the years. “We also had had some establishment problems along the top this […] Read more

Growing conditions weren’t ideal at Indian Head in 2018 and 2019, but economic results were similar for both years.

Hang on to your chequebook for cropping decisions

Highest returns come from soil testing to determine fertility rates plus choosing crop-protection products based on past pest problems and frequent scouting

Reading Time: 4 minutes After two years of a three-year trial, results indicate that the highest wheat yields and protein come from applying the highest level of inputs. But if you’re interested in the highest profits, you might want to hang on to your chequebook. The trial is led by Chris Holzapfel, research manager at the Indian Head Agricultural […] Read more


Wet conditions will increase the chance of clubroot-infected soil sticking to machinery and being transferred to other fields.

Disease considerations for a late and wet spring

In the west, it could mean more clubroot transmission. In the east, growers should be concerned about phytophthora in soybeans

Reading Time: 4 minutes At the time of writing, spring moisture conditions in Eastern Canada remained to be seen, but there wasn’t much question about the Prairies — many growers would still be dealing with wet soils and late planting due to rain and snow from last fall. For example, by early October the Western Cypress Hills area of […] Read more

Sudden death syndrome is expected to worsen in southwestern Ontario soybeans and root rot could also be a serious concern this year if the conditions at planting time are wet.

Soybean and corn disease threats in Eastern Canada

Growers will need to use all their experience, best management practices and new tools to successfully combat disease in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Another crop season is upon us and certain disease threats stand out in soybeans and corn in Eastern Canada. “SDS (sudden death syndrome) is expected to worsen in southwestern Ontario soybeans and root rot could be a serious concern this year if the conditions at planting time are wet,” notes Dr. Owen Wally, research scientist […] Read more


How much bigger are farms getting?

Farm size is increasing in Canada, but the rate of expansion is slowing, and new ownership models are emerging

Reading Time: 6 minutes Tom Eisenhauer, CEO and president of Toronto-based national farm financing firm Bonnefield Financial, gets right to his point. “To maximize their profits,” he says, “farmers need to maximize the utilization of their equipment, their inputs and their labour. “This usually means expansion.” J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist at Farm Credit Canada, also believes that larger […] Read more

Electronics have saved big combines so far, but there’s no guarantee for tomorrow.

Looking for the next “jump-shift” in agriculture

Amid all the predictions that agriculture in 2030 will look utterly different than today, a new, less dramatic future is emerging

Reading Time: 6 minutes Way back in 2009, Country Guide published a story on a new idea that was being called “jump-shift.” It’s the theory that the only real way to get ahead is to make sudden transitions or “jumps,” instead of trying to evolve smoothly and steadily. Shift quickly, jump whole-hog. Commit yourself to deciding which technologies to […] Read more


The 4R program is intended to keep nutrients in the soil instead of leaching into nearby rivers and lakes.

Going forward with a 4R nutrient plan

Doing the right thing with nutrients can save money, boost yields and protect the environment

Reading Time: 5 minutes You’ve probably heard of it, and you might even be practising it. If so, you might want to advertise it to customers and the general public. If you’re not practising it, you may be missing an opportunity to save some money and gain some yield. “It” is Fertilizer Canada’s (FC) ‘4R’ Nutrient Stewardship. The program […] Read more

Tara Sawyer, centre, with husband Matt, right, and from left, Quin, Emmett and Cassidy.

At the edge

Five strategies that the new generation of farmers are embracing to take their farm businesses to the next level

Reading Time: 6 minutes “A wise person once said to me ‘if you don’t stretch, you don’t grow.’” That’s straight from Jake Ayre, the chair of Manitoba Young Farmers who crops 1,900 acres north of Minto together with his parents Heather and Andrew, sister Caitlin and an employee. It’s become his mantra, and a mission. “Be open-minded and try […] Read more