GFM Network News


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

Labour is a growing input cost and farmers need to pay more attention to it.

Gauging employee productivity

Sure, your employees seem busy enough. But are they productive? Better yet, can you improve their productivity?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Of course farmers have an excellent grasp of their input costs. As in any business, the lower the costs, the better the bottom line, so farmers are constantly experimenting with different fertilizer rates, seeding rates, equipment strategies and so much more. And for everything they do, farmers track what it costs, what it produces and […] Read more


A view from above of Stamp Seeds in Alberta.

The joy of farm diversification

On more farms across Canada, keeping an eye open for diversification opportunities is part of what it means to farm

Reading Time: 11 minutes Chances are, any reader of Country Guide knows at least some farmers who have diversified in some way. The odds are good, too, that you’ve heard them get talked about. Maybe you’ve done some of the talking yourself? Everyone has an opinion. Are these farmers risk-takers, or are they just ordinary farmers like you who […] Read more

“It’s important to build leadership skills in younger members of the family,” Davies says. “It’s important that offspring step up and be able to explains how a new idea will work.”

Is your farm keeping up with the times?

These eight practices are becoming the standard for smart Canadian farmers. Are you using them all?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Farmers across Canada are doing their very best to integrate business practices into their farming operations. They understand that maximizing the success of a farm business takes more than production excellence. But what business practices should they make standard, and why? Let’s first look at where farmers have started from, based on a study called […] Read more


Finding people you trust in order to build good working relationships doesn’t happen overnight, so start building your team as soon as possible.

Want a super farm business? Build your ‘superteam’

Top tips from the frontline on creating and optimizing a business management team for your farm

Reading Time: 6 minutes The words can be heard all across the country. “Our accountant, lawyer and bank manager are key players in decision-making on our farm,” says Luanne Lynn, who is currently past president of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program (she and husband Philip were Outstanding Young Farmers in 2005). The Lynns have a cash crop operation in […] Read more

Blockchain pilot project of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) and Grain Discovery, which involved soybeans bred at the University of Guelph, produced by Szentimrey Seeds, grown at Minten Farms, stored at Beechwood Agri Services, processed at Ying Ying Soy Food in Mississauga, and distributed by FreshSpoke to retail stores.

Real blockchain payoffs

Sure, a lot of what you hear about blockchain technology is hype. But there are also very real pathways to higher net returns

Reading Time: 10 minutes By now, we’ve all heard about the new kid on the ag tech block, known as blockchain. But we’re far from understanding what the use of blockchain is going to mean at the farm level. What benefits will it provide? Will its chain-of-custody and traceability for identity-preserved (IP) crops, including seed, keep Canada competitive? Is […] Read more


It’s been a great advantage to our business already,” says Laura Holtmann. Better employees, better retention… it all adds up.

Crafting a new human resources plan for your farm

Don’t wait any longer. An HR management plan to protect the long-term success of your farm business could be worth working on now. Here’s why

Reading Time: 10 minutes Agriculture is changing. Innovation abounds. More new technology and better automation arrive every year. So it’s worse than ironic that our biggest shortfall is people power. But there it is. Without the right people, can our farms even hope to adopt the technological marvels that are supposed to propel them into the future? Mechanization is […] Read more

Each Prairie province has a website with information on completing an Environmental Farm Plan.

Why Environmental Farm Plans aren’t just for livestock farmers

All three Prairie provinces offer to cost-share programs for producers who have completed an Environmental Farm Plan and adopt beneficial management practices

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Environmental Farm Plan isn’t just for livestock producers, especially as the pressure increases on crop growers to demonstrate their sustainable-cropping practices to the food industry. But before we look at how the EFP is playing an important role in regional and global sustainable-sourcing initiatives, let’s look at what cost-sharing projects related to crops are […] Read more