GFM Network News


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

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