GFM Network News


The best time to control pasture weeds is in the fall, when they are going into dormancy.

Getting forage crops off to a good start

Weed control and fertility are among the considerations before planting tame forage

Reading Time: 4 minutes As so often in farming, the advice on the best strategy for establishing tame pastures starts with “It depends.”  “When we’re talking about general establishment considerations for all uses, we really have to look at the soil type, the texture, soil pH and how rocky it is,” says Mike Witt, a farmer, professional hydrologist and […] Read more

File photo of cattle grazing on Prince Edward Island. (ArodPEI/iStock/Getty Images)

Eastern drought zones set for livestock tax deferrals

Regions designated in P.E.I., N.S., N.B., Quebec

Reading Time: 3 minutes In a decision that may have come late for some, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and parts of southeastern Quebec and northwestern Nova Scotia have been declared drought zones for eligible livestock producers’ 2020 tax purposes. The federal government on Monday released its list and map of prescribed drought regions where tax deferral on sales […] Read more


AC Saltlander at Ken Miller’s farm at Milk River, Alta. Miller says the bare patches have an electrical conductivity reading of 8 to 12, and the salt on the surface looks like snow. AC Saltlander rhizomes will creep into these severe patches at a rate of about one foot per year. It can do this, Miller says, because the plant’s seven-foot root system will lower the groundwater level. This allows the surface salts to percolate downwards instead of being concentrated in the top inch, and this percolation rehabilitates the land for AC Saltlander to creep in.

Managing salinity with forages

Some saline areas can never grow a profitable annual crop. Two farmers share their experiences with seeding perennial forages instead

Reading Time: 8 minutes Some acres were never suited to annual crop production. As some farmers get a better handle on the profitability of each cropped acre, they are putting the most dismal of these acres back into perennial forages where they belong. Salinity is a common reason for chronic underperformance. Severe saline areas are sickly white, rimmed with […] Read more

Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

Reading Time: 2 minutes MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] Read more


“We needed to get to a place where we could do everything with the push of a button,” says Livingston. He admits it was a challenge, taking some three years of R&D time and investment. Now, however, a single operator can control the whole feed production process from a keypad.

Looking for the green

The inventor of Hydrogreen technology has advice for anyone looking to bring a disruptive invention to market. “Go for it,” he says. “It’s a lot of work and many sleepless nights, but there are huge rewards.”

Reading Time: 7 minutes A new indoor hydroponic technology that raises live, green fodder from seed to feed in six days is starting to disrupt the way livestock is fed on farms around the world. Bill Vanderkooi has been testing the Hydrogreen system on his Abbotsford, B.C. farm for the past two years with his 250 head of grass-finished […] Read more

The project aims to shift to more legume and good-quality forage grass species rather than some of the non-essential plants or weeds now in the pasture.

More cattle, more birds and more carbon

New Brunswick community pasture project to measure the benefits of keeping land out of annual crops

Reading Time: 6 minutes The Tantramar Marsh near Sackville, New Brunswick, is a rich biodiversity zone and serves as an important flyway for North American birds. It is also home to the Tantramar Community Pasture, 1,685 acres on Crown land established in 1961 to provide cattle producers limited land to pasture their livestock and help keep costs low. About […] Read more


One tip is to make sure bales are the right size to fit through your hoop so you don’t end up with a pile of bales you can’t wrap.

Tips and tricks for successful baled silage

Don’t delay cutting, and make sure bales are a consistent size

Reading Time: 5 minutes Baled silage has several advantages over dry hay, including reduced risk and a higher-quality product when it’s made right. That was the message from Manitoba Agriculture’s livestock specialist Ray Bittner at the online Ag in Motion show in July. While a perfect season can mean a good yield of dry hay with no mould and […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Manitoba to open more Crown lands to haying, grazing

Province now taking requests for permits

Reading Time: < 1 minute Manitoba livestock producers up against dry conditions can now apply for temporary passes to get onto Crown land not normally designated for grazing or haying. The province announced Friday it will make such lands available this year for agricultural use “under certain circumstances.” Permits and land uses will be handled through the Agricultural Crown Lands […] Read more


(File photo)

Ontario extends fruit, forage insurance premium deadlines

Extension offers 'flexibility,' Agricorp says

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ontario fruit and forage growers who have production insurance premiums due this month will now have until June 30 to pay, the province said Monday. The extended premium payment deadline applies only to production insurance plans for fruit, strawberries and asparagus — and to the forage rainfall insurance plan, which uses rainfall as an indicator […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Manitoba extends forage insurance survey deadline

Review's face-to-face public meetings cancelled

Reading Time: 2 minutes Manitoba’s provincial review of its relatively under-subscribed crop insurance offerings for forage growers has extended its deadline for grower comment. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC) last week announced it has cancelled all in-person public meetings on its forage insurance review, citing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. But the agency has extended the deadline to take part […] Read more