GFM Network News


Western Canada’s “King wheat” acreage is now equalled by the former “Cinderella crop” of canola, but that’s at the expense of the recommended frequency in rotation.

Taking a long-term look at agronomy for canola

Researchers say canola’s environmental footprint has improved but a new agronomic struggle is on the horizon

Reading Time: 4 minutes Canola-based rotation systems can improve long-term sustainability by using less energy and storing carbon below the ground, but keeping them going on top is proving to be a challenge. A study by Saskatchewan Research Council’s Susan MacWilliam, along with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist Reynald Lemke and others, compared the impact of changing management […] Read more

Telus buys Farm At Hand

Reading Time: 2 minutes Vancouver farm management software development firm Farm At Hand has become an arm of one of the Big Five in Canada’s communication services sector. Farm At Hand, which makes the cloud-based Crop Planner software suite for farmers and the Farm At Hand Agronomy suite for agronomists, announced Tuesday it has been wholly acquired by Telus […] Read more


Sylvite set to buy Thompsons agronomy business

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario grain and bean handler Thompsons Ltd. is set to sell its crop agronomy business to a retail business partner in that province. U.S. grain firm The Andersons, the owner of Thompsons since January, announced Tuesday in its second-quarter report it plans to sell Thompsons’ “agronomy assets” to Burlington, Ont.-based Sylvite Holdings. Financial terms of […] Read more



Contrary to a common perception, water-use efficiency and drought tolerance are not one and the same.

The water question

Should you be more concerned about drought tolerance, or water-use efficiency?

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s a term that’s often loosely used, and it isn’t well understood at any level. Yet it may become one of the dominant yield limitations in your crop production within the next few years. Water-use efficiency has been part of agronomy’s lexicon for decades, yet as yields have increased, its definition and how it functions[...]
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Friedhelm Hoffmann has fertigated corn, soybeans and wheat, which he states yielded 140 bushels per acre.

Get there on time

Timely delivery is a big plus for “fertigation,” but can you afford the costs and the management demands?

Reading Time: 7 minutes In precision agriculture, the focus is typically on the low-hanging fruit, i.e. the use of yield data to create variable-rate fertilizer scripts, investing in individual row units with automatic down-force, or using aerial imagery to pinpoint trouble spots in a field. Most such discussions are also confined to choices about soil, seed and fertility. Yet[...]
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Canola Council resets course for ‘efficiencies’

Reading Time: 3 minutes Facing new limits on available funding, Canada’s canola value chain organization plans to refocus its work on its “core strengths” and collaborate with other players. The Canola Council of Canada on Wednesday announced a revised work plan, coming out of a “priorities review” undertaken after one of Canada’s biggest grain companies called a halt to[...]
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It’s not possible to weather-proof soybeans but it is possible to give them every opportunity to meet their genetic potential, in spite of various stresses.

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Higher yields begin with enhanced management practices, which means continuous learning

Reading Time: 6 minutes In recent growing seasons, the disparity between corn and soybeans has been getting harder to ignore. The frustration has been getting harder to ignore too. Why can’t farmers raise their soybean yields as quickly and as reliably as their corn? There’s little debate that corn yields have advanced greatly in the past 20 years, to[...]
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Despite several years of successful winter grazing, Mike Buis has a Plan B of also baling a cover crop blend to have in reserve if weather doesn’t co-operate.

Another cover crop bonus – winter grazing

This Ontario producer lets the cows do the work, meaning benefits for both him and his crop-growing neighbour

Reading Time: 5 minutes Cover crops have caught on like wildfire for corn producers in the U.S. and Eastern Canada, mainly because of their benefits for soil health. But some producers have found another bonus — a source of feed for grazing cattle. Mike Buis has been doing it for about 15 years, seeing the overall benefits in animal[...]
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Sulphur-deficient plants appear paler (foreground) than those with adequate S.

Sulphur gets hot

The nutrient’s use is definitely trending up, and there’s still more room for growth

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s a question that’s asked of a lot of nutrients in soils across Eastern Can­ada: Is there enough in my soil, or isn’t there? Discussions surrounding deficiencies and field levels typically target macronutrients like potash and phosphorus, or even other nutrients like nitrogen, or the micronutrients magnesium, manganese, boron, zinc or copper. But sulphur sits[...]
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