GFM Network News


Shallow-rooted pulses such as peas and lentils not only add nitrogen but leave some deeper moisture for a following crop.

A sure-fire piece of crop advice

While there’s no ideal rotation for Western Canada, long-term studies show that over time, diversification will pay off

There are no silver bullets in agriculture — agro-ecosystems are too complex for any one tool to guarantee outcomes. All the same, some tools seem to have an outsized benefit. This holds true for pulses, according to a suite of research studies led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientist Yantai Gan, whose focus […] Read more

“A seeding rate that targets five to eight plants per square foot is like yield insurance,” says Autumn Barnes with the Canola Council of Canada.

What’s the best seeding rate for canola?

The optimal rate balances seed cost, in-season management costs and yield potential. Here's how farmers can set the ideal seeding rate for each field

If you want the ideal, uniform, early-established canola stand of five to eight plants per square foot, don’t rely on a scale. “When it comes to setting a seeding rate to achieve that stand, the common five pounds per acre is not precise enough,” says Autumn Barnes, agronomy specialist and stand establishment lead for the […] Read more


Canola Council resets course for ‘efficiencies’

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 […] Read more

James Oberhofer took this picture at noon on August 15, 2018. With the smoke-dimmed sun, lights were essential in the yards and fields and on the highway.

Canola growth stalled under a shroud of smoke

Alberta canola farmers dealing with another late harvest in 2018 estimate that smoky skies in August delayed their crop by at least 10 days. Is that possible?

It was an eerie orange noon on August 15 and James Oberhofer needed to turn his truck lights on. When the agronomist for Six Strong Agronomy tried to scout under a canola field canopy, he saw only darkness. Things were in a stunning standstill as Alberta suffered the worst day in what had been a […] Read more


Soil pH is often highly variable within fields, as demonstrated in this map of a single central Alberta field. The range is from red (pH of 4-4.5) to dark lime green (pH of 7.5-8). That is why grid sampling is an important step in lime application.

If you have low soil pH, should you lime?

It can take tonnes of lime per acre to move soil pH from 5 to 7, but improved fertilizer availability for all crops, better nodulation for pulse crops and alfalfa, and reduced risk from clubroot in canola can make the investment worthwhile

“Finally.” That word got special emphasis when Doug Penney was asked about liming. “It has become a hot topic… finally.” Penney, a long-serving Alberta Agriculture fertility specialist and now semi-retired crop consultant, says many fields in Western Canada — especially in Alberta — probably would have benefited from lime a long time ago. Fields most […] Read more

Flax Council of Canada joins up with Canola Council

Winnipeg | CNS Canada – The Flax Council of Canada has announced a new operating structure; restructuring its board and joining forces with the Canola Council of Canada. The move comes six months after the council shuttered its Winnipeg office and reduced its services. “It’s clear that Canadian flax has tremendous potential, both on the […] Read more


“I can’t tell you how often I hear, ‘Oh, it’s just a fungicide, fog it in. Pesticide drift is pesticide drift, whether it has instant visual damage or economic damage, or not.” – Jason Deveau, 'Spray Guy'

‘Spray Guy’ puts the nix on ‘cavalier’ fungicide application

Fungicide drift should earn the same prevention as herbicide, according to one of Western Canada’s best-known spraying experts

Most farmers are more worried about drift if they’ve got herbicide in the tank, but at least one spray expert says those same concerns should apply to fungicide and insecticide. “I can’t tell you how often I hear, ‘Oh, it’s just a fungicide, fog it in,” said Jason Deveau, the fondly nicknamed “spray guy” from […] Read more

Peas provide a pulse option in the black soil region but recent wet years have increased disease problems.

Pulses. More than a break crop in your canola rotation

Tours and events this summer will help you check which pulse crops can diversify your farm’s rotation

Rob Stone says red lentils “drive the bus” on his farm at Davidson, Sask. Granted, he says canola does quite a bit of driving too. But the point is this: his pulse crop is so much more than just a break crop for canola. Stone seeds about one-third of his land to lentils, on average. […] Read more


The covers of Australia’s and Canada’s wheat brochures both use an image of a combine harvesting, but that’s where the similarities end.

Out-competed

Again, the Australians are showing us how we’d market our crops if we had our act together

Is the Canadian grains sector being out-marketed globally? This is a question that has nagged me since February 16, the date the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre released new information brochures for Australian wheat, barley, oats, canola and pulses. “These publications are aimed at international purchasers of Australian grain,” the association (AEGIC) said in its […] Read more

Four steps for better seeding this spring

It’s an age-old conundrum: You need to expand so you acquire more acres of land to get more return, but then the rush to get a crop in means seeding some acres too early, too late, or too fast. “There’s a lot of potential for making a mistake when it comes to seeding,” said Harry[...]
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