GFM Network News

Audette’s experience with commercial grain production proved a big help as the four Agri-Fusion farmers transitioned to organic.

Large, commercial… and organic

Agri-Fusion says its choice to go organic is a business no-brainer, with a collaborative new management design to make sure it pays

Reading Time: 6 minutes Agri-Fusion’s four owners of Quebec largest organic farm never looked back at their choice to go organic. Whether it’s wheat, corn, soybeans, beans or peas, organic crops earn them twice as much per acre as conventional crops, and they cost much less to produce. It’s a point I heard again from 67-year-old Gilles Audette, one […] Read more

Crown rust is considered one of the worst crop diseases since its strains can mutate to acquire new virulence and resistance.

Crown rust comes after oats

Part of the management challenge comes from its sources and its choice as a cover crop

Reading Time: 5 minutes In a production agriculture world where corn and soybeans have dominated the scene for much of the last 25 years, oats are supposedly one of the forgotten crops. There have been attempts to revive the grain’s standing, including the formation of the Oat and Barley Council of Ontario back in the early 2000s, as well […] Read more

Deciding on cover crop blends

Figuring out what to use in a cover crop blend can be an intimidating process. What species to use? What seeding rate? When should they be seeded? All would influence how the blend would look, work, and the success of it. There is some science involved, but making it work is as much art as[...]
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Soil health sensor project largest in North America

Reading Time: 3 minutes A new $2-million soil health research project aims to figure out the impact of different cropping systems on the environment. Research will also be conducted on crop productivity relating to soil health. The result should be new knowledge on productivity of traditional cropping systems versus those with cover crops. The project, at the new Soil[...]
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Europe may be considering robotics and advance sensing systems, but growers can help with cover crops and rethinking the traffic on their fields.

What’s the deal with soil compaction?

Other countries are tackling compaction head on. Here, there’s hardly a whisper

Reading Time: 7 minutes Compaction has somehow become one of those topics that gets scooped up off the back-burner from time to time. It gets discussed and sometimes it even gets preached about, and then it fades away again until next time. It isn’t a new topic. Nor is it particularly controversial. Everyone agrees that compaction causes damage to[...]
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From do-it-yourself modifications to manufactured units, the machinery for inter-seeding covers is evolving at a remarkable pace.

Four growers who believe in inter-seeding into standing corn

"It’s something that we have to start doing and advertising to the consumer," Gerard Grubb, Mildmay farmer

Reading Time: 11 minutes As trends go, this one is picking up steam. Two years ago, it seemed a novelty. You were lucky to see it outside of a few test locations such as at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, although there were also isolated growers who had become believers, especially in Quebec. Today, the movement has clearly spread, not[...]
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Table 1: Annual ryegrass sensitivity to soil-applied corn herbicides.

Pest Patrol: Sensitivity of inter-seeded annual ryegrass and red clover to corn herbicides

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: < 1 minute Research has been done in the United States and Canada to determine the tolerance of cover crops to various soil-applied corn herbicides. This article provides an overview of the results of that work, and provides some consensus across the different locations. Two important factors influence the potential for carryover injury to rotational crops: The sensitivity[...]
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Another example of a fixed-wing aircraft is this Piper Pawnee, seen over a field near St. Marys, Ont.

Is the sky the limit for aerial spray applicators?

Caught between rigid government regulations and undependable farm demand, these aerial applicators wonder about their future

Reading Time: 6 minutes We all look when we hear them. The sound of an airplane or helicopter sprayer is as distinctive as it is enticing. With an airplane, there’s that telltale roar of its high-powered engine and the pitch-shifting Doppler-effect. With a helicopter, there’s the unmistakable vibration stirring the air as it races from one end of a[...]
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Somerset-area organic farmer Jeremiah Evans is impressed with the weed control he’s getting with his new U.K.-made in-row cultivator, the Garford Robocrop.

Organic weed control, precision weed tillage via the ‘Robocrop’

Frustrated with lack of weed control, one organic farmer from Manitoba is impressed by a U.K.-made in-row cultivator

Reading Time: 3 minutes Jeremiah Evans has a new high-tech hand helping him control weeds on his organic farm. Last fall the Somerset-area farmer took delivery of a custom-built U.K.-manufactured Garford Robocrop in-row cultivator, which uses special software to identify and target weeds, leaving the crop behind. After seeing what it could do to his wild oats, thistle and[...]
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Phacelia is unlike any other plant species on today’s farms, so as a cover, it helps break the cycles of corn, soybeans and even wheat.

A cover crop that buzzes

Phacelia can fit a variety of cropping systems, and it’s popular with bees

Reading Time: 3 minutes There’s a new arrival in cover crops called phacelia that has the compelling advantage of being neither a cereal nor an oilseed. In fact, phacelia is a completely new species in Canada’s agriculture, which may prove to be a very good thing indeed. Phacelia is a member of the waterleaf (Hydrophyllaceae) family. Unlike oilseed radish,[...]
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