GFM Network News


Saskatchewan may be a powerhouse in Canada, but it has less than 1.5 per cent of the world’s farmland.

How big is your market?

We must get better at understanding that the world’s commodity buyers have a growing range of options

Reading Time: 6 minutes How big is your world? Geographically, this is an easy question to answer with great precision. The diameter of the Earth at the equator is 12,756 km. Its circumference is 40,030 km along the equator, and 40,008 km through the poles. Thus the surface area of our planet is roughly 510 million sq. km. It’s […] Read more

The cover crop plot with the most complex blend of different species, including planting dates, method and rates.

PHOTOS: Farm Show demo digs deep on value of soil health

Roots, worm casts and different cover blends show amazing effects

Reading Time: < 1 minute Soil health has been a buzz phrase that’s gone from a whisper three to five years ago to a chorus that’s spreading across the agrifood industry. That goes to show the swinging of the pendulum away from plowing and aggressive tillage — and it seems to be gaining more advocates with each passing day. This […] Read more


Sandier soils, such as those for potato production, tend to be lower in Mg and pH.

The case for managing magnesium

Like sulphur, Mg is moving into the foreground

Reading Time: 4 minutes No one is taking anything away from “The Big Three.” Clearly, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K) have a direct and powerful influence on yield, and must be managed with great skill. Increasingly, though, we’re learning that secondary nutrients and micronutrients are also worth paying attention to. In 2016, for instance, agronomists began […] Read more

The damage that over-tillage does is plain to see in soil quality.

The news on soil health

This time, will farmers finally break the “build-up then burn-out” cycle of soil management? The Ontario Soil Network thinks the answer may be yes

Reading Time: 6 minutes Don Lobb takes a very dim view of how mankind has treated soil over the millennia, but he is slightly more hopeful for this generation, due both to our constantly growing body of knowledge about soils, and to farmers who are not only willing to experiment with better ways to take care of the soil, […] Read more


Rudy honoured for career in soil conservation

Reading Time: 2 minutes When Harold Rudy joined the soil conservation movement, he says he got the job not because of his University of Guelph degrees in agriculture economics and business, or his background growing up on his family’s farm, but because of his burgeoning computer skills. Being hired as part of a group of 20 soil conservation advisors […] Read more

Bob McIntosh has been using no-till planting on his farm in Ontario for 27 years.

Researchers defining phosphorus movement in Ontario soils

4R strategy plays a key role in reducing phosphorous runoff

Reading Time: 3 minutes Three short huts with solar panels on them sprout in Bob McIntosh’s wheat field near St. Marys, Ont. Inside the huts are monitoring equipment that goes right to the tiles that systemically move water from his farm. His farm is one of six across Ontario with the monitoring equipment that allows University of Waterloo researchers to study […] Read more


Our physiology is still adapted to being in nature,” Williams writes.

Get your nature fix

And make sure the rest of the family does too. Just 15 minutes in nature can cut stress levels

Reading Time: 4 minutes Being surrounded by wide open spaces and nature is undoubtedly one of the benefits of a farming lifestyle. Unfortunately, as farms get bigger, busier and more high-tech, farmers may find they are spending less time enjoying nature. Even worse, as our children spend more time indoors or on screens, they are losing out on the […] Read more

This earthen “tank” is 100 feet above the Coen farmyard and provides gravity pressure for livestock watering, irrigation and fire protection. For more photos and videos of the Coen farm, visit YouTube.com and search for “Takota Coen — Grass Roots Family Farm.”

‘Farmscaping’ for profitability, sustainability

Applying some of the same principles from kitchen design can improve the environment and the workflow on the farm

Reading Time: 5 minutes “Farmscaping” might be a new term for many western Canadian producers, but it’s shorthand for a familiar set of ideas: building features like shelterbelts and perennial strips into the farm landscape to best utilize their ecological goods and services. In other words, taking a “whole-farm” approach, with the goal of maximizing profitability and sustainability. Joanne […] Read more


Five tips for eco-friendly gardening

The word eco-friendly can be used in many areas of our lives: at work, at home, at play. Being eco-friendly in all these aspects is quite a simple concept with incredible opportunities for creativity. The bottom line is eco-friendly is all about working with nature, not against it. As gardeners we play an ever-increasing unique[...]
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One of Sundrop Farms' solar farm installations.

Let’s get real on solar energy

Despite the skeptics, these two farms prove that solar energy is likely to be the foundation of our commercial farms for generations to come

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the last issue of Country Guide I made a case for solar power. I tried to show that economics of solar power are improving and that it is becoming a viable source of electricity. More importantly, I pointed out that society is demanding a switch away from fossil fuels, and that countries around the world[...]
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