GFM Network News


Sheep indoors at Frain’s farm.

Salty business

Canada might hope climate change will force Europe to import more food. European farmers say we shouldn’t hold our breath

Reading Time: 5 minutes Here in Canada, we’re used to talking about the rise in extreme weather that comes with climate change, and we debate how it will affect crop and livestock production. In Europe, the debate has another twist. There, farmers are also worried about rising ocean levels. Why? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) […] Read more

A nitrogen stabilizer will benefit corn growers since it's the crop that receives the highest rates of nitrogen.

In search of better N efficiency

Next-generation nitrification stabilizers are another step in plant health, with a boost to the environment too

Reading Time: 4 minutes There was a time when farming was simple: plow the ground, plant the seed and harvest the crop. Now, farmers need to make decisions on tillage practices, crop rotations, pest management, fertility, precision ag technology, soil health, genetics and a changing climate. And just to make it that much more challenging, each decision overlaps and […] Read more


Many major trends experts foresee are already underway and will continue to play out in the ag sector over the next decade and beyond.

What the future farm could look like in 2030

Future farm: Maybe it seems more like fiction today, but every year brings this picture of the future closer

Reading Time: 6 minutes Big change is coming. In the words of Shrek, “Change is good, Donkey!” It’s also inevitable, which farmers probably know more than anyone else. There are, of course, differing opinions about what farming will look like 10 years from now. Will farms be larger? Probably. Will weather be more unpredictable? Almost certainly. Will technologies like […] 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 […] Read more


“Snirt” was a common sight in Manitoba soybean fields last winter.

Avoiding another year of ‘snirt’

North Dakota farmers and researchers are finding success in controlling soybean field erosion by planting cover crops

Reading Time: 5 minutes “Snirt” became a buzzword in Prairie agricultural journalism in 2017 and 2018, and for good reason: the dirty snow lining ditches along highways was a telling indicator that there had been a soybean field there last season. It’s a problem across the Red River Valley region in particular, where soybean producers are used to tilling […] Read more

Tillage is the number one soil-degrading process, says one University of Manitoba professor.

Tillage erosion costing farmers billions

The pressure to get an early start on newer crops such as corn and soybeans encourages tillage practices which may not be sustainable

Reading Time: 5 minutes This past spring was one of the worst on record for so-called “snirt,” or dirty snow, in ditches across the Prairies — a sign that wind is moving loose topsoil to the margins of fields. While snirt is an indication that fields are susceptible to wind erosion, however, University of Manitoba soil science professor David […] Read more


A lot of people aren’t food insecure because there isn’t enough food. They are food insecure because they can’t access it, says Dr. Evan Fraser with the University of Guelph.

Trust the opportunity

All the Chicken Littles are wrong. The sky isn’t falling, and we aren’t running out of food, says Evan Fraser. “We live in a world where there is enough.”

Reading Time: 6 minutes Dr. Evan Fraser wears multiple hats at the University of Guelph, although “hats” doesn’t seem a big enough word. Fraser is Canada research chair in global food security, scientific director of the university’s acclaimed Food from Thought research initiative, and much more. Fraser is also director of the Arrell Food Institute, whose mission statement conveys […] 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


For these workers inside a ZZ2 avocado pack house, South Africa’s strategy of building its economy on agriculture is providing stable employment and family incomes.

Africa feeding Africa

While North America’s farmers pin their career hopes on the need to feed a hungry Africa, that continent’s farmers are making plans of their own

Reading Time: 5 minutes A core belief in North American agriculture is that our farmers must produce ever more food if we are to have any hope of feeding the world, particularly areas like Africa where the population is growing so rapidly. The numbers are indeed staggering. According to the Population Reference Bureau, Africa’s population will hit 2.5 billion […] Read more

The carbon tax

Farmers see themselves as the good guys in the carbon debate, with good reason. Is agriculture going to pay anyway?

Reading Time: 13 minutes It had been another frigid day in Manitoba, snow swirling as farmers and ranchers gathered at a downtown hotel, but once inside it didn’t take long for the temperature to rise. They’d gathered for Keystone Agricultural Producers annual general meeting, where one issue outpaced the rest — carbon pricing. It was standing room only, with […] Read more