GFM Network News


Alberta input retail chain expands westward reach

A pair of independent crop input retail outlets in west-central Alberta will be networking with seven others by month-end. Crop Management Network (CMN), a joint venture between an employee-owned network of retail outlets and La Coop federee’s Agrico Canada arm, announced Wednesday it has reached a deal to buy Performance Ag Group. Performance Ag, which […] Read more




Fertilizer prices to rise on global production shifts

CNS Canada — Canadian fertilizer prices are expected to increase as spring draws nearer, according to industry professionals. “The further you buy out from spring, the prices tend to be a little bit lower. In making your commitments early, prices tend to edge up as you get closer to spring,” said Don Kitson of International […] Read more


Fertilizer maker Nutrien’s profit beats on strong potash demand

Reuters – Canadian fertilizer and farm supplies dealer Nutrien Ltd reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast, driven by strong demand for its potash fertilizers. The world’s largest fertilizer company by capacity raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast to the range of $2.60-$2.80 per share, from its prior estimate of […] Read more

Grain handle down slightly in record quarter for CP

Grain carloads were marginally fewer but grain revenue per carload climbed 10 per cent to help Canadian Pacific Railway to its highest quarterly revenue ever. Calgary-based CP on Oct. 18 booked net income of $622 million on $1.898 billion in revenues — its “highest ever (revenues) for any quarter” — in its third quarter ending […] Read more


Kristen MacMillan says interactions such as bean type, variety, inoculant type and environment can affect how edible beans interact with the N in the soil.

How much N? A soil test isn’t the only answer

Different crops, different varieties, different inoculants, and different soil environments all affect the N-application decision these days

You need to know two things to calculate your nitrogen application — the crop requirement and the available N in the soil. At least that used to be the case, but it’s not now, not since pulse crops have become such an important part of the rotation. When it comes to fixing N, not all […] Read more

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

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 […] Read more


Miles Dyck studied sulphur deficiency at the Breton Plots, a long-term crop rotation research site established in 1930.

Nutrient balance key to avoiding sulphur deficient soils

Production of more high-sulphur demand crops such as pulses and canola is creating a shortage in some fields

In order for any crop to use fertilizer efficiently, it needs to have all of its nutrient deficiencies met, says Miles Dyck, an associate professor of soil science in the department of renewable resources at the University of Alberta. The most common nutrient deficiencies in Western Canada are nitrogen and phosphorus, but because of the […] 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