GFM Network News


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


Global fertilizer market prices vary

CNS Canada — A mixed bag for fertilizer prices is expected over the next few months, as some continue to increase while others should drop, according to an analyst. “The fertilizer market has remained pretty firm over the past six months… we had kind of anticipated some declines across all the different nutrients, (but) they’ve […] Read more




Farming Smarter deep banded immobile nutrients at a depth of six inches using a seed drill with a basic stealth opener system.

Research digs into the question of deep banding

The practice could make immobile nutrients more available for three major crops

The jury is still out on whether deep banding fertilizer is worth the time and money — but researchers across Alberta are hoping to settle the debate once and for all. “I don’t think there’s any proof yet that deep banding works,” said Ken Coles, general manager of Farming Smarter. “We want to have some […] Read more