GFM Network News


The best time to control pasture weeds is in the fall, when they are going into dormancy.

Getting forage crops off to a good start

Weed control and fertility are among the considerations before planting tame forage

Reading Time: 4 minutes As so often in farming, the advice on the best strategy for establishing tame pastures starts with “It depends.”  “When we’re talking about general establishment considerations for all uses, we really have to look at the soil type, the texture, soil pH and how rocky it is,” says Mike Witt, a farmer, professional hydrologist and […] Read more

AC Saltlander at Ken Miller’s farm at Milk River, Alta. Miller says the bare patches have an electrical conductivity reading of 8 to 12, and the salt on the surface looks like snow. AC Saltlander rhizomes will creep into these severe patches at a rate of about one foot per year. It can do this, Miller says, because the plant’s seven-foot root system will lower the groundwater level. This allows the surface salts to percolate downwards instead of being concentrated in the top inch, and this percolation rehabilitates the land for AC Saltlander to creep in.

Managing salinity with forages

Some saline areas can never grow a profitable annual crop. Two farmers share their experiences with seeding perennial forages instead

Reading Time: 8 minutes Some acres were never suited to annual crop production. As some farmers get a better handle on the profitability of each cropped acre, they are putting the most dismal of these acres back into perennial forages where they belong. Salinity is a common reason for chronic underperformance. Severe saline areas are sickly white, rimmed with […] Read more


Percentage of average precipitation in Western Canada for the 90 days ending April 5, 2021. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada map)

Manitoba forage, grassland growers burned by drought

Reading Time: 2 minutes MarketsFarm — An ongoing lack of precipitation, which is showing no signs of letting up in the coming months according to weather forecasts, is already causing problems for Manitoba’s forage and grasslands. Growers in the province have had to deal with three straight years with lower-than-normal precipitation. In 2019, multiple rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Parkland […] Read more

Small grains like rye are the focus of a pilot project to encourage growers to lengthen their rotations with cereals.

Building interest for small grain cereals

This new initiative hopes to grow demand for small grains by recognizing their environmental benefits

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s everything growers could ask for. Imagine market demand that’s driven by acknowledging the healthfulness of the crops you grow and their environmental and sustainability benefits, plus a premium return on investment so you can afford to plant even more. How many times have growers wanted this kind of market pull in exchange for excellence […] Read more


The project aims to shift to more legume and good-quality forage grass species rather than some of the non-essential plants or weeds now in the pasture.

More cattle, more birds and more carbon

New Brunswick community pasture project to measure the benefits of keeping land out of annual crops

Reading Time: 6 minutes The Tantramar Marsh near Sackville, New Brunswick, is a rich biodiversity zone and serves as an important flyway for North American birds. It is also home to the Tantramar Community Pasture, 1,685 acres on Crown land established in 1961 to provide cattle producers limited land to pasture their livestock and help keep costs low. About […] Read more

One tip is to make sure bales are the right size to fit through your hoop so you don’t end up with a pile of bales you can’t wrap.

Tips and tricks for successful baled silage

Don’t delay cutting, and make sure bales are a consistent size

Reading Time: 5 minutes Baled silage has several advantages over dry hay, including reduced risk and a higher-quality product when it’s made right. That was the message from Manitoba Agriculture’s livestock specialist Ray Bittner at the online Ag in Motion show in July. While a perfect season can mean a good yield of dry hay with no mould and […] Read more


Researchers with AAFC say they are close to developing a perennial grain and forage rye.

Perennial cereal rye 2.0

After setbacks with an earlier program, Lethbridge researchers are making progress in developing a dual-purpose grain and forage rye

Reading Time: 5 minutes It sounds ideal like the ideal crop. It produces grain every year, has no annual seed and planting costs, provides excellent weed control and you can also use it for forage. Too good to be true? Maybe not. Efforts to develop perennial wheat continue their slow pace with commercialization pegged at around 15 years from […] Read more

Contrast in control of Roundup Ready alfalfa with herbicides applied in early fall (foreground) compared to late fall (background).

Pest Patrol: Killing off Roundup Ready alfalfa

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 3 minutes Six tank-mix partners are recommended for the removal of Roundup Ready alfalfa, and since they vary significantly in cost (Table 1 below), their effectiveness was evaluated in a trial conducted at the Elora Research Station in 2018-19. Growing degree day accumulation after herbicide application appeared to have the greatest effect on the control of Roundup […] Read more



The Green Gold program focuses on quality rather than quantity for the first cut, but it’s also helped producers harvest more cuts per year.

Knowing when it’s ‘hay day’

A provincial sampling program helps producers decide the best time to cut alfalfa for maximum RFV

Reading Time: 3 minutes An alfalfa-monitoring program designed more than 20 years ago continues to pay dividends for Manitoba dairy producers and the domestic and export dairy hay industry. Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association’s (MFGA) “Green Gold” program just wrapped up the program’s 23rd year of helping to predict “Hay Day” — the date when harvested pure alfalfa stands[...]
Read more