GFM Network News


A young plant in winter wheat during early May.

Pest Patrol: Dealing with cleavers

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes Q: I had a field of winter wheat with cleavers in it and it was a pain. What is the best way to get rid of this weed in winter wheat? A: I can’t think of a redeeming quality for cleavers, although apparently the fruit is considered one of the best substitutes for coffee (Malik […] Read more

Ontario, U of Guelph renew ag research partnership

Reading Time: 2 minutes Up to $713 million in agriculture research will be funded at the University of Guelph over the next 10 years through a renewal of the university’s agreement with the provincial ag ministry. The new agreement has been updated to manage digital data and is aimed to provide a base from which to leverage more research […] Read more


After four serial rinses, in spite of the rinsate looking clean and being odour free, soybeans still exhibited cupping.

Continuous rinse system makes sprayer cleanouts easier

Here’s a new way to do sprayer cleanouts that saves time and is great for the environment

Reading Time: 7 minutes Certain jobs on the farm aren’t anybody’s favourites. Repairing a planter in the middle of a soybean field in early June is right up there on that list, and so is picking stones on just about any day. And up there with them is cleaning out the sprayer, which is another of the chores about […] Read more

Figure 1: Jimsonweed in a corn crop during October.

Pest Patrol: Dealing with jimsonweed

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes Q: What weed is this, and how do I get rid of it? A: The weed in the picture (Figure 1 above) is jimsonweed (i.e. Datura stamonium), a member of the nightshade family. According to the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, jimsonweed “contains toxic tropane alkaloids, which have caused poisoning and death in humans and […] Read more


Kim Jo Bliss credits her grandmother, Gladys Smith, with instilling the love of farming she carries with her today.

About the northwest

To this farmer, northwestern Ontario offers loads of advantages over the hustle of the southwest

Reading Time: 6 minutes Whether it’s through the longer days of spring and summer in northwestern Ontario or the darker nights that mark the passage of winter, Kim Jo Bliss puts a lot into every hour of every day. A full-time farmer, manager of the Emo Agricultural Research Station, a passionate advocate for farming, and a mentor for young […] Read more

Figure 1. Canada fleabane plants the following spring after surviving fall tillage. Note the plants have multiple branches at the base and were often 10 to15 cm taller than plants not exposed to fall tillage.

Pest Patrol: What have we learned in 2017 for managing glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane?

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA, Dr. Clarence Swanton, Dr. François Tardif and Peter Smith, University of Guelph

Reading Time: 2 minutes Multiple strategies are needed to control glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane. Experience has taught agronomists and farmers that simply tank mixing another mode of action won’t be a good enough long-term approach. Since 2016, we have evaluated different management tactics for Canada fleabane. The following are the results at our Oxford and Norfolk county field locations. Tillage […] 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

A field of winter wheat that has chess growing within it prior to harvest.

Pest Patrol: Chess moves on winter wheat crop

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes [Question:] I had a weed called “chess” in my winter wheat crop at harvest. How did it get here? Is it a problem? And how do I get rid of it? [Answer:] How did it get here? Chess (scientifically known as Bromus secalinus) is also sometimes referred to as “cheat” or “rye brome.” It is […] Read more


Sonke Claussen is the acting president of the new Ontario Professional Agri-Contractors Association.

New organization represents growing agri-contracting sector

Ontario Professional Agri-Contractors Association looks forward to a "united voice"

Reading Time: 2 minutes A new organization has been formed to represent agriculture contractors in Ontario. The Ontario Professional Agri-Contractors Association (OPACA) held its first meeting Sept. 13 in Woodstock, with about 25 people attending. “We were looking forward to having a united voice,” says OPACA’s Acting President, Sonke Claussen, who runs a diverse agriculture contracting business with his […] 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