GFM Network News


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



Clubroot in canola.

Clubroot calls for diligence, not alarm

The surprise discovery of clubroot in Ontario will force canola growers to adapt to the disease now in order to avoid future complications

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the mid-2000s, Albert Tenuta raised a few eyebrows when he referred to the discovery of soybean cyst nematode east of Toronto as good news. The field crops pathologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) meant that once the pest was identified, it could be monitored, and growers could better […] Read more

The road to using variable rate can be overwhelming for many farmers, whether you’re using it for planting, spraying or managing specific zones in a field.

Who’s to blame?

Variable-rate technology is getting adopted, but not nearly as quickly as many farmers would like. Finally, this may soon change.

Reading Time: 9 minutes When variable-rate technology first came onto our radars roughly 20 years ago, it was supposed to revolutionize agriculture. We’re still waiting. But maybe not for much longer. In fact, maybe we don’t have to wait any longer at all. The advanced equipment systems needed for variable-rate technology have started to become available in the past […] Read more


Clubroot arrives in Ontario canola

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario has its first case of clubroot disease in canola — and further testing has confirmed clubroot in canola fields across the province. During the 2016 growing season an agronomist in the Verner area of northern Ontario examined a canola field and found the distinctive clubbed roots, said Meghan Moran, canola and edible bean specialist […] Read more

Ontario names new top ag bureaucrat

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has a new deputy minister. Greg Meredith will become deputy minister on Jan. 9. A deputy minister is a ministry’s chief civil servant, managing its implementation of government policy. Meredith replaces Dr. Deb Stark, who recently retired as deputy minister, capping a 30-year career in public […] Read more


Figure 1.

Pest Patrol: Farmers are reducing weed seed return after cereal harvest

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 3 minutes I was driving down a long country road and noticed two large fields where winter wheat had been harvested almost eight weeks earlier. Each had a beautiful thick canopy of oats. Figure 1 (at top). An oat cover crop planted almost eight weeks ago following winter wheat harvest. That same day, when I came across […] Read more

OMAFRA seen needing a soil health ‘tuneup’

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ontario’s environmental commissioner is calling on the provincial ag ministry to rebuild its soil health expertise and find ways to encourage farmers to adopt soil-friendly production practices, to deal with what she calls a “catastrophic” loss in soil organic matter levels. The report recommends better soil carbon level monitoring and 10-year programs to financially encourage […] Read more


From do-it-yourself modifications to manufactured units, the machinery for inter-seeding covers is evolving at a remarkable pace.

Four growers who believe in inter-seeding into standing corn

"It’s something that we have to start doing and advertising to the consumer," Gerard Grubb, Mildmay farmer

Reading Time: 11 minutes As trends go, this one is picking up steam. Two years ago, it seemed a novelty. You were lucky to see it outside of a few test locations such as at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, although there were also isolated growers who had become believers, especially in Quebec. Today, the movement has clearly spread, not […] Read more

A new look at 30-inch rows for soybeans

If you think the case is closed on 30-inch rows, get ready to think again

Reading Time: 7 minutes Soybean growers near the Ontario-Quebec border have tested wide rows, and some have even adopted them already as a way of managing white mould pressure. The disease thrives here. even though agronomists can’t exactly say why. But there’s also more to the 30-inch debate than just mould control. Based in the eastern end of the […] Read more