GFM Network News

Ryan Boyd wanted to know, “What if we’re missing our big chance?” As every farmer knows, it might be the toughest question in agriculture, but Boyd refused to shrug if off. He spent months on research, left the farm for weeks at a time, logged thousands of miles, and returned home to not only make substantial improvements, but also to inject more energy and determination than it has seen in over a decade.

The big question

He worked hard, kept his head down, made progress. But more and more, Ryan Boyd was wondering, “What if I’m missing out on my best chances?”

Reading Time: 8 minutes When Ryan Boyd set out on an international tour in 2019, he was looking for ways to both challenge and improve the way he farms near Forrest, Manitoba. Ryan and his wife Sarah, and his parents Joanne and Jim, own South Glanton Farms just north of Brandon, where they grow annual crops and raise a […] Read more


AGI to buy into soil microbe breeding firm

Machinery maker to take minority stake in MyLand

Reading Time: 2 minutes A U.S. company ramping up a system to harvest, reproduce and restore beneficial microbes from a field’s own soils, as a way to restore peak fertility, expects to get backing soon from a Canadian farm equipment maker. Winnipeg-based Ag Growth International (AGI) said Monday it has signed a conditional letter of intent with Phoenix-based MyLand […] 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

The easiest fit in regenerative agriculture is for livestock graziers with no annual crops.

Where marketing meets agronomy

Is regenerative agriculture a feel-good slogan, or an honest-to-goodness scientific advance?

Reading Time: 7 minutes It has taken social media by storm, as well as all manner of other discussions about food and how we produce it. But, really, what is regenerative agriculture, and why has it become such a focal point? Skeptics may dismiss it as just another fad, something manufacturers and processors are promoting while filling web pages […] Read more

“If adding practices doesn’t do anything to create value… why do it in the first place?” – Jonathan Zettler,
Fieldwalker Agronomy Ltd.

A change in mindset on soil

We’ve always talked of soil productivity. Hmmm… what if we talked soil profitability instead?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ordinarily, rebranding is an exercise that involves a change in marketing direction in a changing marketplace or inside a changing company. We see it so often in agriculture. A product gets rebranded because of new use patterns or new tank mixes, or just because of corporate restructuring. Occasionally, though, a concept gets rebranded because of […] Read more

What’s happening below the soil has a greater impact on crop performance and yield.

Dig deeper to understand soils

Challenging what we’ve always thought can be enlightening, not disruptive

Reading Time: 7 minutes Traditions and routines can provide stability, familiarity and perhaps a sense of purpose. Yet when they keep us from exploring new possibilities — for whatever reason — there’s less room for meaningful change. Earlier in 2020, Greg Patterson was a presenter at the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA)-Ontario chapter annual meeting in London, Ont., and created […] Read more


Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show looks to lock in land base

GFM plans to buy research land for eastern Discovery Farm

Reading Time: 2 minutes As Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show goes digital this week, its operator is preparing to secure its real-world footprint in southern Ontario and put that real estate to year-round work. Glacier FarmMedia and the Ontario government on Tuesday announced their intent to work toward a land deal with the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), which […] Read more

Cover crops can get as complex as you want but the best advice is always to start slow and simple.

New directions in cover crops

Today, factors like microbial interactions and soil quality are influencing choices and practices

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the midst of a renaissance in soil health, researchers, agronomists and extension personnel have been pushing the message that everything a grower does in a field is connected to everything else. Fertility is linked to planting depth, just as mycorrhizal fungi are connected to weed management. Nothing happens on its own without some effect […] Read more

Researchers are assessing the benefits of crops seeded into potato hills, similar to this nurse crop in carrots.

Call in a nurse. A “nurse” crop that is

A second crop planted along with potatoes protects the soil and boosts yields

Reading Time: 3 minutes Recent years have seen increased attention on the health of the soil used in potato production, and attempts to bring potatoes into longer rotations with other crops. In the Maritimes, seed companies are promoting soybeans or corn as rotational options and McCain has developed one- and two-year multi-species cover crop blends to help boost organic […] Read more

Dallas Timmerman uses a Leon scraper to put topsoil back on his eroded and degraded hilltops. He also adds manure. These measures don’t take a lot of time and have led to a large yield increase on those acres.

Timmerman trains the Tiger Hills of Treherne

A Manitoba farmer has seen major yield improvement by recapping his hills with topsoil from his lower land

Reading Time: 5 minutes Dallas Timmerman farms in the Tiger Hills around Treherne, Man., and sometimes those tigers need training. “We have a lot of hills and sometimes you need to be aggressive with them,” he says. Timmerman’s chair and whip are a Leon scraper and Versatile 4WD. He started training his hills over a decade ago, working on […] Read more