GFM Network News


“Put two crops together, and you have less disease overall and the oilseed crop is able to take advantage of the pulse benefits in that year…”

Two research projects looking at intercrops

Western Ag Innovations run intercrop trials in southern Alberta

Reading Time: 4 minutes Eric Bremer is leading a research project on intercropping in the Lethbridge area. Bremer was involved in intercropping research as a grad student back in the 1980s and jumped at the opportunity to look at it again with the support of Western Ag Innovations owner Ken Greer and a research grant from Alberta Pulse Growers […] Read more

The 4R program is intended to keep nutrients in the soil instead of leaching into nearby rivers and lakes.

Going forward with a 4R nutrient plan

Doing the right thing with nutrients can save money, boost yields and protect the environment

Reading Time: 5 minutes You’ve probably heard of it, and you might even be practising it. If so, you might want to advertise it to customers and the general public. If you’re not practising it, you may be missing an opportunity to save some money and gain some yield. “It” is Fertilizer Canada’s (FC) ‘4R’ Nutrient Stewardship. The program […] 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

A clover cover crop stretches upward from the stubble.

Finding the value of cover crops for Western Canada

Cover crops are now standard practice farther south in the U.S., but do they have the same results on the shorter-season Prairies?

Reading Time: 3 minutes When Yvonne Lawley wrote her research proposal for a study of cover crops, she was specific about the wording of the title: Testing the cover crop hypothesis across Prairie Canada. It’s the word “hypothesis” that grabs you. What could be theoretical about cover crops? Some farmers have been using them for decades to help build […] Read more


The traditional choice for cover crops has been red clover underseeded to winter wheat, but that’s changing.

Re-setting the mind-set on cover crops

Research is shining new light on when — and why — to make cover crops part of your routine field management

Reading Time: 8 minutes Much of what is known about specific practices in agriculture has been constructed then modified and sometimes deconstructed altogether. It’s an ongoing process that applies to virtually every cropping practice, from the use of moldboard plows to no till and from planting depth to fertility rates. Cover crops have been studied extensively across many parts […] Read more

Each Prairie province has a website with information on completing an Environmental Farm Plan.

Why Environmental Farm Plans aren’t just for livestock farmers

All three Prairie provinces offer to cost-share programs for producers who have completed an Environmental Farm Plan and adopt beneficial management practices

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Environmental Farm Plan isn’t just for livestock producers, especially as the pressure increases on crop growers to demonstrate their sustainable-cropping practices to the food industry. But before we look at how the EFP is playing an important role in regional and global sustainable-sourcing initiatives, let’s look at what cost-sharing projects related to crops are […] Read more


Cattle are an important part of the rotation on Agripastos Farm.

Conservation tillage driving Brazil’s corn and soybean explosion

No-till farm group says no-till is the key to long-term sustainable agriculture

Reading Time: 4 minutes Crop production in Brazil has made dramatic gains in recent decades — and there’s potential for plenty more, say advocates of no till and conservation tillage in the country. In fact, members of the Brazilian Federation of No-Till Farming say no till is the key to achieving a long-term sustainable agriculture without additional deforestation. Soybean […] Read more

Treatments included three yield zones and four N fertilizer rates — 0, 50, 100 and 150 per cent N based on soil test.

Zone-by-zone nitrogen application may not pay

A three-year study finds surprisingly little response to extra nitrogen in both high- and low-producing areas

Reading Time: 3 minutes A new Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada study suggests producers should take soil test nitrogen prescriptions by management zone with a grain of salt. They don’t necessarily reflect what researcher Alan Moulin calls the “supplying power” of the soil, and since fields vary, there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription to meet crop nutrient demands. This doesn’t mean producers […] Read more


Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Did farms make the right choices?

We have all heard it before. It’s the saying that most bad decisions get made in good times. So, in the midst of the bull market a decade ago, we wondered what we’d be looking back on in 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes Here is what I wrote in September 2008: “Somewhere in the land and in the barns that are being bought and sold, and in the equipment purchases, and in the new partnerships that are being formed and the old ones that are falling apart, there are the beginnings of trends that we’ll point to in […] Read more

Processing plants are being built across the country to convert farm crops into bioproducts for essentially every sector.

The booming bioeconomy — Part 2

In part one of this feature, we introduced the bioeconomy and how Canada is working to become a world leader. In part two we look at specific sector developments from coast to coast — there are lots of them!

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s a surprise to most of us. What’s the hottest bioeconomy subsector on the planet? Replacements for plastic. Worldwide demand for biodegradable products is urgent and it’s growing, especially to replace single-use plastic items like straws, utensils, cup lids and plastic bags. The race is on. France banned plastic cups in 2016, and Queen Elizabeth […] Read more