GFM Network News


General Mills and Cargill Canada have both announced programs aimed at regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture hits the mainstream

Big Ag is getting on the bandwagon, but market premiums still aren’t on the table

If you’re a cattle producer, you may already have heard the term “regenerative agriculture.” If you’re a grain producer, maybe not. But that’s about to change. This spring, General Mills announced a plan to advance regenerative agriculture practices on one million acres of farmland in the U.S. and Canada by 2030, and Cargill Canada announced […] Read more

“Not having family members that were farming made some things more difficult,” Lydia Carpenter says. “In other ways, it was an asset to us.”

The way it happens

How do new farmers get a start in Canada? Every story is unique, but so often it starts, as here, with the right people somehow getting together

If, as the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet,” Lydia Carpenter and Wian Prinsloo are the living embodiment of it. They have always had an interest in food production, yet neither had grown up on a farm, and when they set out to follow their passion in their […] Read more


“You can only grow so many bushels of corn in a stressed year and that number depends largely on your soil.”

What’s good about soil?

Soil health indicators often relate to properties that you can’t see

We’re planting more cover crops, we’ve got a heightened focus on soil organic matter levels, and now we’re adopting what’s thought to be a relatively new term: soil health indicators. They’re each part of a wave that’s been building, reflecting a renewed interest in the soil as the basis for all crop production. “It’s been […] Read more

Covering roughly 10 hectares, the study included plots set out in a split-split format, meaning large plots were divided into smaller plots, with even smaller plots within those.

Farm like Scrooge

A long-term study suggests that penny-pinching can actually help the bottom line

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research scientist Bruce Gossen says the 18-year study was boring, but its results weren’t. Gossen and his colleagues took a long-term look at the effects of cropping diversity and inputs at Scott, Sask., from 1996 to 2013, but they didn’t just evaluate yields. They also looked at disease, insect and weed […] Read more


Robotica’s indoor farming modules have style-conscious Italian consumers in mind. “Our vision is to grow food on every desk in every house,” its builders say.

Could the future of farming lie indoors?

Innovation: The scale seems much too small, say farmers. But that may be its greatest strength

Outside of maybe the health care field, there are few sectors that are as innovative and changing as rapidly as agriculture. It’s what I’ll write about in this series of columns for Country Guide, because frankly, some of the technologies that are coming off the drawing boards are going to challenge the way we think […] Read more

Miles Dyck studied sulphur deficiency at the Breton Plots, a long-term crop rotation research site established in 1930.

Nutrient balance key to avoiding sulphur deficient soils

Production of more high-sulphur demand crops such as pulses and canola is creating a shortage in some fields

In order for any crop to use fertilizer efficiently, it needs to have all of its nutrient deficiencies met, says Miles Dyck, an associate professor of soil science in the department of renewable resources at the University of Alberta. The most common nutrient deficiencies in Western Canada are nitrogen and phosphorus, but because of the […] Read more



Farming Smarter deep banded immobile nutrients at a depth of six inches using a seed drill with a basic stealth opener system.

Research digs into the question of deep banding

The practice could make immobile nutrients more available for three major crops

The jury is still out on whether deep banding fertilizer is worth the time and money — but researchers across Alberta are hoping to settle the debate once and for all. “I don’t think there’s any proof yet that deep banding works,” said Ken Coles, general manager of Farming Smarter. “We want to have some […] Read more


I’m using my family farmer instinct to see what is worth pursuing,” explains research manager Lana Shaw.

Crowd research

Is this crowdfunded program a sign of the way farmers will have to go to get the research that governments are slow to pay for?

It was a cold, mid-April morning near Redvers in the south-east corner of a decidedly un-spring-like Saskatchewan, and the flat fields all around us were still blanketed in white. Between the snow and the clouds, you could hardly tell where the sky ended and the earth began. I had arranged to meet research manager Lana […] Read more

Is there a tipping point on intercropping?

Farmers’ current interest in intercropping has caught some off guard. On November 29, 2017, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture ran an intercropping workshop in Regina. Workshop organizers expected about 40 people. But 140 people showed up, including several from Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan. Sask Ag ran a second intercropping workshop in January, and another 200 […] Read more