GFM Network News


Brad Glasman, left, and Craig Merkley, both of the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, have been working for years to establish a demonstration farm.

Controlled drainage showcased on Ontario demo farm

Farm near Thorndale has numerous drainage and soil health practices to see

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Drainage contractors were hard at work at a farm just west of Thorndale in early June, creating a showcase tile drainage project. Numerous drainage systems and cropping best practices will be demonstrated at the farm, owned by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA). Why it matters: Drainage is important to profitability on […] Read more

With plans in hand, Brett Sheffield consults with NextGen’s Clint Sibbick.

Farm skills shape a path for fast-growing business venture

In a growing trend, Brett Sheffield has used his farm business know-how to build one of Western Canada’s largest and fastest-growing tile drainage companies

Reading Time: 8 minutes Something big jumps out at you when you scan the Growth 500 list of Canada’s fastest growing companies for 2019. It’s produced by Canadian Business magazine based on the five-year revenue growth posted by each company, and tucked in amongst all the names of all the non-agricultural, big-city enterprises on the list, is one very […] Read more


What isn’t known for now is the cost and administration levels that will affect farmers as well as drainage contractors.

Endangered species versus drainage

Farmers, contractors and municipalities are trying to cope with Ontario’s new Endangered Species Act

Reading Time: 7 minutes From time to time, farmers can find themselves caught by a development or issue that sneaks up on them. At first, it can seem trivial, even ridiculous. But it’s like ignoring a train in the distance: before you know it, it’s speeding up on you and it’s too late to react. Changes to Ontario’s Endangered […] Read more

Tile drainage is an effective tool at managing water quality and subsequently improving management of soil health and related issues.

Where water leaves the farm

Improve your productivity by starting where water leaves your farm, and then work backwards

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the chase for higher yields and improved production, farmers have tapped into everything from precision ag systems to a return to cover crops. Now comes a concept that might not only boost yields and enhance soil health, it might also alleviate some of the pressure on farmers that starts with surface run-off heading into […] Read more


The crop production wheel

The crop production wheel

Reading Time: 2 minutes Two years ago in the September edition of Country Guide, we ran a sidebar about a “complete systems” approach to production agriculture, including the depiction of a “production wheel.” The image comes from Don Lobb, an advocate for improving soil health and tile drainage. He created the guideline in a circular or wheel configuration, and […] Read more

Tile drainage, long common in Ontario and the U.S. Midwest, is now attracting more attention in Alberta.

The pros and cons of tile drainage

Being able to remove excess moisture is a big plus, but there are a lot of factors to take into account

Reading Time: 3 minutes It wasn’t long ago that if you asked most Alberta producers if they used tile drainage, they likely wouldn’t know what you were talking about. A common practice in Ontario and the U.S. Midwest, it’s only in recent years that Alberta growers have warmed to this system in which subsurface tubes remove excess moisture from […] Read more


satellite image of 2011 algae bloom on Lake Erie

Working together to find solutions to algal blooms

Yes, farming is part of the Great Lakes pollution story, but let’s get the facts straight

Reading Time: 9 minutes Once again, agriculture in Eastern Canada is under fire, this time in the Great Lakes basin. Already bearing media scorn for neonicotinoid seed treatments and biotech innovations, now farmers are getting blamed for Great Lakes pollution. To be specific, the type of pollution in the headlines is eutrophication. It’s a phosphorus enrichment of waterways, and it […] Read more