GFM Network News


Increasing costs related to farming are making your decisions more important and sometimes more difficult as well.

Farm fit

Maybe the phrase “Standardized Financial Benchmarks for Canadian Farm Financial Statements” doesn’t instantly get your blood pumping. But read on. Could this be the tool that lets you control your future?

Like many others, Larry Martin is convinced that Canada’s agriculture is evolving far faster than anyone driving a few miles of country sideroad could guess. The scenery hasn’t changed. At least, it hasn’t been transformed. It’s still a patchwork of crisp farmsteads and open fields, and of barns and bins. But those who live here […] Read more

Phone snubbing or “phubbing” is a term used to describe when someone glances at their phone while you are talking to them.

Get smarter with your smartphone

Your phone is engineered to be addictive. No wonder it pays to set your own rules

There’s no doubt that smartphones are an incredible tool for farmers. We get the power of the internet in a device that fits in our pockets. With it comes the ability to check the weather, sell grain, listen to an audiobook, or identify a weed at the touch of our fingertips. Add in social media, […] Read more


Sufficient amounts of dicamba remain in the sprayer tank and lines to cause damage (cupping) in soybean leaves, even after four serial rinses

Sharing the lessons learned on dicamba in soybeans

Misconceptions about the power of the technology remain, in spite of some harsh in-field realities

When Xtend soybeans were showcased at the 2015 Canada Outdoor Farm Show, there was great fanfare but also a considerable amount of caution accompanying the technology’s unveiling. Yes, it was the next in a series of herbicide-tolerant technologies, launched at a time of growing concern over glyphosate-tolerant weed species. It was believed that the newer […] Read more

Mom and Dad, what should you be looking for when the kids come home? Are you willing to let them make mistakes?

Up to the job

You’re home for the summer. Now, how are you going to show Mom and Dad that you’re a safe bet for taking over the farm?

It’s a phrase that means just what it says. Leadership succession is real, and it’s catching on. If your succession plan only looks at how the financial picture will unfold down the road, that’s not enough. Increasingly, it’s clear that it has to deal with who can handle what responsibilities too. Are your kids up […] 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

Dr. Clarence Swanton.

Pest Patrol: Thank you, Dr. Clarence Swanton

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

“Matty Cowlick” is indifferent to the recent retirement of Dr. Clarence Swanton, weed scientist in the department of plant agriculture at the University of Guelph. But I’m happy for him. I’m happy that Clarence will continue with his research program and to advise graduate students, and happy that he will have more time to spend […] Read more


“We’re not able to eliminate the stresses that farmers experience but we can help them build their resilience.” – Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton, University of Guelph.

Admitting you have a mental health problem

Learn to look in the mirror… really look. Dealing with stress and anxiety may never be easy, but it helps if you’re alert for these warning signs

For several years, Wayne Black couldn’t see what was happening. He drove himself to be better as a farmer and then, when he became a sales manager at a central Ontario farm input dealership, he was always striving for the highest results for his customers. But early in 2018, he began to notice that he […] Read more

Note the lack of visual SCN symptoms in these black beans despite field tests showing over 10,000 eggs per 100 cm3 of soil.

Soybean cyst nematode tough in dry beans too

The pest can be especially devastating in certain classes of edible beans

It’s a case of “something old, something new” for growers with edible beans. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is now a threat to producers with cranberry beans, white beans, kidneys and adzukis. Nematodes have been affecting soybean production in parts of Ontario since the late 1980s, and now it appears they have the capacity to weaken […] Read more


The choice is simple: spend an hour cleaning equipment or a more expensive hour in the field spraying.

Hitchhiking pests

Yes, cleaning out equipment takes time, but it’s worth it

When it comes to discussing the scourge of weed management in Eastern Canada, much of the light has shone on herbicide-resistant Canada fleabane and its spread from Essex County to the Quebec border in just five years. The latest weed species that is cause for concern is common waterhemp. It’s been the topic of conversation […] Read more

This is the way farming should look, yet mental health challenges are changing this imagery.

Struggling on the farm

You’re already trained for first aid on the farm. But what about mental illness?

By now, most people involved in agriculture have heard something about depression and anxiety disorders. Whether it’s been through the survey of farmer mental health, started in 2015 and highlighted in 2018, or through the efforts of groups like Do More Ag, word has spread. Now, it’s important that this awareness gets translated into action, […] Read more