GFM Network News


Performance management pays off, says a University of Guelph associate professor. “Research shows it can improve employee performance, productivity and safety.”

The annual performance review

Does it really make sense to put employees and team members through a performance appraisal?

You’re busy, of course, so finding an excuse for not doing annual performance evaluations with employees and team members looks so very tempting. Would it really be so bad if you pushed the reviews onto the back burner? The answer is an unequivocal “yes,” according to Dr. Sara Mann, an associate professor specializing in human […] Read more

Contrary to a common perception, water-use efficiency and drought tolerance are not one and the same.

The water question

Should you be more concerned about drought tolerance, or water-use efficiency?

It’s a term that’s often loosely used, and it isn’t well understood at any level. Yet it may become one of the dominant yield limitations in your crop production within the next few years. Water-use efficiency has been part of agronomy’s lexicon for decades, yet as yields have increased, its definition and how it functions […] Read more


The right time

For Brian and Joanne Keunen, off-farm experience created an eye for opportunity. But what really paved the way for Mapleview Agri came from the generations innovating how to work together

Like many newly minted high school grads, when he turned 18 years old Brian Keunen went off to college. His choice? Centralia College in southwestern Ontario. His goal? To get a diploma in agriculture, and then to return to the family dairy farm near Drayton, an hour and a half west of Toronto, where he […] Read more

Learning how to pick the best mushroom at the best time is helping get these robots ready for your farm.

Artificial intelligence

… the brave new world of how you’ll farm, and eat

It used to be that artificial intelligence was limited to the realms of science fiction and movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Terminator’s Skynet. Today, artificial intelligence is real — think Alexa or Google Home — and tools and applications putting it to use are emerging at a rapid clip in many fields, including […] Read more


Figure 1: This unsprayed control treatment consists mainly of common ragweed but with green foxtail, common lamb’s-quarters, witchgrass, crabgrass and red-root and green pigweed.

Pest Patrol: Weed control in identity-preserved, non-GMO soybeans

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

A decade of public research trials evaluating weed control in non-GMO soybeans at the University of Guelph has demonstrated that the key to success is to start with a soil-applied herbicide program that has three or more different modes of action. In Ontario, there are a number of common weeds (e.g. common ragweed, lamb’s-quarters, foxtail […] Read more

If you feel your employee turnover is too high, talk to other farmers with similar-sized farms to see how they compare.

Keep employees on the farm

Do you really know if your employees are thinking of quitting?

Hiring and training the right people is costly, and the last thing you need as you head into the busy season is the added stress of losing a key person. The good news is there is a lot you can do as an employer to keep your staff. Even better, it’s not just about higher […] Read more


Selling sales

When schools look down on sales, marketing and personal skills, you the farmer lose as much as the students

Ask most recruiters or human resource professionals working in ag today and they will tell you there is a growing gap between the skills needed to perform key roles in agribusiness and the skills that high school, college or university students can bring to the job. Lori Litherland, founder of agricultural recruiter Litherland and Company, […] Read more

The associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan says that for more than a decade there have been more women than men in the ag programs.

‘Super Keen’

Ag education is hot, and enrolment is booming from coast to coast

It’s inspiring for anyone in agriculture to talk to the principals and deans at ag-related academic institutions across the country. More than ever in history, young Canadians are pursuing careers in ag. In a nutshell, it’s because there are jobs in agriculture after school — good jobs that offer exciting and interesting career paths for […] Read more


Weed management in edible beans is challenged by various factors, including the availability of broadleaf herbicides.

Weeds in edible beans

Growers know about weeds in corn and soybeans, but dry beans demand a strategy of their own

In farming circles, where commodity prices and net returns dictate much of the crop plans in a growing season, the rationale for choosing alternative crops can hinge on a number of factors. The need for different equipment, different diseases that might have an impact on the crop, shipping costs and the so-called “convenience” of some […] Read more

Hiring: Get it right the first time

Searching for the ideal employee starts well before you place the want ad

It’s a number that should wake us up: 80 per cent of employee turnover is the result of hiring the wrong person. That’s according to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues in the ag sector. Since hiring and training new employees is a costly […] Read more