GFM Network News


Prairies hit hard by drought

Prairies hit hard by drought

Parts of south-central, southwestern Manitoba among driest

Reading Time: 2 minutes MarketsFarm — A new nationwide drought map released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Drought Monitor (CDM) shows just how dry conditions are in the Prairies, especially in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Areas in southern Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan have experienced at least six months of drought conditions, according to CDM’s drought assessment as of March […] Read more

The SWAT maps show a 3D image such as this one. Zone 1 (red) is water-shedding, thin topsoils with low organic matter. Zone 5 (yellow) is a field average soil. Zone 10 (green) areas are water-collecting areas with deep topsoils with high organic matter.

The best place for crop inputs…

Is where there’s enough moisture to grow a good crop. SWAT technology says it can tell you where that is

Reading Time: 5 minutes The description of Cory Willness’s canola field near Naicam, Sask., this year could fit hundreds of others across the Prairies. It has variable topography with too much moisture in the depressions. The topsoil on the knoll is poorer because of erosion over the years. “We also had had some establishment problems along the top this […] Read more


David and Paul Waldner of Clear Lake Hutterite Colony.

Alberta Hutterite colony bottles water to diversify

Clear Lake Colony is challenging the definition of “value-added” with bottled water production

Reading Time: 8 minutes Across the West, Hutterite colonies are successfully diversifying into other business ventures, but this is a unique story at the very rural Clear Lake Hutterite Colony, an hour and a half southeast of Calgary. Clear Lake, it turns out, is home to a natural spring well — and to a group of very forward-thinking farmers, […] Read more

Advertising would have you believe flavoured water beverages are just the thing you need for your health. But are they?

Guide Health: Fortified water – a good thing or not?

Many of these drinks may make sense for pro football players, but not the rest of us

Reading Time: 2 minutes Undoubtedly you will have seen the rows of fortified and flavoured water drinks in just about any store, as well as energy and sports water products too. According to the advertising, these beverages are just the thing you need for your health. But are they? Canada’s Food Guide has recently been updated, and it recommends […] Read more


Photo: Thinkstock

Six factors to consider if your soil moisture level is low

To date, all indications are pointing to a dry spring, given the below-average precipitation received in many areas of the Prairies this winter. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but a lot of farmers had relatively dry soils going into winter, so we asked some agronomists and provincial crop experts what factors could[...]
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More than 100,000 farmers and ranchers have attended Ray Archuleta’s soil-health talks, which start with two clumps of soil dropped into columns of water.

It’s not soil ‘quality’…

Terminology can make a difference, and using ‘health’ rather than ‘quality’ is helping bring together different interests to a common cause

Reading Time: 6 minutes For three weeks every month, Ray Archuleta captivates audiences with a few handfuls of soil. He begins with two clumps, dropping them into water. The soil from a farm where the soil isn’t tilled holds together, while the tilled soil immediately disperses, indicating poor soil structure. Next, volunteers from the audience — mostly farmers and[...]
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Photo: Thinkstock

Tips to help you protect your household water

The water that enters your home has a long journey from start to finish, and along the way, it can pick up a lot of contaminants. Once it reaches your municipal water treatment facility it is treated and distributed to the public. During this process chemical and physical processes are used to filter and disinfect[...]
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Both cattle and sheep are important to many farmers in New South Wales, Australia.

Watching for rain in Australia

Warren Hobson’s reservoir is built to hold 18 feet of water. There’s one foot left

Reading Time: 5 minutes The farmers were smiling. They were attending one of this country’s premier machinery expos in Gunnedah, New South Wales, and the weather forecast was calling for widespread rains across the region. In Australia, that is a reason enough to smile. Rain in this country is a precious and sometimes scarce commodity. Even a few millimetres[...]
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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[...]
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Farmers would pay more for water from proposed California tunnel

Reading Time: 2 minutes Sacramento | Reuters –– California farmers would pay more to irrigate their crops under a proposal to build tunnels under the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to funnel water to the state’s agricultural breadbasket, officials said Friday. The analysis released by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer said regional water suppliers and the farmers who purchase water from[...]
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