GFM Network News



Calgary-based Bio-Cycle Solutions says it has spread its compost-based product on about four million acres.

It’s cheap and plentiful but is elemental sulphur a fertilizer option?

A Calgary company says its compost-based product fits the bill, but you need to think longer term

[UPDATE: Oct. 10, 2019] When you consider the cost and bulkiness of conventional sulphur fertilizers, producers can hardly be blamed for seeking out alternatives to meet their crops’ sulphate needs. One of these alternatives is elemental sulphur — a byproduct of the oil and gas industry that is plentiful and cheap in Alberta. But should […] Read more


Reducing the spring workload and cost savings make fall fertilizing tempting, but the cost can be higher, 
especially when it comes to urea or anhydrous.

The pros and (serious) cons of fall fertilizer application

Fall application can come back to haunt you in the spring, especially when it comes to nitrogen

At face value, there are several reasons for applying fertilizer post-harvest. It reduces the workload in spring, the price of nutrients is usually lower in the fall, and it minimizes winter storage risks. So is fall fertilizer application a no-brainer? Not necessarily, says an agronomist with Alberta Wheat and Barley. “I would make sure that […] Read more

Sure, drones draw a crowd, but like other farm tools today, they need to earn their keep by generating usable data that actually increases profits.

The farm data overload needs a fix

Ag tech event shows future of farming is data driven — but 'we're not there yet'

Jay Bruggencate has a bit of a bone to pick with the ag-tech industry. “We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into smart equipment that knows what it’s doing but can’t talk to each other,” said the Lacombe-area farmer at the recent AgSmart event at Olds College. “There’s so much data now available to us […] Read more


Numbers don’t lie — but can mislead if there’s not enough of them

When it comes to making decisions on the farm, the more data the better —
especially if that data comes from other farms

Did you know that there’s a direct correlation between the divorce rate in Maine and the per capita consumption of margarine in the States? It’s true. If you chart the data on a graph going back a decade or two, one line rises and falls with the other. That’s the problem with data like this […] Read more

A poor canola crop can be used for feed

Salvage canola crops can make good cattle feed, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “With dry conditions in the northern and southern parts of the province, late seeding and hailstorms in others, some canola crops could be candidates for salvaging and used for cattle feed,” said Barry Yaremcio. Canola plants in full bloom to […] Read more


Calgary to step out of Federated Co-op grocery system

Calgary Co-op’s grocery business plans to get all its goods from suppliers other than Federated Co-operatives (FCL) starting in April next year. Saskatoon-based FCL said Thursday it had received notice from Calgary Co-operative Association that it would “discontinue the procurement of all products for their grocery stores from FCL” at that time. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix […] Read more

Crops that have high rates of applied nitrogen, such as canola, can have a high amount of soil nitrogen well into July in thin stands.

Watch for nitrate accumulation in hailed-out crops

There’s extra value in a salvage crop this year, but nitrates are a risk in crops such as canola and wheat

The issue of nitrate accumulation needs to be considered when salvaging hailed-out crops. “Nitrate accumulation occurs in a plant when it is injured and is not able to convert nitrate to protein efficiently after a hail storm,” said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “In non-legume crops, water and nutrients are pushed into the […] Read more


Canfax and the Beef Cattle Research Council recently examined the uptake of beneficial practices in the cow-calf sector.

There’s progress but best practices often ignored

A deep dive into 
uptake of recommended cow-calf practices shows ‘there’s room for improvement’

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be the common thread among cow-calf producers who haven’t yet adopted recommended practices on their own operations. “Producers are happy with the performance and productivity that they’ve been getting, so they see no reason to change,” said Brenna Grant, manager of Canfax Research Services. “That can […] Read more

Variable rate application good for soil, farmers’ bottom lines

MarketsFarm — For Saskatchewan farmer Terry Aberhart and research scientist Alan Moulin, variable rate (VR) application is a no-brainer. In representing Sure Growth Solutions Inc. at the Global Cash Crop Conference in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Aberhart explained the cost savings farmers can achieve by applying different amounts of fertilizer. “The mentality is, if you want […] Read more