GFM Network News


Cleaning up spilled grain around a bin eliminates potential breeding sites for pests such as the flat grain beetle.

Expert offers tips for successful crop storage

Keeping out pests and getting rid of excess moisture are key, says provincial crop specialist

A little preparation prior to harvesting can ensure worry-free winter crop storage. “Warm or wet conditions at harvest and multi-staged crops are potential ingredients for storage problems,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “Don’t get an unpleasant surprise when selling the grain with discounts or by being rejected for heated grain or insect problems.” Clean […] Read more

Unusual growing season brings unusual pest pressures

Weather conditions have brought late weed flushes and repeat attacks on crops, says specialist

This year’s unusual weather is causing pests such as weeds, fungal diseases and insects to emerge at unexpected times, says a provincial crop specialist. A dry spring, a later arrival of rain, and a cooler-than-normal growing season all played a role, said Neil Whatley. “While some producers waited for rainfall prior to seeding, most planted […] Read more


Plants that don't get enough moisture are usually stunted and set seed early.

Don’t let those drought-stressed forages go to seed

You won’t get a lot of hay from that first cut but it gives you a chance of getting a second one

Determining the right time to cut a hay stand could mean the difference between harvesting a second cut or the stand becoming dormant, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “A lack of sufficient moisture stresses plants, and that is certainly apparent this spring,” said Karin Lindquist. “Plants that do not get enough moisture are […] Read more

They’ve upped the bar on the century award

Some farms have shot past the 100-year mark and now qualify for the 125 Year Recognition award

It turns out a century award isn’t long enough for some Alberta operations. So last year, the province came up with a new award to recognize farm families who have continuously owned and actively operated the same land for 125 years or more. Antler Valley Farm, north of Innisfail, received the 125 Year Recognition last […] Read more


Crop share is becoming less common in Alberta, but this method can be a good starting point for determining a cash rent.

The going rate isn’t necessarily what you should pay in rent

Don’t pay a rent based on rumoured rates in your area and factor in the productivity of specific fields

Many landlords set their land rent based on what other local landowners are charging, but that’s not always an equitable rate, says a provincial farm business management specialist. “Following this approach has pitfalls because the rate may not be reflective of the soil productivity on the farm, or there may be a difference between what […] Read more

The FEAP Program shares costs for components of a new grain dryer or when retrofitting components for an existing dryer.

Provincial funding available for grain dryer upgrades

Program covers costs of high-efficiency components in existing or new models, and is retroactive

Grants are still available for upgrading components of grain dryers to high-efficiency models. The Farm Energy and Agri-Processors (FEAP) Program shares costs for components of a new dryer or when retrofitting components of an existing dryer, said Katherine Rogers, energy extension co-ordinator with Alberta Agriculture. “For retrofit grain dryer components, eligibility is determined on a […] Read more


Having a vision of the future allows the current and next generation, 
as well as non-farming family members, to pursue a plan that works 
for everyone.

What will your farm look like in 2029?

The odds of it being what you’d like it to be go up if you have a strategic plan, says business specialist

Producers often put off developing a long-term strategic plan, but they shouldn’t, says a provincial farm business management specialist. “Farmers are always busy with their daily and seasonal tasks,” said Dean Dyck. “When asked what their plan is for the next 10 years, they often say they haven’t had a chance to work on it […] Read more

Green foxtail can cut wheat yields by a quarter when populations reach 400 to 500 plants per square metre.

A large weed seed bank is a ‘gift that keeps taking’

No till, chaff collection, forage in rotation, and chemical control all reduce weed pressure

Below the soil surface lurks the weed seed bank — the predominant source of weed pressure on current and future crops. “You do not want to draw on this bank account,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “It is a source of annual and perennial weeds that will wait for years before the right conditions […] Read more


Some farmers are seeing a reduction in the green seed count in stored canola, others are seeing ‘dry’ canola spoil because of green seed.

Green seed canola a big issue for producers this year

Know what you’ve got, watch for spoilage, and make calls to potential buyers of lower grades, says crop specialist

Canola samples have highly variable levels of distinctly green seed this year, says a provincial crops analyst. “Some farmers have reported that there has been a reduction in the green seed count during storage and others have said that it has not changed since harvest,” said Neil Blue. But many producers, particularly in the northern […] Read more

The 2018 Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees (from left, with Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier) are Ronald Howard, Dietrich Kuhlmann, and Garnet Altwasser.

Three agriculture leaders inducted into Hall of Fame

Garnet Altwasser, Ron Howard, and Dieter Kuhlmann all played major roles in their sectors

Three Alberta visionaries have been honoured by the Agriculture Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the cattle-feeding, crop science, and greenhouse industries. This year’s inductees — Garnet Altwasser, Ronald Howard, and Dietrich Kuhlmann — were honoured at a ceremony in Leduc on Oct. 26. Garnet Altwasser became a leader in Canadian agribusiness […] Read more