GFM Network News



Late blight can cause rapid crop losses in potato and tomato crops, says provincial commercial horticulture specialist Rob Spencer.

Potato and tomato growers warned to keep watch for late blight

Monitor for symptoms in tomato transplants and in early-emerging potato plants

There has been a great deal of concern in Alberta in the last few years about late blight, a serious disease that mainly affects potatoes and tomatoes. Favourable conditions for disease development have resulted in multiple outbreaks of late blight in commercial market gardens, as well as urban potato and tomato crops throughout parts of […] Read more


If you're buying your trees from a nursery, ask where the stock came from – many trees are not adapted for harsher climates.

Tree planting dos and don’ts

Agroforestry specialist Toso Bozic outlines the basics from buying to planting

A tree needs a healthy head start and that begins with selecting the right seedlings. “Ask where the stock came from, as many trees are not adapted to Alberta’s harsher climate,” said provincial agroforestry specialist Toso Bozic. “If you don’t get a tree that suits your needs, wait for next season and order in advance.” […] Read more

Going ‘off label’ is a bad idea all around when it comes to pesticides

You can not only be fined, but also put your customers, the environment and your business at risk


The practice of ‘off-label’ spraying is not only illegal and can result in severe fines, but can also be very dangerous for your clients, your livelihood, and the environment, says a provincial commercial horticulture specialist. “Horticultural chemicals and pesticides often have the dubious distinction of being more expensive than their field crop cousins. In order […] Read more


Summer Farm Employment Program deadline looming

Applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis until May 31

Time is running out to get funding from the Summer Farm Employment Program. The provincial program offers wage support for farmers who employ youth during July and August. Employers must own or rent a farming operation in Alberta and have a gross production of $25,000 per year. Work must be directly related to the farming […] Read more

Fatigue during spring seeding is dangerous, work safe

Know the warning signs and 
set sensible limits

Seeding and the spring work frenzy puts you at greater risk of serious injury due to fatigue. “Too many farmers push themselves, especially during the really busy times,” said Kenda Lubeck, farm safety co-ordinator with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “Too often, it is a case of wanting to finish a field even though fatigue […] Read more


Operators upping their game as farmers’ markets proliferate

Some are finding ways to stand out in the crowd while others are getting to know their customers better

Thrive!” was the theme for the 2015 B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets annual conference which attracted more than 100 vendors, farmers, managers and board members to talk about growth, innovation, and building ongoing success in the markets. The conference focused on two areas — strengthening the operation of the market and increasing vendor know-how in […] Read more

The rise in cattle prices offers a chance to invest in herd health, as well as strengthening your balance sheet.

Cow-calf sector needs a different approach when it comes to investing

Pay attention to working capital, and invest in productive assets, herd health and yourself, says expert

Now that the cow-calf business is providing positive margins, an Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development specialist has some suggestions where cow-calf operators can invest to help improve their bottom line. In the Managing Prosperity in the Beef Industry presentation now available from Cow-Calfenomics risk management series, farm financial specialist Rick Dehod suggests that improving working […] Read more


Scorecard lets you put your pastures to the test

The scorecard is a simple way to see if a pasture needs to be rejuvenated

Highly productive pastures are the biggest key to high profitability of most beef, and other grazing ruminant operations. The Alberta Tame Pasture Scorecard is a quick and easy way of doing a pasture assessment. “Determining if pastures are functioning at the desired potential can be determined quite easily,” said Grant Lastiwka, a provincial forage and […] Read more

Three online crop tools to stretch your fertilizer dollar

Soil testing is key but there are also two free online tools to better gauge your fertilizer requirements

An Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development specialist is recommending three tools he says can be a big help with controlling fertilizer costs. “Soil testing is one of three tools you can use to make your fertilizer dollar stretch further,” said Harry Brook, a crop specialist with ARD in Stettler. “The other two tools in the […] Read more