GFM Network News


Hail beats up southern Alberta for a second year

Southern Alberta has had quite a beating from Mother Nature this summer. The hail season started early with crop-damaging hailstorms during the last week of May in both Lethbridge and Vulcan areas. Storms were particularly violent and widespread over July 5-8, when some motorists reported driving through hailstorms as tough as any winter storm and […] Read more

These drones are strictly for peaceful purposes

Reading Time: 3 minutes How much to rent that quarter? Felix Weber says a view from above can help decide. Weber is an Ontario consulting agronomist who uses a Swiss-made Swinglet CAM unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for a variety of uses from locating old drainage tiles to assessing crop-damage claims, as well as for in-season crop scouting. “The UAV […] Read more


Peace officials considering massive pipeline project to fix water woes

A 2008 plan put the costs of the pipeline to bring water from the Peace River to Grande Prairie 
and other communities at $280 million, but officials say action is needed

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s not the arid south, but the northwest of the province that’s currently facing the most serious water supply challenges, says former provincial agriculture minister Walter Paszkowski. “At one time we had abundant water, now it’s become a bit of a challenge,” said Paszkowski, now economic development manager for the County of Grande Prairie. “It […] Read more

Aerial surveying now in reach of many farmers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Drones — technically called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — have matured from their days as just gee whiz military equipment to time- and money-saving tools in a wide range of industries, including agriculture. In fewer than 10 years the Canadian civilian UAV industry has grown to around $750 million from almost nothing. MicroPilot, of Stony […] Read more


Controlled-traffic farming showing promise

Reading Time: < 1 minute Farmers participating in an Alberta study of controlled-traffic farming have found similar results to those of Jodi DeJong-Hughes, says project co-ordinator Peter Gamache. “Travelling on wet soil affects compaction the most,” says Gamache. “So that’s when controlled-traffic farming shines, you’re always travelling on the same tramline — it’s a miniature road — and not damaging […] Read more



For efficient speeds and to protect tractor transmission — check your tires

Checking tire pressure every day can actually save you time, not to mention improve fuel economy and reduce wear and tear

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alate spring equals a rush to seed, but you’ll save time, money and wear on the transmission by ensuring the tires on each tractor are inflated properly. “Most people fill tires till they look full, about 20 psi,” says Lawrence Papworth, a senior engineer at the Agricultural Technology Centre in Lethbridge. “The numbers stamped on […] Read more

Government assistance available to boost efficiency of irrigation systems

Producers can obtain one grant of up to $5,000 for low-pressure pivots, improving pump 
efficiency, upgrading of pivot control panels, and other efficiency measures

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farmers can now get government funding to upgrade to more efficient irrigation equipment. Under the new five-year, federal-provincial Growing Forward agreement, farmers can apply for up to 40 per cent of the cost of upgrading from flood, wheel-move, or high-pressure centre pivots to new low-pressure pivots. Pump modifications and high efficiency (greater than 85 per […] Read more


Soybeans can work well in Alberta,but variety selection is key

UNUSUAL YEAR Seed grower Patrick Fabian says 2012 was a ‘fantastic season for soybeans,’
but warns varieties that thrived last year may not do well under normal conditions

Reading Time: 3 minutes Soybeans have been a great success for some producers, especially last year, but there are pitfalls, warns a veteran seed grower. “If all goes well, soybeans are a great crop that doesn’t take a huge amount of work or fuss,” says Patrick Fabian of Tilley. “But you do need to start off right, and it’s […] Read more

Seed grower says fababeans are fabulous

The pulse crop is easy to grow — if you have the right 
seeding equipment — but selling them has been a challenge until recently

Reading Time: 3 minutes Faba beans are easy to grow, but a challenge to sell. But there’s at least one exporter/processor ready to buy both zero-tannin and traditional faba beans. Greg Stamp has been growing faba beans for several years, but they became a much more important part of the family business since they formed a partnership with Saskcan […] Read more