GFM Network News


Use safe access such as proper steps or ladders when pumping fuel into storage tanks.

Avoid disaster with simple farm fuel management steps

With producers buying fuel tanks in record numbers, now is the time to review safe practices

Everyone loves a bargain, and producers got a big one this spring when fuel prices dropped to lows not seen in ages. With average prices ranging around 65 cents per litre for diesel and 50 cents for gasoline with tax exemptions, producers quickly queued up at their local suppliers to shave some dollars off their […] Read more

If your environmental farm plan is more than a decade old, you will need to renew it.

Having an official stewardship plan comes with benefits

Access to grants and the ‘sustainable sourcing’ trend are key reasons for an environmental farm plan

A lot of Alberta farmers have an environmental farm plan, but many are gathering dust on a shelf and are no longer valid. But having a valid environmental farm plan (EFP) has several benefits and renewing one has become easier, say officials who run the program. A constant in Alberta since 2003, there are 4,500 […] Read more


“It’s not a matter of if your grain dryer catches on fire — it’s a matter of when,” says Richard Hoppins, Trochu’s fire chief and a producer himself.

Don’t let your grain dryer become a grain fryer

A few quick, simple measures can prevent your dryer — and your grain — from going up in smoke

Every harvest — and especially in recent years — grain dryers across Alberta are put into action. But the busy season doesn’t leave time for the care and maintenance to reduce the risk of fire when these units are working flat out. Although it’s impossible to completely eliminate fire risk with anything that creates heat, […] Read more

The back side of a standard New Holland boom retrofitted with the WEED-IT Quadro. Retailer Croplands Equipment sells the Quadro in either a retrofit kit which allows it to be installed on most types of existing sprayer booms or as a 120-foot Millennium boom.

Ready for prime time? Spot-spraying tech advancing quickly

Spot spraying in crop has a ways to go, but pre-seed burn-off may soon be commonplace


Producers have been hearing about weed-targeting spot-spraying sensors for some time, but it’s always seemed to be the stuff of science fiction. In some cases, however, the future is now while in others it’s coming quickly — it all depends on the type of sensor tech you’re interested in. Well-known spraying expert Tom Wolf separates […] Read more


Knowing emergence and mortality can help you deal with issues that may arise later, such as weed management and crop maturity, says Canola Council of Canada agronomist, Autumn Barnes.

Stand establishment: If it’s bad news, it’s better to know early on

Measuring emergence let’s you know what’s not working and helps to deal with issues this year

Scouting for disease, insects and weeds pays — and so does assessing plant stand establishment, says a Canola Council of Canada agronomist. Getting a handle on emergence (and therefore seed mortality) can reveal which management practices aren’t working, said Autumn Barnes. “If producers go out and get these numbers they can see, just as a […] Read more

Research lead Willemijn Appels and Nathan Linder gather data from a local farmer’s canola field irrigated by subsurface drip irrigation.

Fighting gravity for better underground irrigation

Subsurface drip irrigation can pay off with the right practices and a little patience, says researcher

At first glance, subsurface drip irrigation seems like an obvious winner as it gets water directly to the roots and there’s less evaporation. But that’s not the whole story. Subsurface drip irrigation is a literal fight against gravity — you’re trying to make water go from side to side when it’s inclined to go down […] Read more


Better establishment and uniform staging helped this canola seeded by a precision planter on 12-inch rows (on an irrigated plot) achieve a much higher yield than its air-seeded cousin in a Farming Smarter small-plot study.

Precision planting produces results — but doesn’t come cheap

Small-plot study finds 15 per cent yield bump, but cost and fertilization are issues with precision planter

New research shows that tightening up row spacing when seeding canola with precision planters can make a big yield difference — up to 15 per cent more, in fact — compared to conventional air drills. That’s a key finding from a four-year small-plot study by Farming Smarter researchers after adjusting a precision vacuum planter to […] Read more

A cellphone is a great safety device when working alone — as long as it’s charged, there’s reception 
where you’re working, and there’s someone you can call who can quickly come to your aid in case of an accident.

Don’t just rely on your cellphone when working alone on the farm

Farm Safety Week: Old-school tech, GPS devices and careful planning can come through if your cellphone fails you

Cellphones have made it easier for producers to communicate on the job — especially ones working alone. In the event of an injury, a one-touch emergency cell call can mean the difference between life and death. But as great as cellphones may be, they’re not the be-all and end-all of an on-farm communications plan. Congratulations […] Read more


Safety training has become a passion for Hanneke Camps — and it’s a process that’s continually evolving, she says.

‘Common sense’ isn’t an alternative to communication

Never stop talking about dangers and safe practices, says safety-minded Alberta producer

A farm, particularly during a busy season, is at best barely controlled chaos, with vehicles, equipment, employees and even kids all competing for the same farmyard real estate. So how do you bring order to that chaos and keep everyone safe? Ask Hanneke Camps and she’ll tell you communication is the key. Although everyone talks […] Read more

The new provincial workplace safety law for farms is now in effect but even if you have just one paid, non-family employee, the Occupational Health and Safety Act still applies.

What does the new farm safety law mean on your farm?

There are more options under Farm Freedom and Safety Act but farm employers have the same basic obligations

The Farm Freedom and Safety Act doesn’t give producers freedom from making sure their employees make it home safe and sound at the end of every work day. That’s the gist of a new campaign by AgSafe Alberta, which is trying to correct a misconception that Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws don’t apply to […] Read more