GFM Network News

The Alberta Supreme Show (shown here in its 2019 iteration) will showcase breed champions from Farmfair, the Olds Fall Classic and the Lloydminster Stockade Roundup. The grand champion bull and female will receive $20,000 each.

Where’s the beef? It’s at Farmfair International

New management goes back to basics with the focus squarely on the cattle shows

Reading Time: 4 minutes As you enter the gates of Farmfair International in Edmonton next month, there are some things you won’t see: rabbits and urban chickens. Those were a couple of the events former Farmfair organizer Northlands had set up in 2019 (the last show before the pandemic) to attract urban audiences. This year, with the stakes higher […] Read more

In spite of lower production, wheat exports are still looking stable after domestic consumption.

Wheat supply drop sharpest in a decade

Not only are supplies tight — so are ocean vessels for delivering to customers

Reading Time: 3 minutes It wasn’t only a bad year for growing wheat in Canada and the U.S. — poor weather in other major producers has sharply reduced the world’s exportable supplies. In a recent webinar held in conjunction with Alberta Wheat and Barley, Jade Delafraye of London-based Argus Media said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has dropped its […] Read more

Data source: Canadian Grain Commission (data assembled by Glenn Cheater)

The Big Surge: Elevator capacity soaring across the Prairies

The growth in the last four years has been phenomenal

Reading Time: 5 minutes The business of building grain elevators is — pardon the pun — on a runaway train. The growth has been, by any measure, phenomenal. In just the last four years, elevator companies have added 1.2 million tonnes of storage — a 16 per cent jump. And that expansion train isn’t slowing down. Late last month, […] Read more

Spot spraying can reduce herbicide application by up to 90 per cent, says distributor Croplands Equipment. And ensuring weeds get a full dose of a herbicide can combat resistance.

Spot spraying gets lots of looks but many farmers seem hesitant

Some are holding off on ‘green-on-brown’ weed tech until it costs less and does more

Reading Time: 3 minutes When it comes to precision-farming technology, automated spot spraying of weeds would be a science fiction dream come true. If it lives up to its promise, farmers would save countless dollars in reduced herbicide use, benefit the environment, and maybe even gain the upper hand in battling herbicide resistance. In Canada, the face of spot […] Read more

Lucent BioSciences says it has developed a new type of water-insoluble micronutrient fertilizer that can significantly improve plant stand counts and yields in field crops.

B.C. startup company says it’s found a better way to deliver fertilizer

Product uses cellulose to bind micronutrients and keep them from leaching away

Reading Time: 4 minutes A Vancouver startup says it has created a “sustainable smart fertilizer” with a product made out of the hulls of lentils and peas. Lucent BioSciences says its product, called Soileos, drives an “on-demand” delivery of nutrients to plants while reducing farmers’ carbon footprint. And because it is made with cellulose, it is not water soluble […] Read more

Farming is inherently risky, but there are ways to mitigate it and that begins with soil testing, says one Strathmore-area agronomist.

The ball game has changed but the fundamentals haven’t

After a bruising year, farmers need a game plan to lower their risk in 2022, says veteran agronomist

Reading Time: 5 minutes Start planning to minimize next year’s risk as soon as you’ve parked the combine — and that starts with fall soil testing, says agronomist Matt Gosling. “There has probably never been a more critical year in my 18 years of doing agronomy to soil test,” said the owner of Strathmore-based Premium Ag. “Soil testing is […] Read more

Prairie barley growers can learn a few lessons on grain drying from Ireland, where the crop generally comes off at 15 to 21.5 per cent moisture, said Drew Sharp, a manager with Boortmart who outlined Irish drying methods in a webinar earlier this year.

Damp Ireland offers some grain drying tips for the dry Prairies

Farmers here can learn a few lessons about drying malt barley from the Emerald Isle

Reading Time: 3 minutes What can malt barley producers on the Prairies learn about grain drying and storage from a country like Ireland, where the climate almost couldn’t be more different? Quite a bit, says an expert familiar with both. The weather is very different but Ireland and the Prairies share some similar challenges, notably dealing with high-moisture malt […] Read more

Better bin monitoring data is key to better drying and that, in turn, could allow Prairie farmers to start harvest a week or two earlier, says Chandra Singh, an expert in wireless sensor technology for grain bins.

Better grain bin sensors could put you in the combine a week earlier

The key to an earlier start is being able to successfully dry down higher-moisture grain, says expert

Reading Time: 4 minutes To some, new research on wireless sensors and automated fans for grain bins may seem like just another technical study. But there’s big stakes in play — an opportunity to move up harvest by a week or even two, says Chandra Singh. “When I joined Lethbridge College in 2019 there was a very early snow […] Read more

While the DOT autonomous platform (shown here at a recent seeding demonstration at the Olds College Smart Farm) is scaled for large farms, Monarch’s fully electric, driver-optional tractor (shown below) is designed for small operations, such as vineyards and orchards. But both represent important milestones in the evolution of farm equipment, say experts.

DOT earns passing grades at college, but not straight A’s

Fuel and labour are issues but the driverless implement shows plenty of potential in Olds College trials

Reading Time: 4 minutes Is the DOT ready for a full-time job on your operation? It might be too early to say, but researchers know the self-propelled, driverless tractor-minus-the-tractor finishes what it starts. “Every mission we started with DOT we were able to finish with DOT,” said Joy Agnew with Olds College. “There was never a catastrophic failure or […] Read more

Don’t cheap out on materials, and “start basic,” says Greg Paranich, an agricultural field specialist and electric fence “troubleshooter.”

Here’s how to stay (properly) grounded when installing electric fencing

Quality — whether ground rods, wire or insulators — is worth the money, says fencing expert

Reading Time: 4 minutes To anyone who’s never built one, an electric fence can seem like a pretty simple structure. In some ways they’re right — like any kind of electrical circuit, an electric fence requires a source of power, a conduit, some kind of ground and usually insulators. But, as is often the case, it’s only as good […] Read more