GFM Network News


Before applying glyphosate, see if the peduncle has yellowed or browned and, if so, give the kernel the thumbnail test. If the kernel squishes between your fingers, it’s too early to apply glyphosate, says agronomist Jeremy Boychyn.

Weather woes could lead to market headaches, says agronomist

Grain buyers are testing like never before, so glyphosate timing is especially critical this year

Alberta farmers have seen some occasionally dry, mostly wet, often cold, but sometimes sunny conditions this summer — and the all-over-the-place weather has wreaked havoc in cereal fields across the province. “When you have cool weather on top of really moist conditions, you’ll get plants slowing down that much more,” said Jeremy Boychyn, agronomy research […] Read more

Sure, drones draw a crowd, but like other farm tools today, they need to earn their keep by generating usable data that actually increases profits.

The farm data overload needs a fix

Ag tech event shows future of farming is data driven — but 'we're not there yet'

Jay Bruggencate has a bit of a bone to pick with the ag-tech industry. “We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into smart equipment that knows what it’s doing but can’t talk to each other,” said the Lacombe-area farmer at the recent AgSmart event at Olds College. “There’s so much data now available to us […] Read more


Numbers don’t lie — but can mislead if there’s not enough of them

When it comes to making decisions on the farm, the more data the better —
especially if that data comes from other farms

Did you know that there’s a direct correlation between the divorce rate in Maine and the per capita consumption of margarine in the States? It’s true. If you chart the data on a graph going back a decade or two, one line rises and falls with the other. That’s the problem with data like this […] Read more

At Hebert Grain Ventures, data from field operations -- as well as from employees, financial statements and a host of other sources -- is analyzed and used to find new ways to improve efficiency.

How one farm put data analytics to work

Saskatchewan grain farm makes money by assessing data on everything from employees to soil moisture

Most people say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But at Hebert Grain Ventures, their motto is, “If it’s not broke, you haven’t looked hard enough.” “We don’t believe that, just because we had a good year or a good yield, that’s enough,” said Evan Shout, the Saskatchewan farm’s chief financial officer. “If we […] Read more


Alberta producers seeded an extra 200,000 acres this year and the decision looks like it will pay off at harvest time.

After two lacklustre years, Alberta’s pulse prospects rising again

Market access woes hurt acreage but there’s cautious optimism this summer

Last year was a low point for pulse crops in Alberta. After record-high pulse acres in 2016, global markets slipped a little in 2017, and farmers got nervous. Fewer pulses went in the ground that year. Then top customer India all but closed its doors to Canadian pulses by imposing steep tariffs, and acres dropped […] Read more

Lakeland College’s new 14,000-square-foot animal health clinic is modelled after a functioning vet clinic, giving students the hands-on training they need to enter the work world.

Student-managed farms at Lakeland College work to reflect the industries they serve

No ivory towers when students are running the show

Students are running the show at Lakeland College, and that’s just how they — and their prospective employers — like it. “Our student-led model has really been our big success at the college,” said Geoff Brown, associate dean of agricultural sciences. “On our student-managed farms, we really try to mimic the industries we’re in. We’re […] Read more


Premature bleaching of wheat spikelet infected by fusarium head blight, 
which is expected to be more common this year.

The rains came and crop disease pathogens couldn’t be happier

Scouting regularly and intensely gives you the best chance of hitting the ideal fungicide window

Early season diseases generally passed crop growers by during the dry spring, but rainfall across much of the province means they need to keep a close watch now. “The dry conditions earlier this spring tended to slow things down, but we’ve had moisture occurring, and that has elevated the risk for diseases,” federal research scientist […] Read more

The DOT Autonomous Power Platform will be making its Alberta debut at Olds College AgSmart event on Aug. 13-14.

Event offers chance to get up close to leading-edge ag tech

Olds College offering hands-on demos and displays of the ‘latest and greatest’ in advanced technology

Ag technology is advancing faster than ever before — but farmers still aren’t always sure how to make these innovations work on their own operations. “Technology is such a huge component of agriculture going into the future. It’s making agriculture more sustainable, more productive and more profitable,” said Joy Agnew, director of applied research at […] Read more


Cereal breeding is pretty much entirely done by public researchers, with the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.

Alberta Wheat and Barley cool to latest seed royalty scheme

There are now three options on the table but all offer ‘more questions than answers,’ says groups’ GM

A third option has been thrust into the seed royalty review fray — but whether it will be the answer farmers are looking for remains to be seen. “At this stage, there are still more questions than answers about all of the models that have been put forward,” said Tom Steve, general manager of Alberta […] Read more

Geri Wayslow has been breeding alpacas on her farm near Ranfurly for the past 15 years.

Diversification drives success at Alberta alpaca farm

Alpaca-assisted therapy, children’s camps, and other programs add to revenue streams

Alpacas may look like a fun farm pet, but for Geri Wayslow, they’re a true labour of love — one that requires a whole lot of hard work and a little bit of luck to turn a profit. “It’s fun as a breeder to see what I’ve created, but more importantly, it’s about what I […] Read more