GFM Network News

Soil scientist David Lobb has criss-crossed the country to talk about soil health, but the issue isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves, says the University of Manitoba professor.

Soil degradation the forgotten issue

Reducing tillage and summerfallow hasn’t fixed a problem that is costing farmers billions every year

Soil degradation in Canada is causing a huge economic loss — but few people are paying attention. That includes farmers, even though degraded soil is significantly reducing their yields, according to University of Manitoba soil scientist David Lobb. “Soil erosion accounts for a loss of about 10 per cent,” he said. “Farmers are only getting […] Read more

Burying a pair of cotton shorts in the soil is one way that soil enthusiasts can raise awareness about soil health.

Underwear campaign fun with a serious purpose

The goal is to promote awareness that soils are living, breathing entities — and need protection

It seems like just a fun, even silly, thing to do — bury a pair of underwear made of white cotton, and then dig them up a couple of months later to see what soil microbes have done to them. But the Soil Your Undies campaign has a very serious purpose: To show people that […] Read more


Two years ago, Chris Chivilo put a new pulse fractioning plant at Bowden on hold.
But now he’s “taking up the torch again.”

Prairie pulse processing still in next-year country

But that could change as ‘supercluster’ hands out first $40 million to spur processing on the Prairies

Chris Chivilo was nearly ready to break ground on a brand new pulse fractioning plant in Bowden when the bottom fell out of the market. “Two and a half years ago, we got very close, and then the pulse market went to hell,” said Chivilo, president of W.A. Grain and Pulse Solutions. “So we put […] Read more




Input Capital steps back from mortgage expansion plans

Up against the current canola market, “commodity streaming” firm Input Capital has put off plans to ramp up its mortgage business with canola growers. The publicly traded Regina company in February announced a “comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value” and said it was in “an ongoing search for appropriate scalable sources of […] Read more


Warm, dry weather advances seeding; crop emergence in early stages

Alberta Crop Report: Conditions as of May 14, 2019

The warm dry weather has attributed to substantial seeding progress provincially. Last week’s average on all crops was slightly above 16 per cent while this week’s numbers for major crops is 42 per cent complete, which is sizably higher than the five year average of 25. Across Alberta, 72 per cent of peas are in […] Read more



Distinct markings give adult gall flies a rather striking appearance, while their larvae are anything but attractive. But they can do serious damage to a Canada thistle.

Tiny warriors get nasty on Canada thistle

Stem gall flies love to feed on — and breed in — the much-loathed and fast-spreading invasive weed

The West Central Forage Association has another biocontrol that can help you win the war against Canada thistle. The proud warriors are called stem gall flies and they’re available for sale. “The gall flies act on a different portion of the Canada thistle than the weevils do,” said Rachael Nay, conservation agriculture and extension program […] Read more

U.S. grains: Corn to seven-week high as rain threatens planting

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. corn futures rose on Thursday for a fourth straight session as dismal weather forecasts signalled further planting delays in the Midwest, prompting commodity funds to cover short positions, analysts said. Chicago wheat futures hit a one-month high, led by corn, and soybeans followed the firm trend. Chicago Board of Trade […] Read more