GFM Network News


Jim and Karen Taphorn hoped their son would take over their Kansas farm. He tried but plunging grain prices forced him out and the Taphorns decided to retire and sell their equipment at an auction in February.

Trade war and sagging prices push out U.S. farmers

A decade ago, young people were flocking back to the farm — but now they, and their parents, are leaving

A decade ago, young people were flocking back to the farm — but now they, and their parents, are leaving

Shuffling across his frozen fields, farmer Jim Taphorn hunched his shoulders against the wind and squinted at the auctioneer standing next to his tractors. After a fifth harvest with low grain prices, made worse last fall by the U.S.-China trade war, the 68-year-old and his family were calling it quits. Farming also was taking a physical toll […] Read more

Uneven boom height is one of several issues that can lead to “underdosing” when spraying.

Spray variability may be costing you big bucks

Several factors can cause uneven spraying — and they almost always come down to speed

In some parts of the field, as much as half of the herbicide you spray may not hit the target, says a spraying expert. And while there are a host of factors involved — including turns, boom height variability, and turbulence — more often than not, the culprit is speed, said Tom Wolf. The result […] Read more



If it’s daylight and a rural resident comes along, things will probably be fine. But you can’t always avoid evening and night moves — nor can you count on drivers knowing how to safely approach farm equipment.

Big equipment and rural roads aren’t a great match

You can’t shrink your equipment but you can reduce the risk of a collision

When it comes to transporting agricultural equipment, bigger almost never means better. After all, equipment is getting larger but roads are staying the same size. There are also fewer drivers on the road who know how to respect and respond to these large, slow-moving vehicles. It’s a potentially fatal cocktail and farmers are getting worried. […] Read more


“The manufacturers in Canada have a very strong reputation globally for providing very high-quality implements and equipment.” – Leah Olson

Canada’s short line equipment makers on the cutting edge

These smaller manufacturers exported $1.8 billion of equipment and implements last year

If you’re frustrated that the big names in equipment manufacturing aren’t rolling out autonomous systems quickly enough, you may want to look a little closer to home. “With the clock ticking on when we’ll see autonomous farming become a commercial reality, my hope is that we’ll see Canadian manufacturers lead the way there,” said Leah […] Read more

If you dream of getting new iron for this year’s harvest, you need to plan ahead — dealers no longer 
have a big surplus of equipment on their lots.

Iron backlog has come and gone

It’s taken a few years, but dealers have finally whittled down high inventories of equipment

Two years ago, you couldn’t drive past an equipment dealership without noticing the rows upon rows of machines — carry-over of anticipated demand that never came. “In 2013 and 2014, everybody was firing on all cylinders,” said Leah Olson, president of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada. “With our record harvests, there was a fundamental shift […] Read more


Stay safe on the roads this growing season

An updated version of Safe Transportation of Farm Equipment is now available for free. The booklet has information on road and transportation safety for farm equipment, including regulations and detailed instructions on signage and markings. There is also a new section on power line safety and high load moves. It takes 36 seconds for a […] Read more

Indiana farmer Kyler Laird posted this video in November after making a new remote control for his automated combine because he wanted something more user friendly than his laptop. In the video, he uses the joystick on the game controller to back the combine out of the shed, bring it alongside a grain cart, and then transfer grain to the cart. To find this and other videos by Laird, go to YouTube.com and search for ‘Kyler Laird.’ 
PHOTOS: From ‘portable joystick system’ on youtube.com

Robo-tractors invented by farmers are already here

Software-savvy producers aren’t waiting for equipment makers — 
they’re writing code and automating their machines

Kyler Laird did it the John Deere way when he returned to the family farm in Indiana after his father’s death in 2010. But after five years of sitting in a tractor, planting crooked rows of corn, he decided to do it his way instead. “Even when I was a kid out discing or out […] Read more


One of the advantages of putting implements on top of a platform instead of pulling them is that the engine can be smaller and the combined weight much less.

Pulling needs lots of horsepower, and that means more weight

Special Report: Will farming make a u-turn?

The developer of the DOT Autonomous Power Platform says it will substantially reduce soil compaction and cut fuel usage by up to 20 per cent. It’s just physics, said Norbert Beaujot. “There is a big waste in pulling something versus having it mounted onto the body of the prime mover,” he says. “(Pulling) burns more […] Read more

The equipment was small (and old, in the case of the combine) but the goal of the Hands-Free Hectare project was to prove you could grow a crop without ever setting foot in the field.

The automated future has arrived, says robotic farming expert

British researcher showcases the ‘Hands-Free Hectare’ project at Farming Smarter conference

Farming using only robots may sound like something out of the year 2050 — but the producers of a barley crop in the United Kingdom argue it’s here now. Researchers at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, England, along with a U.K. precision ag company successfully grew a crop using only automated machines as their farmhands. […] Read more