GFM Network News


Fifty provincial agriculture ministry staff get layoff notices

Many of those losing their jobs are scientists and their work greatly benefited farmers, says a retired researcher

In the second week of December, about 50 staff at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry got a pre-Christmas delivery no one would want — they were laid off. Details have not been released but among those affected are engineers, agrologists, and managers. “This is just another example of where they have taken some significant steps backwards,” […] Read more

Stick to deep banding — not shallow banding — when applying nitrogen

In order to reduce nitrogen losses, producers need to deep band their fertilizer, use enhanced-efficiency products, and follow the 4R nutrient stewardship principles

When it comes to getting maximum yields, nitrogen is still king. “Nitrogen is the most important nutrient when it comes to providing yield responses,” said agronomist Rigas Karamanos. In a study conducted in 2000 that looked at how barley yields responded to various nutrients, nitrogen increased yields by almost 60 bushels per acre — over […] Read more


Late is not great when it comes to seeding wheat

Wheat growers need to get their crop in the ground as early as possible if they want to maximize yields

It’s time to start treating wheat like it’s a “real crop,” says Ontario agronomist ‘Wheat Pete’ Johnson. “Wheat is the most responsive crop to management we grow, and yet it’s the crop that we manage the least,” Peter Johnson said at the Farming Smarter conference last month. “You just put it in the ground and […] Read more

Ten is the magic number for canola

In a year like 2015, the little things add up. “If we get lots of moisture early in the spring, you can just about broadcast your canola and it will grow,” Dan Orchard said at the Farming Smarter conference earlier this month. “But when years are tough, that’s when a lot of these little things […] Read more


Agronomist Dan Orchard had good and bad news for growers at a recent
Alberta Canola Producers meeting.

The clubroot onslaught continues — but there is some hopeful news

Alberta fields are seeing massive numbers of clubroot spores, but new research has found a 90 per cent drop-off after a two-year break

Clubroot’s march through Alberta is relentless and the level of infestation here is 100 times — or even 1,000 times — worse than in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But there is a bit of good news: Moving to a three-year rotation is more effective than previously believed, says a Canola Council of Canada agronomist. “New work […] Read more

Agronomist says too many producers are playing ‘farm Vegas’ with inputs

Norm Flore says there’s a place for many specialty inputs but 
they can add to costs without generating much of a return

Producers have better odds playing the slots in Vegas than they do playing “farm Vegas” with their inputs, says agronomist Norm Flore. “Not all inputs are having the same likelihood of a return,” Flore, manager of agronomic services for Crop Production Services Canada, said in his FarmTech presentation. “At the end of the day, it’s […] Read more