GFM Network News


CropChoice$ can forecast the profit potential — and help identify a Plan B — before you start seeding.

Updated version of CropChoice$ now available

Program offers profit scenarios for a variety of crops by using different yields and prices

The crop planning and risk management software program CropChoice$ has been updated with current crop insurance information from Agricultural Financial Services Corporation along with projected crop costs. “Producers can also adjust individual crop costs and evaluate the effects that different risk management strategies will have on their operation — such as purchasing crop insurance and […] Read more

Get the lowdown on growing and selling durum

New Sask Wheat manual covers everything from selecting varieties to long-term profitability

The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission has released a new manual for durum wheat growers. “The purpose of the durum production manual is to promote sustainable production of durum wheat on the Canadian Prairies and enable Canada to provide a consistent and increased supply of durum wheat with high quality to international and domestic markets,” the […] Read more


Green foxtail can cut wheat yields by a quarter when populations reach 400 to 500 plants per square metre.

A large weed seed bank is a ‘gift that keeps taking’

No till, chaff collection, forage in rotation, and chemical control all reduce weed pressure

Below the soil surface lurks the weed seed bank — the predominant source of weed pressure on current and future crops. “You do not want to draw on this bank account,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “It is a source of annual and perennial weeds that will wait for years before the right conditions […] Read more

“Tillage, like smoking, is a terminal bad habit. The more we do, the worse the outcome,” says Don Lobb, a longtime leader in the no-till and soil health movements.

Canada’s soil is in crisis — and change is needed, says advocate

Agronomy has ‘masked’ soil degradation, but the crunch is coming

The biggest crisis facing Canadian agriculture is right beneath our feet. “For the first time in history, we have the technology and tools to produce food in a sustainable way, yet farmers and their influencers cling to old ways and values,” said Don Lobb, an Ontario farmer and a longtime leader in the no-till and […] Read more


Canola Council resets course for ‘efficiencies’

Facing new limits on available funding, Canada’s canola value chain organization plans to refocus its work on its “core strengths” and collaborate with other players. The Canola Council of Canada on Wednesday announced a revised work plan, coming out of a “priorities review” undertaken after one of Canada’s biggest grain companies called a halt to […] Read more

There’s no shortage of data on today’s farms but the most important number — profit per acre — is not easy to determine.

The search for a ‘win-win’ solution to unprofitable acres

Precision agriculture meets precision conservation in ongoing profitability mapping research

Farming and farmland conservation sometimes seem at odds with each other — a win for one is seen as a loss for the other. After all, taking land out of production for conservation purposes is seen as a loss of productive farmland, while the ecological community sometimes views intensive ag production as a threat to […] Read more


Grants available for irrigation upgrades

Grants to reduce water use or energy use can be as much as $15,000 for each irrigated parcel

Applications are now being accepted for the Irrigation Efficiency program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The program offers grants for new low-pressure centre pivots or upgrades to existing pivots (such as sprinkler and nozzle packages, control panels, and variable-rate irrigation) as well as drip irrigation. Any active producer who owns an irrigated agricultural operation in […] Read more

From a financial point of view, seeding canola is one of the riskiest operations on a farm.

A mediocre approach won’t cut it when growing canola

When you’re spending upwards of $400 an acre to grow this crop, yield-robbing mistakes are painful

With pulses slamming into India’s tariff wall, it’s not surprising many producers are thinking about more canola this year. However, even experienced canola growers can trip up with the small-seed crop. The biggest obstacles are a high failure to make a plant, its slowness to establish, and seed cost, said Greg Sekulic, a Canola Council […] Read more


New cropping business tools available

The 2018 versions of Cropping Alternatives and the new Crop Budget Calculator tool are now available. They allow producers to project costs, margins, and break-even yields for potential crops. Cropping Alternatives “forecasts margins based on benchmark yields, current cost of production, expected revenues, and costs by soil zone. With this information producers can get an […] Read more

Prairie canola growers are hoping to see this sort of scene this year — but increased acreage ups the odds of blackleg and clubroot infestations.

Canola acres set to jump, but so will the risk of disease

Canola plantings are expected to increase by about one million acres, 
and that means more disease risk

Canola could top out at over 24 million acres in Canada this year — one million more acres than growers planted in 2017. “With the relative return right now, canola is looking better than wheat,” said Murray Hartman, oilseed specialist for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “If these kinds of price signals continue or strengthen in […] Read more