GFM Network News


Cereal stems move unscathed through the CombCut’s comb-like knives, while broadleaf weed stems are cropped close to the ground.

New Swedish machine slices problem weeds down to size

Organic grain growers have been snapping up CombCut machines ‘like crazy’

A new piece of machinery is helping crop growers control broadleaf weeds on their farms — especially on organic operations. “Organic growers are buying these CombCut machines like crazy,” said Steve Shirtliffe, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. “There’s a real buzz in the organic farming community. I’ve never seen equipment […] Read more

Market-ready canola is just five simple steps away, says Brian Innes of the Canola Council of Canada.

Five steps to market-ready canola

International buyers are testing like never before — but meeting their standards is easy

Growing a good canola crop isn’t just about high yield or quality — it’s also about getting that crop ready to market on a global scale. “We export about 90 per cent of what we produce in Canada, so being able to meet the requirements of our export customers is really important for having open […] Read more


Retired canola council harvest specialist Jim Bessel uses a one-square-foot drop pan to measure harvest loss quickly and easily.

Measuring harvest loss the first step to managing it

Save big bucks by measuring harvest waste, calculating the loss, and adjusting harvest management practices accordingly

In a drought year like this one, when every bushel counts, the last thing a producer wants to do is to leave grain on the ground. But harvest loss — to the tune of up to five bushels an acre — is a costly problem for growers across the Prairies. And more often than not, […] Read more

Canola plants treated with zinc are slightly set back from the untreated plants — but not enough to affect yield, says Canola Council agronomist Warren Ward.

Check your numbers. Is it worth spending money on a foliar fertilizer?

Producers probably won’t see a good return on foliar fertilizers and hype around micronutrients is mostly ‘marketing’

In a dry year like this one, investing in foliar fertilizer probably won’t pay off. “Conditions at the time of spraying are the trump card,” said agronomist Jack Payne at canolaPALOOZA in late June. “Herbicides are also absorbed through the foliage, but if the plant’s not actively growing — if it’s shutting down because of […] Read more


With slower growth in a dry year, pests like cutworms feed on a larger percentage of plants.

Mild winter and dry spring create perfect storm for some problem insects

Insect damage is ‘amplified’ in a dry year because plants aren’t as big and so insects consume more of them

Some bug troubles are in the past for Alberta growers, but others are just getting started. “We already had a big run on flea beetles. That’s probably going to be one of the big stories of the year,” said Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “There’s also been way more cutworms […] Read more

Field schools offer expert advice, but the person standing next to you probably has some great tips, too.

Take a break and grab some agricultural learning

Summer’s always busy but getting away from 
the farm for a day can really pay off

It’s back-to-school season for farmers with a spate of field schools and workshops coming up following the end of seeding. Here are three reasons to spend a day away from the farm and at school: No. 1: It pays Field days are not just about listening to the experts, they’re also events where farmers are […] Read more