GFM Network News


Start animals slowly on cover crop fields and closely monitor their grazing, says forage specialist Karin Lindquist.

Specialist offers tips for grazing cover crops

Stocking rates are going to be fairly similar and be alert to nitrate and bloating potential

When you graze cover crops, you have to look at things differently, says provincial beef and forage specialist Karin Lindquist. “Management means leaving behind enough of a residue on a light graze versus a heavy graze,” she said during a recent West County Ag Tour. “It’s not just the above material that tells you a […] Read more

Four ways to increase your organic matter

A question that I hear a lot is, “How do cover crops fit into a grain operation?” Lots of grain farmers have no desire to get into the livestock business and no interest in producing hay. But many have some soil issues that need to be addressed. This can be done by buying more iron[...]
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Canada’s soils still degrading, albeit more slowly

The rate of degradation of soils in Canada has slowed, but it still is happening at a significant rate and there is still a lot to learn. There are no soil-perfect systems yet for crop production, attendees at the Summit on Canadian Soil Health held recently in Guelph heard repeatedly. No-till farming has declined in[...]
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Deciding on cover crop blends

Figuring out what to use in a cover crop blend can be an intimidating process. What species to use? What seeding rate? When should they be seeded? All would influence how the blend would look, work, and the success of it. There is some science involved, but making it work is as much art as[...]
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Soil health sensor project largest in North America

A new $2-million soil health research project aims to figure out the impact of different cropping systems on the environment. Research will also be conducted on crop productivity relating to soil health. The result should be new knowledge on productivity of traditional cropping systems versus those with cover crops. The project, at the new Soil[...]
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Young graziers need to do more with less, and cover crop cocktail mixes are a way they can do that, says grazier Graeme Finn.

Cocktail cover crops: This ain’t your grandad’s grazing system

Innovative producers, especially younger ones, are looking to cover 
crop cocktail mixes to build soil health and get more production per acre

Nearly 150 people — some from as far away as Manitoba — converged on a farm near Hardisty recently to learn more about cover crop cocktail mixes. But tour organizer Graeme Finn noticed something a little different about the crowd at the event in late August — it was mainly young farmers. “Young people can’t[...]
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Five reasons to celebrate 2015

There's no denying it was a troubled year, but don't forget the many good things that happened

As you look back on 2015, do you feel the January blues coming on? The oil price crash went from bad to awful, tighter margins were made worse by summer drought, and ‘disaster’ seems a charitable description for Bill 6. But there were lots of positive developments in the past year and now’s not a[...]
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Manitoba organic farmer Jeremiah Evans is impressed with the weed control he’s getting with a new U.K.-made in-row cultivator.

The British are coming! And taking precision tillage to a new level

U.K. machine is pricey, but organic grain grower says it will easily pay for itself

Jeremiah Evans has a new high-tech hand helping him control weeds on his organic farm. Last fall, Evans took delivery of a custom-built U.K.-manufactured Robocrop InRow Weeder, which uses cutting-edge video image analysis to identify and target weeds, leaving the crop behind. After seeing what the cultivator could do to his wild oats, thistle and[...]
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Renowned soil scientist Jill Clapperton climbs into a pit to show some features of soil, during a hands-on workshop on soil health.

Soil scientist offers recipe for better soil health

More earthworm slime and protozoa excretions? You betcha!

You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can have some control over the health of your soil. At a recent workshop, soil scientist Jill Clapperton outlined some visible indicators of soil health, and described a few things producers could do to improve their soil. “If you have healthy plants, you have an excellent indicator that[...]
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If your soil structure is poor and has low levels of micro-organisms, you won’t be getting the full bang for your fertilizer buck, says crop and nutrient management specialist Yamily Zavala.

Soil fertility is about more than nutrients

Expert says farmers need to learn more about the physical and biological structures of the soil

Many farmers tend to focus on the chemical composition of the soil, and ignore its other two key components — and that’s a mistake, says a crop and soil nutrient management specialist. “Farmers need to understand more about the physical and biological structures of the soil to manage their cropping systems,” said Yamily Zavala of[...]
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