GFM Network News

Numbers don’t lie — but can mislead if there’s not enough of them

When it comes to making decisions on the farm, the more data the better —
especially if that data comes from other farms

Did you know that there’s a direct correlation between the divorce rate in Maine and the per capita consumption of margarine in the States? It’s true. If you chart the data on a graph going back a decade or two, one line rises and falls with the other. That’s the problem with data like this […] Read more

Telus buys Farm At Hand

Vancouver farm management software development firm Farm At Hand has become an arm of one of the Big Five in Canada’s communication services sector. Farm At Hand, which makes the cloud-based Crop Planner software suite for farmers and the Farm At Hand Agronomy suite for agronomists, announced Tuesday it has been wholly acquired by Telus […] Read more

A sound business plan can determine how efficiently your 'farm engine' operates.

What’s in the engine room of your farm business?

It’s not just the physical assets that power your enterprise and keep it moving forward

My friend Claire Booth from Australia shared a photo of her farm office referring to it as the “engine room” of their business. I like that analogy and am conscious of the fact that we all run with an engine and without that source of power or way of moving forward, we stay in one […] Read more

Updated benchmarks for AgriProfit$ tool

Updates have been made to the AgriProfit$ crops and forages benchmarks. The benchmarks — calculated averages of costs and returns by soil zones — have been updated to include individual producer’s data collected for the 2017 growing season. This includes producers’ actual costs, revenues, and margins by soil zones for different crops and forages. AgriProfit$ […] Read more

Many months pass from seed year to seed year. Do you have a checklist to prepare your equipment and employees before they take to the field?

Things go better with standard operating procedures

All sorts of companies have so-called SOPs — because they save time and grief, and empower employees

Pilots complete checklists before every flight, even when flying the same plane several times a week. Farm equipment operators, on the other hand, often rely on their memory from 11 months ago when they start up the air drill or other equipment at the beginning of a new season. Some farm owners and managers, however, […] Read more

You need to up your game on managing people, say producers

Top-down management doesn’t cut it anymore, but fewer than one in five farms have a human resources plan

Five years ago, Kevin Serfas tried to manage human resources on his farm. It was a “train wreck.” Workers were walking away from the job. The people who stayed weren’t happy. And Serfas found himself on Facebook, “begging people to come run a tractor.” Finally, he went to one of his remaining workers and said […] Read more

Whether you’re in the prime of your farming career or getting closer to retirement, you need to plan, says provincial financial specialist Rick Dehod.

What’s the view from your farm in 2027?

Long-term planning is easy to put off, but there can be a steep price to pay, says financial specialist

No matter what age, it’s never too early or late to put together a long-term plan for your farm, says a provincial financial specialist. “Farmers are always busy with their daily and seasonal tasks,” says Rick Dehod. “When asked what their plan is for the next 10 years, they often say they haven’t had a […] Read more

Still time to participate in AgriProfit$

Applicants accepted until Nov. 30

AgriProfit$ is accepting applicants until the end of November for its 2018 edition. Farmers participating in the survey receive customized economic reports, including a budget sheet, income statement, and analyses of major enterprises like cow-calf, drylot, and crops. Aggregate data is used to produce benchmarks and help farmers analyze their decision-making activities. The tool now […] Read more

Spencer Hilton says the greatest benefit of hiring an outside adviser is that he or she isn’t caught up in the “history and emotions” of a farm and can bridge the gap between the older and younger generations.

Big farms equal big headaches — but will you pay for an adviser?

Farmers like Spencer Hilton say hiring was the best-ever investment, 
but management advice can seem ‘namby-pamby’

Spencer Hilton has seen the business of farming change drastically during the decades he’s spent on his fifth-generation grain operation. “In the day and age that we’re farming in right now, we’re dealing with the ‘Walmart effect,’” said the Strathmore-area farmer. “There’s a real advantage to economies of scale and size. It’s not for everybody, […] Read more

DuPont to buy up farm software firm Granular

A San Francisco company providing farm management software to growers in four provinces and about three dozen states is poised to join the digital arm of DuPont and Dow’s merged agribusiness. DuPont — which as of last week had all regulatory approvals and clearances lined up to complete its merger with Dow Chemical — announced […] Read more