GFM Network News


Jan Slaski predicts this will be a record-breaking year for hemp production.

Hemp’s prospects are on the upswing

Growing hemp under irrigation can boost yields by a third or more, and demand appears poised to grow too

You can’t get high with hemp, but your profit margins might get a lift if you choose to add it to your irrigated rotation. And recent changes are making hemp even more attractive in Alberta, including a new hemp-processing facility slated for Nisku and a long-hoped-for easing of regulations by Health Canada. “Up until last […] Read more

Grazing winter cereals can work

First-year results of study on grazing winter cereals found both grain and silage yields were affected

Mixed farmers looking to cut costs may be able to hit two birds with one stone — by grazing the fall growth of a winter cereal. “This is a practice that’s quite common in other parts of the world, but it’s one that we haven’t really delved into, likely because we’re a little bit light […] Read more


Dew makes mornings the worst time to spray, Farming Smarter researchers have found.


Farmers, hit that snooze button — spraying later is your best bet

For pre-seed burn-down and broadleaf weed control, it’s better to 
spray during the day rather than early morning or nighttime

A plant in the morning dew is a little like a man stepping out of a shower — wet and cold, and that much colder because it’s wet. “The phase change between a liquid and a gas sucks heat energy out of the plant. That practice will actually hurt the plant,” said Ken Coles, general […] 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


Farming Smarter has created a hail simulator — dog chains attached to a bar that can be attached to a front-end loader — to create a reasonable imitation of hail damage.

Researchers invent their own version of the great white combine

Farming Smarter has created a hail simulator so it can test ‘hail rescue’ treatments

What can you do when your crops get pounded by hail? How do crops recover from hail damage? There are a lot of questions about this subject, and little information available. That’s why the team at Farming Smarter developed its own hail damage simulation machine, which it unveiled at the organization’s recent field school. “We […] 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


Farming Smarter cancels spring crop walks

Producer-run research organization urges farmers to lobby new government for 
more dollars

A funding shortfall has prompted Farming Smarter to cancel its spring crop walks for 2015. The shortfall resulted from cutbacks by the outgoing Progressive Conservative government, said Ken Coles, general manager of the farmer-run research organization based in Lethbridge. “Even if the new provincial government decides to keep or improve the AOF (Agriculture Opportunities Fund) […] Read more