GFM Network News


If your environmental farm plan is more than a decade old, you will need to renew it.

Having an official stewardship plan comes with benefits

Access to grants and the ‘sustainable sourcing’ trend are key reasons for an environmental farm plan

A lot of Alberta farmers have an environmental farm plan, but many are gathering dust on a shelf and are no longer valid. But having a valid environmental farm plan (EFP) has several benefits and renewing one has become easier, say officials who run the program. A constant in Alberta since 2003, there are 4,500 […] Read more

A $220,000 sponsorship from the TD Bank Group will help support ALUS projects in eight communities, including Lac Ste. Anne County and Red Deer County. Pictured is a fence protecting a wetland on Duane Movald’s ranch in Brazeau County, one of several ALUS-sponsored projects on the fifth-generation farm.

Bank signs on as launch sponsor for ALUS Canada’s New Acre program

“We know that restoring nature on the landscape has many benefits for both farmers and their communities..."

Three hundred acres of farmland across Canada will be transformed into conservation projects thanks to a sizable sponsorship from TD Bank Group to ALUS Canada’s New Acre program. “The TD sponsorship is an indication that the private sector recognizes the value of this kind of work and is willing to put money behind it,” said […] Read more


Pivots that used to sink into the soil on Brendon Rockey’s farm was one of the signs that something was wrong with the soil structure, 
the Colorado potato grower told attendees at the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health & Grazing.

Cooking up a successful recipe for improved soil health

Brendon Rockey’s farm is far different than most, but his winning formula has lessons for other growers

In some ways, soil health conferences are like recipe swaps — with attendees always on the lookout for a mix of ingredients that will produce better results. One of those recipes presented at the sold-out Western Canada Conference on Soil Health & Grazing last month came from a Colorado potato grower who farms in high-elevation, near-desert conditions and no […] Read more

Soil scientist David Lobb has criss-crossed the country to talk about soil health, but the issue isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves, says the University of Manitoba professor.

Soil degradation the forgotten issue

Reducing tillage and summerfallow hasn’t fixed a problem that is costing farmers billions every year

Soil degradation in Canada is causing a huge economic loss — but few people are paying attention. That includes farmers, even though degraded soil is significantly reducing their yields, according to University of Manitoba soil scientist David Lobb. “Soil erosion accounts for a loss of about 10 per cent,” he said. “Farmers are only getting […] Read more


The price of Alberta farmland jumped another 7.4 per cent last year, says FCC. But that’s the smallest increase in a decade and the price increase this year may only be half that, says the ag lender.

Red-hot land market shows signs of cooling

Prices have soared for nearly a decade but that trend may be coming to an end

The price of Alberta farmland took another big jump last year — but there are strong signs the red-hot bull market is finally cooling off. Overall, Canadian acres saw their smallest price increase in nearly a decade, and the amount of land changing hands dropped as many would-be buyers either stayed on the sidelines or […] 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


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

Greg Paranich of Performance Seeds in Blackfalds describes some of the advantages of cover crops.

Clearwater County aims to cook up successful cover crop recipes

Cover crops offer many benefits but what’s the right mix of grasses, brassicas, and legumes?

Clearwater County has started experimenting with cover crops, and outlined some of their benefits during its recent West County Ag Tour. “It’s a great year to talk about cover crops because in order to maintain our moisture in the soil, we are going to need organic matter, which cover crops build. We are going to […] Read more


There are a variety of soil sampling methods. Core or tube sampling is recommended as augurs and corkscrew devices tend to mix soils 
from different depths.

Here’s how to take control of the soil sampling process

Much can go wrong when soil sampling — here are the key things to keep in mind when getting the dirt on nutrients levels

Soil testing has long been a recommended practice before applying nutrients, and variable-rate fertilizing has made it more essential than ever. But the difficulty with soil testing is that so much can go wrong. Everything from how a sample is handled to the choice of a lab can impact results and recommendations. However, producers have […] Read more

Britain outlines post-Brexit farm policy in bill

London | Reuters –– Britain will introduce legislation on Wednesday for agricultural policy after it leaves the European Union that will link support for farmers to the provision of public benefits such as tackling climate change or preserving beautiful landscapes. The Agriculture Bill, primarily covering England, will provide the basis for policy in a sector […] Read more