GFM Network News


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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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


There are many ways to view — and treat — soil

Healthy soil is a precious resource and we need to think more about that as we plan for our future

Reading Time: 3 minutes It is hard to imagine there is so little soil when we stand and look out at our vast landscapes where the ground lays in wait for the warmth of spring and the touch of the farmer’s hand. The shrinking global land base that is arable seems a country mile away and another farmer’s problem. […] Read more

Cover crops can get cattle back onto cropland — where they belong, according to one soil health specialist.

Cover crops ‘essential’ to in-field grazing

Producers need to more closely mimic nature to avoid long-term soil health issues, says USDA conservationist

Reading Time: 2 minutes Got cows? On your cropland? Jay Fuhrer certainly hopes so. The soil health specialist believes cropland and large ruminants are a natural fit. He advocates turning animals out of the barn and onto the land whenever possible. “Soils, plants, and animals evolved together,” he said at the recent Dairy Farmers of Manitoba conference. “And we […] Read more


Dishing the dirt on soil health a big draw

It will be a packed conference hall when soil health experts gather in Edmonton in December

Reading Time: 3 minutes Soil health continues to be a hot draw — at least for a portion of Alberta’s farm community. This year’s edition of the Western Canadian Soil Health and Grazing Conference looks certain to sell out all 500 attendee spots — repeating the feat accomplished when the inaugural edition was held two years ago. “Soil health […] Read more

If you had low yields, you may be able to cut back a bit on fertilizer for 2018, but only a soil test will tell you for sure.

Balance your soil nutrient budget this fall through soil testing

Nitrogen prices have reached lows not seen in over a decade

Reading Time: 3 minutes Your soil keeps a budget for nutrients, and how much you will need next year depends on how much you took out this year. “Most of the time when it comes to assessing what soil nutrient levels might be like, typically what you can do is look at your yields,” said provincial crop specialist Mark […] Read more


The trade deal with Europe could be worth $600 million annually for the Canadian beef industry, but so far producers aren’t enrolling in a program that would give them access to this premium market. 

The door to Europe isn’t quite open yet

The EU trade deal is now a go, but ‘very few producers’ have signed up for a program that makes their cattle eligible

Reading Time: 3 minutes The European Union has the potential to be a big marketplace for Canadian beef producers, but it’s going to take some effort to get them here. “We are concerned that to date very few producers are enrolling their cattle in the EU program,” the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in a recent edition of its e-newsletter. […] Read more

Besides reducing soil compaction, CTF can help improve fuel efficiency and lessen soil degradation.

Controlled traffic farming can have a positive impact on soils

The practice of always running equipment on the same ‘tramlines’ is rare in Alberta, 
but study says it pays major dividends


Reading Time: 2 minutes Controlled traffic farming does improve soil, says a University of Alberta soil researcher who did his master’s thesis on the practice. “In our area of the North American Great Plains, we have areas that are experiencing soil degradation and it is being propagated further as production systems are intensifying,” said Kris Guenette at the recent […] Read more


Taking a bit of time to create a grazing plan will pay good dividends for years, says rangeland specialist Pete Deal 
(centre in cowboy hat).

It pays to have a plan before turning your cattle out on pasture

Bountiful, nutritious forage doesn’t happen by accident — 
here’s how to plan for success on your ranch

Reading Time: 3 minutes A grazing plan might save you more than you think. Whether it’s a simple or detailed plan, a few key components will not only save your grass, but maybe save you a few dollars in the long run. Adjusting your stocking rate will allow you to get good-quality forage and vigorous regrowth. “Managing the amount […] Read more

Keeping land in grass has a side benefit

Young beef producers need affordable access to grassland 
if the industry is going to grow

Reading Time: 2 minutes The beef industry has been struggling to retain and attract new producers while the average age of farmers, at 54, keeps creeping up. The next generation of cattle producers might be looking for something different. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) released the National Beef Sustainability Assessment and Strategy this fall. The industry garnered […] Read more