GFM Network News


Timothy is considered the gold standard among grass hays because of its high palatability, easy digestibility and low-energy yet nutritious profile.

Some points to consider when shopping for horse hay

Our own senses are wonderful tools — choose hay that is as fine stemmed, green, and as leafy as possible

Hay selection is an important aspect of horse ownership. The type and quality of hay the horse eats can make a big difference in its overall nutrition, and its value in a horse’s diet is unquestionable. The extra dollars spent on sourcing good-quality hay and its proper storage is invariably cost effective on many levels […] Read more

Pulses continue to have a bright future but in the short term, lentil and pea acreages look like they will continue to decline.

Producers may not give peas a chance next year

Lentil acreage may also decline as India’s tariffs and tough growing conditions take a toll

Some Alberta producers could become former pulse growers next year if the markets don’t turn around soon. “It’s the third year in a row that they’ve been at the bottom of the net income,” said Josh Fankhauser, who farms near Claresholm. “The math just doesn’t work.” Yellow peas have been part of Fankhauser’s rotation for […] Read more


Pulses on display at a wholesale market in Guwahati, India. This picture was taken in February so it’s possible 
the red lentils might have come from Canada. But since April, India’s pulse imports have fallen by 80 per cent.

The market is shaky but there’s still a lot of pulse acres out there

India’s absence has pushed down acres, but Alberta is still growing one of its largest-ever crops

Pea and lentil prices have crashed, but Alberta farmers are still growing a lot of pulses. “Everything that happened in India caused a shock, not only to Canada, but globally,” said Leanne Fischbuch, executive director of Alberta Pulse Growers. The peak year for pulse production in Alberta was two years ago, and acreage has dropped […] Read more

Ensuring legumes aren't seeded too deep is a critical step in establishing a high-legume pasture.

Going beyond grass: The case for forage legumes

Alberta producers offer the wisdom of their experience — and their gains — from high legume pastures

If you’re fearful that seeding pasture with legumes will be a waste of time and money, several Alberta producers have some tips for you. A new video from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry features producers offering their advice — some of it hard earned — on topics such as seedbed preparation, nutrients, and weed control. Having […] Read more


Dry bean breeder wins Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award

Hans-Henning Muendel is the winner of the fourth annual Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award. “Dr. Muendel dedicated his career to developing the dry bean cultivars that now set the standard for small red, black, pinto, and great northern cultivars in Western Canada,” said D’Arcy Hilgartner, chair of Alberta Pulse Growers. In 1996, there weren’t any […] Read more

India’s decision to impose a 50-per-cent tax on peas surprised the Canadian pulse sector.

Out of the blue — India’s tax on peas hits growers here

India is our top customer for pulses but the pea tax and ongoing fumigation issue make for ‘a challenging situation’

India’s sudden decision to impose an immediate 50 per cent duty on pea imports has Canadian pulse officials scrambling to find answers — and figure out what comes next. “This sort of moves us beyond even where India has been before in pulse import duties… more than a decade ago we were at 10 per […] Read more


Federal research scientist Syama Chatterton is working on a tool that will identify root rot risk in pulse crops.

Root rot risk analysis tool could come online by next year

There are few things that pulse producers can do to manage root rots in their fields — but a new risk assessment tool could help

A new screening tool that will tell producers the risk of a root rot infection in their pulse crops could be available as early as next year. “At the moment, if producers are concerned about whether they have root rot in their field, they can take their soil to a commercial testing lab to determine […] Read more

Most of the cicer milk vetch in this pasture was established by cattle depositing seed through their manure. Since it takes three days for feed to completely go through a cow’s digestive system, moving these cows to a new paddock will bring seeds to that area.

Let cattle do the seeding

When cattle graze on mature legumes, they will distribute species 
such as cicer milk vetch to areas where there were few or none before

Cattle can be managed to produce calves, beef and milk — but can they also be put to work reseeding pastures? As long as you’re not in a hurry, the answer is ‘yes,’ say producers who have managed beef cows and yearlings so they distribute legume seeds through their manure. There doesn’t appear to be […] Read more


Provincial forage and beef specialist Karin Lindquist (left) and Kaitlin McLachlan, extension co-ordinator with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, examine some roots during a pasture walk near 
Fourth Creek.

New non-bloating legume can power up your pastures

After years of development, a new and improved 
sainfoin variety is being field tested across the province

High-legume pastures can be profitable and productive, but many cattle producers are scared to use them because of the risk of bloat. That’s why Alberta Agriculture and Forestry along with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta have teamed up to do sainfoin trials across the province. “Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume,” provincial beef […] Read more

A pea field affected by root rot often looks yellow and withered, but some infected fields don’t look as bad as others.

Root rot rears its ugly head — and there’s no treatment

Peas are the biggest concern and even when fields look OK, root rot can still be there

Pulse acres have increased in Alberta this year, but unfortunately root rot has increased as well. “We’re hearing and seeing evidence of pretty extreme root rot in pulses, especially peas,” said Mike Harding, research scientist and plant pathologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a great year for […] Read more