GFM Network News


Research lead Willemijn Appels and Nathan Linder gather data from a local farmer’s canola field irrigated by subsurface drip irrigation.

Fighting gravity for better underground irrigation

Subsurface drip irrigation can pay off with the right practices and a little patience, says researcher

At first glance, subsurface drip irrigation seems like an obvious winner as it gets water directly to the roots and there’s less evaporation. But that’s not the whole story. Subsurface drip irrigation is a literal fight against gravity — you’re trying to make water go from side to side when it’s inclined to go down […] Read more

Lethbridge College and Farming Smarter form partnership

Farming Smarter and Lethbridge College have signed a 15-year memorandum of understanding that they say will “transform agriculture research in southern Alberta.” “Our two organizations have worked together in the past on innovative and important projects that support agricultural research, education and student success,” Lethbridge College president Paula Burns said in a news release. “We […] Read more


Farm equipment dealer supports college training

Students in Lethbridge College’s agricultural and heavy equipment technician program will be able to get their hands on some leading-edge technology thanks to a gift from the Hanlon Ag Centre. The Lethbridge equipment dealer is providing equipment, installation and training on its precision agriculture system — a CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) network. It uses […] Read more

Senior research scientist Nick Savidov and aquaponics technician Penny Takahashi work in the college’s existing Aquaculture Centre of Excellence greenhouse.

Grants boost greenhouse research at Lethbridge College

A pair of federal grants will allow Lethbridge College to create a new commercial-scale greenhouse and also to purchase equipment for research work in precision irrigation and in antibiotic identification from native plants. The college is getting $1 million towards its Centre for Sustainable Food Production that will be used for the greenhouse that will […] Read more


The soil monoliths collection is now on display on the third floor of the Cousins Building at Lethbridge College.

This is some pretty special dirt

The unique collection of intact soil cross-sections is both a piece of history and a ‘priceless’ educational tool

A decades-old collection of ‘soil monoliths’ donated to Lethbridge College will be an invaluable tool for teaching students about soil. The 110 monoliths are vertical cross-sections about one metre long that show soil from a variety of regions in its natural state. Long been housed at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge research centre, the soil monoliths have […] Read more

This is part of a publication on hormones put out by Alberta Beef Producers. It says, for example, that the amount of estrogen in a serving of beef is slightly less than the same-size serving of chicken or pork — and much less than a glass of beer or milk. But the message isn’t getting through to many consumers.

Even in Feedlot Alley, consumers don’t trust hormone use

The beef sector has long said hormone implants are safe, but most Lethbridge residents aren’t convinced

It’s a pretty disheartening finding: Nearly two-thirds of residents of Lethbridge — located in Feedlot Alley — oppose the use of growth hormones in cattle, according to a recent survey. “I would suspect that a lot of people don’t understand,” said Roland Cailliau, a cow-calf producer from Valleyview. “They don’t read and they don’t understand […] Read more


College launches ag entrepreneur program

Students to be paired with local industry partners

Lethbridge College has a new program for students interested in agriculture, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Agriculture Entrepreneur in Residence (AgENT) program will launch in September by pairing students with local industry partners to solve real-world problems that affect the agriculture industry. All college students are eligible to join the extracurricular AgENT program. At the beginning […] Read more

An array of sensors allow researchers to monitor water movement in different soil types within beds sown to alfalfa.

Bringing crops indoors generating research insights

Indoor beds allow scientists to take ‘a peek underground’ to see how subsurface drip irrigation works

Indoors’ doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking of applied irrigation research, but it has its advantages. “We have to be careful (with field studies) because you might harm somebody’s crop or interfere with whatever the farmer had planned,” said Willemijn Appels, a hydrologist and soil physicist. “You can’t push systems and the crops growing […] Read more


‘Build your cow herd’ workshops on tap

Workshops begin Oct. 23 and run to early November across Alberta

Wondering how to use genomics, deal with lower-quality feed, or about health issues faced by cattle producers in your area? Then you may want to attend one of 10 workshops being held across Alberta in late October and early November. The ‘Tools to build your cow herd’ workshops are being put on by Alberta Agriculture […] Read more

From left to right: Cor Van Raay, Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier, Bob Prestage, and Dr. John Kennelly.

Trio of builders newest members of hall of fame

Dr. John Kennelly, Bob Prestage, and Cor Van Raay are the newest inductees in the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame. Kennelly was chair of the University of Alberta’s department of agricultural, food and nutritional science and later dean of the faculty of agricultural, life & environmental sciences. One of the dairy industry’s most respected experts, […] Read more