GFM Network News


Thanks to Jim Lundgren, who farms at Glenora, Man., about 85 km west of Morden, for this photo of his early start to spring tillage on March 20, 2021, owing to the recent absence of snow and/or rain in the area. Not that it’s a race, but is spring fieldwork already underway where you are? If yes, feel free to snap a photo and email us at daveb@fbcpublishing.com. (Photo courtesy Jim Lundgren)

Manitoba soil temperatures allow for spring fertilizer

Winter ban lifted, with cautions

Farmers across Manitoba are now cleared to apply spring fertilizers including livestock manure on their fields, thanks to sufficiently warm soil temperatures, the province said Tuesday. Though the winter nutrient ban has been lifted, the province cautioned producers to “assess current weather conditions and periodically check weather forecasts” if they’re applying anytime between now and […] Read more

Lab trials of a manure-derived seed treatment have usually shown increased root growth (as seen on the right) as well as better resistance to environmental stressors.

Happy accident: Researchers discover promising new seed treatment

How it works is still a mystery, but new compound boosts germination, root development, and resistance

Reading Time: 5 minutes Good things generally don’t happen by accident in science — they’re the result of countless hours of trial and error, replication and peer review. However, University of Saskatchewan researchers may be looking at the closest thing to a scientific miracle: A natural seed treatment that increases germination in just about any crop you can name, […] Read more


A rendition, by Genitique, of the planned biomethanization plant to be built at Warwick, about 65 km southeast of Trois-Rivieres. (Groupe CNW/Energir)

Quebec ag co-op to power up on dairy cattle manure

About a dozen Quebec dairy farms will be getting their collective manure together next year for the province’s first-ever ag co-operative devoted to renewable natural gas. Coop Agri-Energie Warwick, launched Monday, plans to start construction this spring on a $12 million biomethanization plant which will take in slurry and manure from dairy cattle mixed with […] Read more

pile of manure

Government grants available for manure handling

Funding available for controlling run-off, relocating a storage site and other projects

Reading Time: < 1 minute Grants are available for producers wanting to reduce the environmental impact of livestock manure. There are three categories of grants available from the Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change Producer program, which is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, said Chris Ullmann, agri-environmental extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. One is Category B: Manure and […] Read more



How to build a soil-health bank account

How to build a soil-health bank account

This organic production technique offers a big-picture view of nutrient management — 
and a ‘tough love’ approach to soil fertility

Reading Time: 3 minutes Soil is a little like a bank account for nutrients — in order to manage them properly, you need to balance the budget. “No matter how big the bank account is, if you only take stuff out, eventually it runs out,” said University of Manitoba research technician Joanne Thiessen Martens. “We need to look at […] Read more


Call (the conservation board) before you build

You may not need a permit, but water setback and manure management rules still apply


Reading Time: 2 minutes If you’re considering relocating livestock facilities, make sure you call the Natural Resources Conservation Board early on. “(We can) see if what (the producer) is planning needs a permit and if there are any other requirements they need to meet before they start doing anything and spending a whole lot of money,” said Andy Cumming, […] Read more

Most corrals never flood this badly but if there’s a nearby stream or river, any run-off is a problem and may have you thinking about relocating the facilities.

Ready to relocate? Don’t just jump in, says livestock facility expert

A successful move means checking off a lot of boxes, but there’s lots of help available to ensure the move goes smoothly

Reading Time: 4 minutes Do your corrals flood every year because you are close to a water body? Does your manure storage area have a river running near it? If so, the chances are you need to relocate your facilities — although you might also be eligible for funding to help you out. But the first step is to […] Read more


New online tool for using green manure

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative has launched a free, online Green Manure Tool Kit. A reliable and effective green manure program is essential for the success of an organic farm, and the tool kit is a guide to help producers to select the best green manure for their farm conditions. It has modules on selecting […] Read more

An Alberta Agriculture and Forestry employee samples a creek to help determine if BMPs are improving water quality.

New tool for managing nutrient run-off

Free downloadable tool for assessing phosphorus run-off risk and creating a 
customized mitigation plan will be available this spring

Reading Time: 3 minutes As more and more farmers, politicians and laypeople are coming to understand, nutrient run-off from farm fields into waterways is a very big deal. When not managed properly, nutrients from fertilizer and manure make their way into creeks, lakes, dugouts, and other water bodies. But a new tool to help mitigate phosphorus run-off risk will […] Read more