GFM Network News


Rain has greatly boosted prospects in the north and central areas, but much of the south and Peace are bone dry.

Rain turns fortunes around for many, but not all

In the north and central regions, crops are looking very good, but the south and Peace are suffering

Some much-needed moisture during the month of June may have turned this year’s crop prospects around — at least in some parts of the province. “It’s been an interesting growing season so far — from a very dry May to the central areas getting quite a bit of precipitation in June,” provincial crop specialist Mark […] Read more

Mark Cutts.

Interest in soil health is growing, but testing still lags

It’s only a minority of producers who are soil sampling and that mystifies a provincial crop specialist

Some producers may be looking at soil health a little differently, but there are still not a lot of them taking soil samples, says a provincial crop specialist. “Soil sampling gives you an evaluation of the nutrient levels in your soil,” said Mark Cutts of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Stettler office. “If you know that […] 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

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

If you’ve plowed down or otherwise incorporated unharvested crops, you can reduce nitrogen, says Tom Jensen of the International Plant Nutrition Institute.

It’s not business as usual when it comes to fertilizing this year

Unharvested crops mean there’s more nutrients in the soil and if you have to broadcast, there’s a chance to top up the nutrient bank

Nutrient management is a challenge even in average years — but a million unharvested acres mean this year will be far from average. Step one is determining available nutrients. In a cereal crop, the vast majority of the nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur and about one-fifth of the potassium taken in by the plant are contained […] Read more


Save time and maybe money with fall soil sampling

Having a firm fertilizer plan in the fall allows you to take advantage of any dip in fertilizer prices

Soil sampling now will save time in spring and early planning of your fertilizer programs gives you the chance to take advantage of lower fertilizer prices that may occur, says a provincial crop specialist. But soil samples need to be representative of the field, said Mark Cutts. “For example, if there are small areas of […] Read more