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

An ammonia and nitrogen fertilizer plant in Russia. (Saoirse_2010/iStock/Getty Images)

High fertilizer prices likely to climb more

MarketsFarm — Expect fertilizer prices to resume increasing, despite having fallen back recently. Prices began their sharp rise around the middle of December and beginning of January. “They will go higher as demand goes up at seeding time,” Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm Pro in Winnipeg said. Jubinville reported urea prices have jumped $100 per tonne […] Read more


Yara is seeking Norwegian government funding toward switching its Porsgrunn ammonia plant’s production process to electricity by 2026. (Yara.com)

Facing green push on farm, fertilizer makers look to sea for growth

Winnipeg/Oslo | Reuters — Two of the world’s biggest fertilizer producers, CF Industries and Yara International, are seeking to cash in on the green energy transition by reconfiguring ammonia plants in the U.S. and Norway to produce clean energy to power ships. The consumption of oil for transportation is one of the top contributors to […] Read more

It’s critical to slash the amount of energy needed to produce nitrogen fertilizer — and quantum computing and artificial intelligence could do that within five years by revolutionizing the chemical process used to make N, says Teo Laino, manager of IBM Research Zurich.

A fertilizer revolution is on the horizon

IBM says it will produce a breakthrough within five years that will greatly lower the energy needed to make nitrogen fertilizer

Reading Time: 5 minutes As fledgling technology goes, quantum computing sounds as science fiction as it gets. Most people have likely not even heard about it, let alone think it can be used for anything immediately useful. But if IBM fulfills a very bold promise it made in September, crop producers will see the fruits of this technology in […] Read more



The fertilizer bill can be the biggest single cost in growing a crop, but how do you know if you’re overdoing it?

Get more bang for your fertilizer buck by focusing on rates

It’s not easy to determine the optimum rate, but start with post-harvest soil testing, says soil scientist

Reading Time: 4 minutes A bumper crop of canola or wheat is bound to put a smile on your face. But writing a cheque for replacing all the nitrogen used by that crop? Not so much. And those cheques are only going to get bigger if the trend for N use continues on the same track it’s been on […] Read more


An ammonia and nitrogen fertilizer plant in Russia.

Fall fertilizer prices offer more good news for Prairie growers

Prices for urea, phosphate and anhydrous ammonia are all at the lower end of their normal range

Prices for urea, phosphate and anhydrous ammonia are all at the lower end of their normal range

Reading Time: 4 minutes Fertilizer prices have seen some ups and downs over the past six months, but the situation heading into winter looks favourable. “When we look at the overall input markets so far in 2020, we see that they’ve kind of eased up. For producers right now, that’s a pretty good spot to be in,” said Craig […] Read more

An ammonia and nitrogen fertilizer plant in Russia.

Fertilizer use fuelling climate-warming nitrous oxide emissions, study says

London | Reuters — Rising use of nitrogen-based fertilizers is driving up global emissions of nitrous oxide, a lesser-known greenhouse gas, complicating efforts to limit climate change, scientists reported in a study on Wednesday. Most of the focus in curbing climate-warming gas emissions has focused on the most abundant, carbon dioxide, and one of the […] Read more



Reducing the spring workload and cost savings make fall fertilizing tempting, but the cost can be higher, 
especially when it comes to urea or anhydrous.

The pros and (serious) cons of fall fertilizer application

Fall application can come back to haunt you in the spring, especially when it comes to nitrogen

Reading Time: 4 minutes At face value, there are several reasons for applying fertilizer post-harvest. It reduces the workload in spring, the price of nutrients is usually lower in the fall, and it minimizes winter storage risks. So is fall fertilizer application a no-brainer? Not necessarily, says an agronomist with Alberta Wheat and Barley. “I would make sure that […] Read more