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

(Screengrab from Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation video via YouTube)

Ontario watershed study shows overapplication of phosphorus

Farmers in one Huron County, Ont. watershed are applying almost exactly the nitrogen needed by their crops, but more than 30 per cent more phosphorus than is needed. University of Guelph researchers reached the conclusions by analyzing multiple years of data collected by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority during in-person interviews with farmers in the […] Read more


An algae bloom at the west end of Lake Erie, off of Ohio, Michigan and southwestern Ontario, seen from space on Aug. 3, 2014. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center photo)

Lake Erie plan’s farming recommendations released

A federal/provincial action plan to reduce phosphorus loading in Lake Erie has been released for public comment — and many of its recommendations will have implications for farmers in the Lake Erie basin. None of the numerous recommendations are particularly new or surprising and mostly call for using existing funding programs to encourage certain production […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Manitoba to axe limits on hog barns

UPDATED, March 20 — Manitoba’s restrictions on hog barn and manure storage construction are set to be shelved by way of an omnibus “red tape reduction” bill. Provincial Finance Minister Cameron Friesen on Thursday introduced Bill 24 for first reading. Among its 15 proposed amendments to various pieces of legislation, the bill would repeal two […] Read more


Chris Snip of Agris Co-operative works with farmers to check soil health and fertilizer practices of farmers near Lake Erie as part of the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative. (John Greig photo)

Phosphorus program aims to reduce Lake Erie nutrients

Chatham, Ont. — Henry Denotter’s farms near Kingsville, Ont. are close to the Wigle Creek, which flows into Lake Erie and takes with it any residues it pulls from nature and farmers’ fields. The Wigle Creek subwatershed, west of Leamington, has turned into ground zero in long-term research on how farmers can reduce phosphorus running […] 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


Mylar- and Kevlar-reinforced tanks house the micro-algae used to clean up GHG emissions. Liquefied poultry manure helps the micro-algae grow.

Call it a win-win: Curbing pollution with chicken manure

Scientists have found a type of micro-algae that gobbles up greenhouse 
gas emissions — and it has a taste for nutrient-rich chicken manure, too

Reading Time: 3 minutes Poultry manure and that annoying green slime which grows in our lakes each summer could hold the key to helping the province’s oilsands mining companies and coal-fired power plants clean up their act, while producing a valuable commodity in the process. Researchers have discovered a strain of naturally occurring micro-algae that can scrub 100 per […] Read more

pregnant cow

Dealing with a lack of calcium in pregnant cows

Beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio does the math on providing this mineral 
to pregnant cows

Reading Time: 2 minutes When feeding cereal silage, greenfeed or swath grazing to pregnant cows, there can be a concern with a lack of calcium and magnesium. An added product can often be the solution. “In this situation, an added product should have more calcium than phosphorus,” said Barry Yaremcio, beef and forage specialist, with the Ag-Info Centre in […] Read more


This 2009 photo of alfalfa plots highlights the long-term consequences of neglecting soil phosphorus. The alfalfa in the front of the photo received composted beef cattle manure after years of receiving no phosphorus. The alfalfa at the back of the plot did not receive any additional phosphorus and has suffered dramatically. (Martin Entz photo)

Minogue: Rebalance your fields’ phosphorus bank accounts

While your crop rotations and your seeding practices have evolved into something your grandfather might not recognize, recommended phosphorous guidelines for Manitoba farmers haven’t changed in more than 20 years. Over the past year, Manitoba soil fertility experts came together to fill this gap. John Heard (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development), Cindy Grant (Agriculture […] Read more

Can you spot the difference between the two sides of this wheat plot? Probably not, AAFC researchers say. (Environmental Science and Technology)

Wheat in study finds P where soil tests don’t

A long-term yield study in Saskatchewan shows wheat crops will use the phosphorus built up in soils over years of fertilizing — even where soil tests don’t show the nutrient is handy for use. While the results still need to be tested elsewhere, with other crops, the study’s findings may help Canadian farmers rethink how […] Read more