GFM Network News


The grain entrapment demo unit that the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association takes to farm events is an eye-opener for some producers, but others are harder to reach.

Don’t get trapped — bring a buddy when unloading grain from bins

Most people trapped in grain don’t survive, but a few simple steps can greatly reduce the danger

Of all the dangers involved in unloading grain bins, grain entrapment is indisputably one of the most perilous. A routine entry into a bin to shovel some resistant grain can become deadly in a matter of seconds if the auger — and thus the flow rate — stays active. “One of the main things we […] Read more



A new in-depth study of grain drying systems, costs, and practices aims to help farmers save money.

Study aims to get a grip on pricey grain drying costs

Tens of millions are spent on grain conditioning in wet years but data on how to trim that cost is lacking

Alberta farmers learned the hard way last fall that wet harvests go hand in hand with grain drying — and the costs that come with that. But Alberta’s main crop commissions are looking for ways to trim those costs as harvests trend later and the need to condition grain goes up. “There has been an […] Read more

Joy Agnew is the new director of applied research at Olds College.

A new age of ag education is underway, says Olds College research director

Joy Agnew says ‘digital ag’ is revolutionizing how students are being trained in agriculture

Joy Agnew says her first few days at her new job were totally overwhelming — in a good way. After a nearly 10-year stint at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, Agnew began her new job as director of applied research at Olds College in early January and hit the ground running. “The shift to digital […] Read more


Stored grain has to be both cool and dry to minimize the risk of spoilage.

Drying grain may become the norm as harvests trend later

Natural air drying with supplemental heat hasn’t caught on in Alberta yet, but it soon could

Alberta farmers may need to get used to leaving grain in the field at harvest. “Harvest might be starting earlier, but poor weather during the harvest season is slowing down that last little bit of harvest, and there’s more and more crop being left in the field in October,” said Joy Agnew, program manager at […] Read more

To dramatize the issue of harvest losses, this video shows $5 bills blowing out the back of a combine. it’s not that bad, but the average grower could probably make $10 to $15 an acre by properly adjusting their combine — and some might be giving away $50 an acre or more.

Threshing losses could be costing you tens of thousands this harvest

Canola losses when combining are typically double — and sometimes five times — what they should be

How many tens — or hundreds — of millions of dollars might pour out of the backs of Prairie combines this harvest? No one can say for sure, but Vegreville producer Darcy Sarafinchan knows that if he’s not checking for issues when combining canola, the number can get big in a hurry. “When you start […] Read more


Straight cutting canola is much more popular in Europe, including this farm in Sweden, than it is in Canada. But that could soon change.

Getting the story straight on straight cutting canola

Pod shatter-tolerant varieties are making straight cutting a more viable option for Alberta canola growers — but it’s not a ‘silver bullet’

One of Canada’s largest seed suppliers is predicting 40 per cent of Prairie canola will be straight cut by 2020. “Last year, only around 11 per cent of acres were straight cut, and we’re saying that in the next four to five years, that’s going to increase by fourfold,” said James Humphris, canola seed and […] Read more

Thar she blows — and the only way to know how much grain is 
being blown out is to measure it.

Harvest loss a costly — and preventable — problem

Going just a bit faster can be way more expensive than any speeding ticket

Growers are leaving profit on the ground every time the combine hits the field. “You’ve grown it, you’ve put the inputs into it, and it’s free for the taking. Why not take it?” said Nathan Gregg, project manager at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute. Harvest losses depend on the crop, but typically, one to two […] Read more


Three ways producers can better manage stored grain

Invest in monitoring, learn the three basic principles of drying, and clean out those bins before harvest

When farmers look at their full grain bins they are essentially looking at thousands of dollars in investment. The last thing any producer wants is to lose any part of that investment before it even leaves the farm, but that’s exactly what happens every year due to overheating and spoilage. There are three basic things […] Read more

Installation of a fan on a 4,000-bushel hopper bin.

Cutting through the clutter on bin aeration

What equipment you need and when to aerate are just two of 
many questions when it comes to protecting grain in the bin

With hot and dry conditions throughout much of this year’s growing season, proper aeration of grain has become more important than ever in order to prevent overheated grain or spoilage. At the same time, there’s a never-ending parade of new aeration solutions on the market, creating a lot of confusion among growers looking for better […] Read more