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

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


Harvest better than expected in most — but not all — areas

Expectations were low in many areas of the province, but yield and quality have generally been decent

This year’s crop quality and yields are better than expected, which comes as a major surprise to both farmers and agronomists across the province. “Even as late as seeding was done, the yield seems to be average or better than expected, which is surprising, when some canola was planted on the 7th or 8th of […] Read more

Social media, texts, and emails are great but can’t take the place of talking with people face to face, 
says pedigreed seed producer Sarah Hoffmann.

All the iron is still there, but Agri-Trade has a new dimension

There’s still acres of farm equipment to be seen, but also an opportunity to upgrade your personal skill set

When you think of a farm equipment show, a motivational speaker talking about personal development might not spring to mind. But it’s exactly what women who attend Agri-Trade said they wanted to see at the popular Red Deer event. “Attendee surveys brought a strong message that there were a lot of women in agriculture who […] Read more


Ross McKenzie heard a lot of micronutrient claims during his lengthy career as a provincial agronomist and researcher, but the vast majority couldn’t be substantiated.

Proceed with caution when it comes to micronutrients, says agronomist

It’s not hard to spend thousands of dollars on micronutrients that aren’t needed or produce little benefit, 
says Ross McKenzie

Farmers need to put on their critical thinking caps when dealing with micronutrient claims — or risk spending lots of money for no or marginal results. There is a lot of hype surrounding supplemental micronutrients right now, said Ross McKenzie, a retired agronomy research scientist. However, not all micronutrients are created equally; some of the […] Read more

A pea plant with foliage damage from the pea leaf weevil is viewed at Farming Smarter’s ‘plot hop.’

Pea leaf weevils: The danger comes from below

Adults chomping on leaves aren’t the problem with these pests — it’s their offspring feeding on root nodules

Pea leaf weevils are on the move and are now being reported in crops as far north as Edmonton. The pest first appeared in Alberta in 2000 and they have become a huge threat to fababean and field pea growers in the province. Originally nesting in the south, they have migrated and are now appearing […] Read more