GFM Network News


Snow cover in southern Manitoba has been sparse this winter, as shown across this field east of Starbuck, Man. (MarketsFarm photo by Glen Hallick)

Wet or dry spring ahead? Depends on where in Canada

MarketsFarm — There will be increased in risk of flooding this spring in British Columbia, western Alberta and parts of Eastern Canada, according to a report Friday from AccuWeather. Meanwhile, dry conditions are expected to continue across the Prairies. AccuWeather’s report forecasts below-normal temperatures for B.C. and western Alberta going into spring. That could delay […] Read more

Glacier loss to impact Alberta water supply

Reading Time: < 1 minute The loss of glaciers due to climate change is likely to mean late-summer water shortages for more than one million Albertans, according to a new study. It’s predicted Western Canada will see a 70 to 90 per cent glacier loss by 2100, and that will impact Alberta’s water supply, notably the Bighorn Dam (about 100 […] Read more


rainfall simulator

Rain, rain don’t go away: How to capture more moisture on your land

When it comes to retaining rainfall, seeing is believing — and new infiltration tool does just that

Reading Time: 3 minutes Drought is a four-letter word in Alberta right now — but also proof that it’s critical to make the most of any moisture we get. “If we’re getting the types of rain we normally get, water infiltration probably isn’t that big of a deal,” said Ken Lewis, conservation co-ordinator with Red Deer County. “But in […] Read more

Canadian drought conditions at March 31, 2018. (Drought Monitor map, Agr.gc.ca)

Prairie drought conditions improve

CNS Canada — While drought conditions in Western Canada have improved following late-season snowfall, it isn’t a completely rosy picture just yet. “We have seen significant departures from normal in terms of precipitation (on the Prairies over) a long period. The winter hasn’t been above average (for precipitation) so there hasn’t been a whole lot […] Read more


Two slides of the same land from the geodiscoveralberta.ca website: The lower ‘wetlands turned on’ slide shows a potentially much larger wetland area, which is apparent in the upper photo. What constitutes a permanent or semi-permanent wetland can only be determined by a wetland scientist, but if they aren’t considered ephemeral, a costly environmental impact assessment is required before any drainage can be installed.

Do your homework before installing tile drainage

Finding out what constitutes a wetland and finding a suitable outlet for drained water are two key considerations

Reading Time: 4 minutes Tile drainage is becoming increasingly popular among Alberta producers concerned about losing valuable land and inputs to excess water. Although tile drainage can be beneficial, it is not without its dangers if a system is designed incorrectly — or if producers don’t know the rules. In Alberta, tile drainage systems — like all drainage or […] Read more

The Souris River at Minot, N.D. in June 2012. (Cynthia Hunter photo, Fema.gov)

Manitoba’s southwest expecting ‘well above normal’ runoff

Manitoba is expecting normal to above-normal spring runoff except in the Souris River basin, which is looking at “above normal to well-above normal runoff potential.” Levels of spring flooding still depend on future weather conditions, Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen said Friday in the province’s March flood outlook, but the risk of overland flooding is “slightly […] Read more


(Manitoba Co-operator file photo by Laura Rance)

Wet spring hampers Prairie fertilizer timetable

CNS Canada — This week’s dump of snow in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba will likely push back fieldwork and fertilizer applications on a lot of farms, according to one crop watcher. Keystone Agricultural Producers president Dan Mazier, speaking from a conference in the U.S., said only about 50 per cent of the normal amount […] Read more

Southeastern Saskatchewan’s accumulated snowpack, as shown here east of Weyburn on March 9, i expected to lead to above-normal runoff in the area. (Leeann Minogue photo)

Runoff levels up in Saskatchewan’s forecast

Saskatchewan has raised its expectations for spring runoff across the board, now predicting “near normal” levels for much of the province and “above normal” to “well above normal” levels in its southeast. The province’s Water Security Agency on Thursday released a March spring runoff forecast pointing to two “areas of concern” — the province’s far […] Read more


Snow on farmland at Turtle Lake in northwestern Saskatchewan on Oct. 14, 2016. (Lisa Guenther photo)

Saskatchewan snowpack points to below-normal runoff

Thanks to above-normal temperatures that drew down much of Saskatchewan’s snowpack in January, the province now sees “below normal runoff potential” in most areas outside the southeast. Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency on Thursday released its 2017 preliminary outlook for spring runoff, noting the province has another six to 10 weeks of possible snowpack development. The […] 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