GFM Network News


Farm suppliers race COVID-19 spread for planting season

Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — North America’s biggest farm suppliers are accelerating shipments of fertilizer, seeds and agricultural chemicals to crop-growing regions in an unprecedented race against the coronavirus that threatens to disrupt planting season. The timing could not be worse for farmers preparing to plant crops. Disruptions in deliveries of fertilizer, seeds or chemicals could […] Read more

Prairie elevators’ staff aim for on-site distancing

Cargill, P+H elevators stay open but with arm's-length approach

At least two Prairie grain handling firms plan to continue taking deliveries from farmers during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic — but to make the process as touchless as possible. Cargill, in a email to customers Wednesday, said its Canadian grain elevators, crush plants and ag input retail sites will remain open for deliveries and pickups, […] Read more


Producers are urged to call their seed supplier about varieties first rather than just dropping in.

Seed supplies are strong, no delivery problems expected

But order seed by phone or online, and keep your distance during delivery

Alberta farmers shouldn’t face any challenges finding seed as the pandemic plays out over the next few weeks — but stick to phone calls and online orders when working with your seed supplier. “To my knowledge, there shouldn’t be a lot of problems (with seed supply),” said Kelly Chambers, executive director of Alberta Seed Growers. […] Read more

It’s not hard to guess which plot had phosphate placed in the seed row — that would be the canola on the right (which had P applied at a rate of 15 pounds per acre) while the plot on the left did not. Putting phosphate in the row is tricky when the seed is small or conditions dry.

Make sure your seed and fertilizer can get along

Side- and mid-row banding help, but watch that P in the seed row — especially in a dry spring

Fertilizer and seed are what you might call the best of frenemies. They need each other but if conditions aren’t right, one of them (in this case, the seed) is likely to get hurt. And that goes double if you’re growing a small-seed crop like canola under dry conditions. Three of the biggest concerns canola […] Read more


This photo is from the Seed Smart campaign by Alberta Seed Processors, which says farmers can profit from more extensive testing of their seed.

Putting seed to the test — it’s not just about germination

A vigour test tells you more, especially in a year like this one that follows a tough harvest

The seed you plant is ground zero for any healthy, profitable crop. So it only makes sense to know as much about it as possible before putting it in the ground. However, a lot of producers are still doing the bare minimum of seed testing, and experts say it’s causing them to miss out. Although […] Read more

Producers are being urged to have their seed tested for both germination and vigour.

High-quality seed may be tough to find heading into spring

Like everyone else, seed growers were hit hard last year

Seeding this spring is going to be a little like the Indianapolis 500. No matter which seed you plant, you’ll probably cross the finish line — but you’re going to get there a whole lot faster in a Lamborghini than a LeBaron. Seed with both high germination and high vigour will help you win the […] Read more


The two proposed seed royalty models have come with many questions from producers.

Cereal seed royalty gets thumbs down at consultations

Government is asking farmers what they think about seed royalties — and the answer is ‘not much’

The idea of charging royalties on cereal seed didn’t go over well with many Alberta farmers who attended a federal government consultation on proposed royalties. “The overarching thing is that control would be imposed and that would be my concern,” Trochu farmer Kevin Niemi said in an interview. “A royalty is like a seed tax […] Read more

North Dakota still on lookout for Palmer amaranth

CNS Canada –– Officials in North Dakota continue to hunt down suspicious plants in a bid to keep the aggressive weed Palmer amaranth from establishing there. Palmer amaranth, a pigweed species, made its first confirmed appearance in North Dakota last month, in a soybean field in McIntosh County, in the south-central area of the state. […] Read more


Every farmer has his or her own criteria when choosing seed but sometimes producers don’t give a variety a fair shake, says seed grower Greg
Stamp.

There’s lots of seed choices — and approaches to picking them

Some farmers consult, some decide on their own, and others react to what just happened

Are you happy with the seed varieties you chose this year? More importantly, is your approach to picking varieties working for you? Seed selection tends to be a very linear game. Seed companies typically contact seed growers with new varieties that may perform well and appeal to their customers. From there, the seed growers will […] Read more

Ensuring legumes aren't seeded too deep is a critical step in establishing a high-legume pasture.

Going beyond grass: The case for forage legumes

Alberta producers offer the wisdom of their experience — and their gains — from high legume pastures

If you’re fearful that seeding pasture with legumes will be a waste of time and money, several Alberta producers have some tips for you. A new video from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry features producers offering their advice — some of it hard earned — on topics such as seedbed preparation, nutrients, and weed control. Having […] Read more