GFM Network News


Snow, cold grind Alberta harvest to virtual standstill

MarketsFarm — Last weekend’s dump of snow coupled with cold temperatures brought the Alberta harvest to a complete halt, according to the province’s latest crop report. For the week ended Oct. 1, the province-wide harvest managed to improve to 33.7 per cent from 28.1 per cent the previous week. This year’s pace was slightly above […] Read more

Sure, drones draw a crowd, but like other farm tools today, they need to earn their keep by generating usable data that actually increases profits.

The farm data overload needs a fix

Ag tech event shows future of farming is data driven — but 'we're not there yet'

Jay Bruggencate has a bit of a bone to pick with the ag-tech industry. “We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into smart equipment that knows what it’s doing but can’t talk to each other,” said the Lacombe-area farmer at the recent AgSmart event at Olds College. “There’s so much data now available to us […] Read more


At Hebert Grain Ventures, data from field operations -- as well as from employees, financial statements and a host of other sources -- is analyzed and used to find new ways to improve efficiency.

How one farm put data analytics to work

Saskatchewan grain farm makes money by assessing data on everything from employees to soil moisture

Most people say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But at Hebert Grain Ventures, their motto is, “If it’s not broke, you haven’t looked hard enough.” “We don’t believe that, just because we had a good year or a good yield, that’s enough,” said Evan Shout, the Saskatchewan farm’s chief financial officer. “If we […] Read more



After horrible weather in September and early October, producers across the province were given a reprieve 
from Mother Nature and took full advantage — including this operation east of Carstairs, shown on the evening of 
Oct. 21.

In a year of extremes, soil moisture rebound a bright spot

The rain, snow, and cold in early fall had one upside — it recharged soil moisture reserves in much of the province

This year’s harvest was tough, but there is one good thing about it: Soil moisture and subsoil moisture are at almost normal levels in most of the province. “The soil moisture is looking better than it was at the end of August,” said Harry Brook, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “It’s closer […] Read more

Harvest progress behind curve as hot, dry spell ends

Unsettled weather conditions continue to plague the 2018 harvest season. Producers made very little progress this past week as intermittent showers and rainfall affected all regions. Along with the moisture, cooler weather led to unwelcome frost and ended the long-lasting hot dry spell. The early morning hours saw temperatures in the central region fall below […] Read more


Red Deer County's rainfall simulator shows how much runoff and water infiltration can be expected from different management practices.

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

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

Prairie crop tour sees slightly bigger wheat, canola yields

Saskatoon | Reuters — Canadian farmers were on track to reap slightly larger wheat and canola yields, despite dry conditions and a wide discrepancy in growth rates, a crop tour estimated on Thursday. The inaugural Grain World crop tour, organized by FarmLink Marketing Solutions, toured the Prairie provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday. Moisture conditions vary […] Read more


Graphic from a 2010 AAFC publication by the Indian Head Shelterbelt Centre, showing how a shelterbelt can reduce wind speed for over 100 metres.

Farming every acre doesn’t pay when the wind is howling

Producers are being urged to ‘rethink’ shelterbelts and how they preserve moisture and protect soil

Alberta farmers are being urged to “rethink” shelterbelts — and soil conservation experts agree. Zero till hasn’t made shelterbelts obsolete and this year’s dry conditions have shown the value of having something to disrupt the flow of hot winds blowing over fields, said Toso Bozic, Alberta Agriculture’s agro-forestry specialist. “Planting new windbreaks needs to be […] Read more

Six factors to consider if your soil moisture level is low

To date, all indications are pointing to a dry spring, given the below-average precipitation received in many areas of the Prairies this winter. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but a lot of farmers had relatively dry soils going into winter, so we asked some agronomists and provincial crop experts what factors could[...]
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