GFM Network News


(MyLand.ag)

AGI to buy into soil microbe breeding firm

Machinery maker to take minority stake in MyLand

A U.S. company ramping up a system to harvest, reproduce and restore beneficial microbes from a field’s own soils, as a way to restore peak fertility, expects to get backing soon from a Canadian farm equipment maker. Winnipeg-based Ag Growth International (AGI) said Monday it has signed a conditional letter of intent with Phoenix-based MyLand […] Read more

Flea beetle. (Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Forecast, flea beetles complicate canola timing

Dry conditions make ideal seeding time difficult to peg

Drought conditions, and the odds of more to come, have some Prairie canola growers pondering when to roll the dice on seeding, if they want to do more than feed the flea beetles. Small-seeded crops, such as canola, have garnered particular concern from agronomists and producers worried about germination, given power dry topsoil across much […] Read more


New at-home learning program for 4-H’ers

New at-home learning program for 4-H’ers

Reading Time: < 1 minute 4-H Canada’s newest at-home learning initiative, Dig Into Soil, gives youth the opportunity to explore the relationship between sustainable agricultural practices, soil conservation, food security and climate change, and consider the impact their own choices can have. An all-new activity kit, available online, gives 4-H’ers fun, hands-on ways to learn about the importance of healthy […] Read more

John Deere says its new line of heavy harrows features a quick folding and unfolding sequence to help farmers move more quickly between fields. (Deere.com)

Degelman to make heavy harrows for Deere

Regina company reaches OEM agreement for new line

Major U.S. farm equipment manufacturer John Deere Co. has launched a new line of heavy harrows — and is going to Saskatchewan to get them. Regina equipment maker Degelman Industries announced Tuesday it has reached an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) agreement to provide Deere with a line of three heavy harrow models, the HH50, HH70 […] Read more


Soil Biodiversity: What’s most important? features six characters who come to realize that all of their areas of study are key to a healthy soil ecosystem.

Soil scientists turned children’s authors win acclaim

Reading Time: 3 minutes Benjamin Ellert and Katelyn Lutes know a lot about soil, but knew nothing about writing children’s books. Until they wrote one. And now the two federal soil scientists can add ‘prize-winning children’s author’ to their resumés. The duo from Ag Canada’s Lethbridge research station recently won second prize in an international book contest run by […] Read more

Harvesting hybrid fall rye at Harvest Moon Farm with a strip header on the combine. Residue management is a critical practice on the Hilda-area farm.

Improving soil is a long process involving lots of trial and error

Soil health principles are well known but putting them into practice takes time and patience

Reading Time: 4 minutes Everyone is in favour of improving soil health and there are a lot of recommended practices for doing that. But it’s when the rubber meets the road that things get complicated — and change takes time and patience. That was a major theme of Alberta producer Andy Kirschenman’s virtual presentation at the recent Farm Forum […] Read more


Harvest conditions were largely excellent this year, especially when compared to 2019’s “harvest from hell.” But the flip side is that soil moisture levels in early November this year (on left) are quite a bit different from those a year earlier (at right).

Half the province on the dry side heading into winter

It’s a long time until spring, but soil moisture reserves are sharply lower compared to a year ago

Reading Time: < 1 minute Much of the province’s farmland is dry, according to the latest soil moisture update from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “Soil moisture reserves at freeze-up are highly variable across the province with about 50 per cent of the agricultural areas estimated to have below-average reserves at fall freeze-up,” said the Nov. 8 report. “Large areas that […] Read more

Agronomist Matt Gosling is a big-time advocate of soil testing but doing it right isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Soil testing should be a cornerstone of your farm, says agronomist

Develop management zones, consider mobile nutrients, and don’t neglect phosphorus, says Matt Gosling

Reading Time: 4 minutes When you talk to Matt Gosling about soil — even if it’s over the phone — you can picture his eyes getting wider as his voice becomes more animated. He considers soil the cornerstone of crop agriculture: A living organism that is constantly shifting, changing and moving. By that logic, then, soil testing must be […] Read more


There are many attributes of healthy soils — and many definitions of what healthy soil is. But producers can cut through the confusion by keeping in mind five principles.

Everyone wants healthy soil… even if they can’t define it

Different farms have different needs, but all fall under the five principles for improving soil health

Reading Time: 2 minutes Soil health has been defined as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain biological productivity, maintain the quality of air and water environments, and promote plant, animal, and human health.” The challenge with this poetic definition is that, while it does describe the functional abilities […] Read more

This device, developed by Manitoba Agriculture, compares run-off (collected in the top row of jars) to water that seeps through soil. Management practices can significantly increase the ability of soil to absorb water — but water retention, organic matter, aggregation, soil structure compaction and nutrient cycling are all interconnected, says Farming Smarter researcher Gurbir Dhillon.

Soil health is a whole meal deal, says researcher

The properties of healthy soils are interlinked and good management addresses all of them, says Gurbir Dhillon

Reading Time: 2 minutes Your soil is a little like a supply chain — an interconnected series of chemical, physical, and biological interactions that help make your lands productive and your crops profitable. But just one weak link in that chain can cause problems on your farm. “Soil is irreplaceable, so it has to be sustainable,” said Gurbir Dhillon, […] Read more