GFM Network News

7 steps to better business

We all think of pinstriped suits and ivory towers when we hear the word “boardroom.” But with more family-owned farms getting more complex, maybe there’s something here we can borrow from the corporate world’s playbook to do better business on the farm. “There are a lot of board governance practices, and even just corporate practices[...]
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Four steps to a fair land rental agreement

As land values increase, so do land rental rates, but commodity prices don’t always follow the same trajectory, although input costs might. So how do you come to an arrangement to rent land that is fair and profitable for both parties, because that’s the number one consideration if both want a stable, long-term deal. “Communication[...]
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A healthy balance of cattle and crops isn’t just better for the balance sheet, say father Jim and Ryan Boyd, it’s better for the soil too, which will pay long-term dividends.

A strategy for regenerative agriculture

Ryan Boyd believes he has the right strategy to get him off the expansion treadmill

About 10 years ago, Ryan Boyd came to his father Jim with some new ideas, and Jim knew it was time to listen. Ryan talked about a new strategy, adopting regenerative and sustainable approaches in order to enhance their productivity. “Dad was more than willing to try something else,” Ryan says. “He’d always believed the[...]
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Five tips for a successful oat crop

Oats is a small-acre crop that has tended to fall behind in terms of agronomy research. That’s changing as more oat varieties become available and new niche markets continue to develop and offer premiums to growers meeting their specifications. For anyone trying oats for the first time, or considering adding oats to their rotation, soak[...]
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The advantages of Calving at Pasture

Most cattle producers cite reduced labour and input costs, milder weather, fewer birth problems and better calf health as the main reasons for choosing to calve at pasture in the spring. Karmen and Jason McNabb calve 400 Hereford/Red Angus-cross cows beginning the third week of April on a 60-acre native pasture in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. The McNabbs[...]
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Polycrops help dry wet soils

With both extremely wet and dry conditions happening in the same growing season, it is not a stretch to call 2011 a strange year in Manitoba, but it has helped prove the effectiveness of perennial and annual forage seed blends known as “polycrops” in dealing with extremes of weather. “One thing that became very clear[...]
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Calving With A New Addition To The Family

One of his earliest experiences with calving was watching his mom and dad working to save a calf that was being delivered backwards on their farm close to Manitou, Man. “It didn’t bother him at all. He just sat there and he knew Mom and Dad were OK and that was fine,” says John’s mom,[...]
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Saving Costs By Imitating Nature

“ We have tried to basically go back to nature and the way that the wildlife reproduces,” says owner, Ken Yakielashek. “They always reproduce towards the longest days of the year.” As a result he has switched from bringing the cows into the barn to calve in February and March, to leaving them out all[...]
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Keeping Methane In Check

Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives recently announced $1 million in funding for research into reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Cattle are the main source of methane emissions in Canada, says Dr. Karin Wittenberg, associate dean of research in the agriculture faculty at the University of Manitoba. Canada’s livestock production systems contribute about 58 per[...]
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