GFM Network News



Trump administration mulls industry-wide biofuel waiver

Comment period would end after Trump's exit

New York | Reuters — The Trump administration is considering requests from the oil refining industry and its backers for a sweeping nationwide waiver to exempt them from their obligations to blend biofuels, a measure they argue would help them weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency […] Read more


USDA unveils more COVID-19 aid, mostly for livestock farmers

Funds earmarked for farmers under contract

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will pay an additional US$2.3 billion in COVID-19 aid to farmers, directing more money to livestock producers suffering from disruptions in slaughtering and restaurant demand for meat. The aid, which comes from money allocated to USDA from previous pandemic stimulus legislation, follows […] Read more

The gardening craze even extended to apartment dwellers who grew salad greens in hanging baskets and potatoes and carrots in pots, said Shelley Batdorf (pictured with husband Roy) of Pots ’n’ Pansies Greenhouses and Garden Centre.

COVID-19 pandemic produces a bumper crop of novice gardeners

Whether it was growing their own food or beautifying the yard, gardening was hot in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Greenhouses, garden centres and nurseries experienced a year like no other in 2020 as first-time gardeners took up trowels and hoes in unprecedented numbers. “Even if people had never planted before, they wanted to grow a garden,” said Tammy Meinecke, manager of Dunvegan Gardens in Grande Prairie. “Everybody was out planting seeds and trying to […] Read more


Manitoba to consolidate and shut agriculture, MASC offices

Province announces 'new rural service delivery model'

Updated, Jan. 7 — Manitoba’s agriculture and resource development department and crop insurance and ag lending agency will close their offices in 21 communities and consolidate others this spring, in a bid to reduce their “physical footprint.” Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen on Wednesday announced what the province billed as “a new rural service delivery model […] Read more

Scenes like this one from last year’s Prairie Cereals Summit used to be normal but with in-person meetings cancelled because of the pandemic, discussions on merging Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley have been drawn out.

Cereal groups’ amalgamation talks slowed by pandemic

Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat aiming to wrap up review of merger proposal in coming year

Reading Time: 3 minutes There’s no marriage proposal yet, but Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat want to get moving on what has become a longer-than-expected process on whether to amalgamate or not. “We’re just in the beginning stage of where it will go, and the timeline and how to communicate,” Dave Bishop, immediate past chair of the Alberta Barley […] Read more


Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details […] Read more

There are lots of learning opportunities being offered online but chatting with other farmers is also key, says Steve Kenyon.

Stuck on the farm doesn’t mean getting stuck in a rut

Online conferences definitely have drawbacks, but farmers still need to ‘stay ahead of the game’

Reading Time: 5 minutes Most every winter, Alberta farmers find themselves hitting the highways to get the latest and greatest in learning at farm conferences and meetings. This year, though, they’re covering that ground on the information superhighway instead. “Normally as a farmer, I’m attending events in the summer and wintertime, and this year, I didn’t get to experience […] Read more


The pandemic has more older farmers thinking about their wills — and how to split up the farm, says consultant Merle Good.

Pandemic has many thinking about the future of the farm

If you plan to leave land to your off-farm child, you need a strategy that makes sense for the farm business

Reading Time: 3 minutes If the pandemic has you looking at your will and wondering how to split your farm up, you’re not alone. “COVID has increased the anxiety about our wills for all of us who are a little bit older,” said Merle Good, owner of GRS Consulting. “When I’ve talked to farmers about it, they’re starting to […] Read more