GFM Network News


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Drought Monitor map for the Prairie provinces as of April 30, 2021. (AAFC)

‘Extreme drought’ expands in Prairies

Southern Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan parched

MarketsFarm -- The newly released map from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Canadian Drought Monitor (CDM) shows the Prairies' ongoing drought getting worse. According to AAFC's nationwide map released on Friday, southwestern Manitoba, parts of southern Saskatchewan and the southeast corner of Alberta are under CDM's classification of Extreme (D3) drought as of April 30. Communities […] Read more

A hemp plant in Alberta. (Jennifer Blair photo)

Hemp poised for year of gains

Nationwide increase in acres expected

MarketsFarm -- The hemp industry in Canada is set for a good year in 2021, according to Canadian Hemp Trade Association (CHTA) CEO Ted Haney. “It looks like we are looking at another 15 to 20 per cent increase in seeded acres nationally, which should take us over the 100,000-acre level for sure,” he said. […] Read more


Not your typical harvest scene: Dill being harvested at Dale Thacker Specialty Crops.

Specialty crop farmer leverages the power of irrigation

And others will do the same as massive irrigation expansion comes online, says Dale Thacker

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’ve ever chewed a stick of gum or used a minty toothpaste, there’s a reasonable chance the spearmint inside is from Dale Thacker’s farm. The southeastern Alberta producer has been growing specialty crops — starting with spearmint and expanding into a host of others — for more than three decades. Most depend on irrigation […] Read more

Lovingly Made Ingredients’ new 30,000-square-foot facility opened in Calgary in March and plans to source yellow pea protein for its novel ingredients for plant-based foods.

‘Go west’ is paying off for British maker of plant-based ingredients

Its Calgary division plans to source — and eventually process — its yellow peas locally

Reading Time: 4 minutes Plant-protein processing is slowly but surely making its way to Alberta with the recent launch of Lovingly Made Ingredients in Calgary. The ingredient manufacturing arm of the British company Meatless Farm began production in its 33,000-square-foot facility in March. And so far, Alberta is proving to be the right location for the rapidly growing startup. […] Read more


(Kevin_LS/iStock/Getty Images)

Rural, remote crime targeted in Tory MP’s bill

Bill would consider crimes' settings during sentencing

An Alberta Conservative MP is trying to tackle rural crime by introducing a law that would punish more severely those accused of targeting remote, and vulnerable, people or property. Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins introduced his private member's bill for first reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday. "Rural Canadians too often don't feel […] Read more

Our daily routines place a heavy dependency on minerals that are mined to supply modern life, might agriculture offer a more sustainable path?

Schoepp: The consumption of minerals calls out for a new approach

Agriculture can offer some alternatives if we innovate and adopt a regenerative mindset

Reading Time: 3 minutes In an agricultural context, the term mineral might take one’s thoughts straight to a balanced livestock diet or to the most recent soil test. It might lend itself to a water or blood test. But rarely are minerals thought of as something we consume by ingestion or external use. I checked out the amount of […] Read more


Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen cites funding for the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc as a key part of his government’s efforts to bring plant protein processing to Alberta. But the opposition NDP says the government has to do what other provinces have done and put money into new processing facilities.

‘Actively trying’ to attract value-added processing, says minister

Government says more processing is a priority, but opposition says other provinces pulling ahead

Reading Time: 2 minutes Alberta is lagging behind the other Prairie provinces when it comes to plant protein processing — but the provincial government is working on it, says the agriculture minister. “Whether it’s canola processing, plant proteins, greenhouses, agri-technology, hemp — there are numerous types of commodities that we’re trying to attract value-added investment domestically and internationally to […] Read more

(Fudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Canada weighs tighter rules for grow-your-own pot producers

Spending on illicit pot still ahead of legal purchases

Reuters -- Canada on Monday launched a public consultation seeking to tighten rules for individuals who are allowed to grow their own medical cannabis, in an effort to clamp down on pot seeping into black markets. In a draft guidance issued for the consultation, Health Canada highlighted recent police raids and arrests at production sites […] Read more


Opinion: Are the changes to ag research really being led by farmers?

Opinion: Are the changes to ag research really being led by farmers?

The changes being made will have a major impact, but the issue isn’t attracting much attention

Reading Time: 3 minutes In February of 2016, I experienced something I will never forget. I witnessed farmers and ranchers unite across the province in passionate protest against the newly introduced Bill 6, the occupational health and safety legislation. We saw France-style farmer protests including tractor demonstrations and big crowds of angry folks. It reminded me of images I’ve […] Read more

Snow cover in southern Manitoba has been sparse this winter, as shown across this field east of Starbuck, Man. (MarketsFarm photo by Glen Hallick)

Wet or dry spring ahead? Depends on where in Canada

MarketsFarm -- There will be increased in risk of flooding this spring in British Columbia, western Alberta and parts of Eastern Canada, according to a report Friday from AccuWeather. Meanwhile, dry conditions are expected to continue across the Prairies. AccuWeather's report forecasts below-normal temperatures for B.C. and western Alberta going into spring. That could delay […] Read more