GFM Network News


Alberta potato growers planted nearly 8,000 more acres this year than they did in 2020, bringing potato acres in the province back to pre-pandemic levels.

Would you like fries with that? Potato acres up after pandemic drop

It’s a few years off but irrigation expansion should usher in another production leap in the province

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alberta’s potato industry has bounced right back from its dip in acres during the pandemic. “We’re back to the 2019 acres,” said Terence Hochstein, executive director of the Potato Growers of Alberta. “We’ve added a few more acres, but there’s really no new farms and no huge increases on any particular farm. It’s just getting […] Read more

martin ekstrand hemp

Is the long-predicted boom for the hemp sector nearly here?

Hemp is versatile and has lots of boosters, but it’s never been more than a niche crop on the Prairies

Reading Time: 4 minutes The hemp industry on the Prairies is slowly making strides and many believe — once again — that the sector is poised to boom. “We believe there’s a strong case for hemp in the world,” said Andrew Potter, CEO of Blue Sky Hemp Ventures, a company incorporated in Calgary but based in Saskatoon. Potter, whose […] Read more


Alfalfa looper larva. (CanolaCouncil.org)

U.S. to ban use of chlorpyrifos on food crops

Cancellation already scheduled for most outdoor use in Canada

UPDATED, Aug. 25 –– Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said it will ban the use on food crops of chlorpyrifos insecticide, which has been linked to health problems in children. The decision is a victory for environmental activists who have fought to stop the use of the chemical that […] Read more

John Lohr. (PCPartyns.ca)

Nova Scotia Tories’ ag critic returns as party wins election

PCs oust incumbent Liberals, form majority

The agriculture critic for Nova Scotia’s opposition Progressive Conservatives is set to return to the legislature, this time as part of a majority government, following Tuesday’s provincial election. As of about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Tim Houston’s PCs were elected or leading in 31 of 55 ridings, followed by Iain Rankin’s incumbent Liberals with 17 and […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

U.S. confirms will boost food stamps by record amount

Washington | Reuters –– The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) on Monday will announce revised nutrition standards dramatically boosting average food stamp benefits, the agency confirmed Sunday. The New York Times first reported the plan to unveil the largest permanent benefits increase in the history of the government’s primary anti-hunger program, saying the change would result […] Read more

Richard Stamp’s dryland acres were a write-off, but his irrigated crops are doing well despite the hot, dry weather.

Irrigation adds stability in unstable times

The timing is right for a historic investment in Alberta’s irrigation system

Reading Time: 5 minutes By early July, Richard Stamp already knew he wouldn’t be harvesting his dryland acres this year. “Last year, we had a relatively good crop — double what we would expect on it — but this year, we will not be combining it,” said the Enchant-area pedigreed seed grower. “It’s definitely a big difference this year, […] Read more



Nutrien’s potash mine near Rocanville, Sask. (Nutrien.com)

Nutrien to further bump up potash output

'Continued tightening' in market cited as potash producer Belarus sanctioned

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien said Monday it would boost its 2021 potash output by 500,000 tonnes, after the European Union and others imposed new trade sanctions on Belarus. Nutrien’s increase takes its potash sales outlook this year to a record-high range of 13.3 million to 13.8 million tonnes, and follows a […] Read more


A mayfly on water. (SBTheGreenMan/iStock/Getty Images)

Federal reprieve for imidacloprid cuts its application rates

Proposal for near-total ban rejected in Health Canada's final decision

A member of the neonicotinoid family of insesticides and seed treatments has been pulled back from the brink of an all-out ban in Health Canada’s final re-evaluation ruling. Most agricultural uses of imidacloprid — sold by Bayer under brands such as Gaucho, Merit and Admire, and by Adama under brands such as Alias and Sombrero […] Read more

Barry Senft. (Supplied photo)

Ex-GFO CEO to manage Seeds Canada

Barry Senft to help build up merged seed-industry group

The four Canadian seed industry organizations now operating as Seeds Canada have named their first organizer-in-chief. Barry Senft, whose resume in Canadian agriculture includes stints as CEO for Grain Farmers of Ontario, executive director for the Canadian International Grains Institute, chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission and second vice-president for Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, becomes […] Read more