GFM Network News


Universities and colleges to take over key provincial research programs

Schools will get transition grants to take on former government programs and researchers

The provincial government is transferring several research programs to universities and colleges. They are: University of Alberta Will receive $3.7 million for taking on four programs and their lead researchers. They are Sheri Strydhorst (cereal agronomy), John Basarab (beef genomics and feed efficiency), Marcos Colazo (reproductive management in beef and dairy cattle), and Valerie Carney […] Read more

Craig Lehr is one of five Alberta reps on the Beef Cattle Research Council. The organization is profiling the innovative practices of its council members, including Lehr’s operation near Medicine Hat.

Double cropping and low-stress handling pay dividends

Short Grass Ranches benefits from grazing a second feed crop and a new low-stress handling system

Editor’s note: The Beef Cattle Research Council has launched a new series looking at the innovative practices and strategies of producers who are members of the council. (There are 14 council members representing provincial beef organizations.) Here is an excerpt from the first instalment of the series, which can be found in the blog section […] Read more


Rig Hand owner and distiller Geoff Stewart repeatedly tried and failed to make a gin from fababeans. But the flowers were a much different story.

‘Gin is in’ — spirit’s sales soar here and abroad

Gin was all the rage in the Roaring ’20s — and it seems the cycle is repeating itself a century later. “Gin is in,” said Matthew Hendriks, distiller at Park Distillery in Banff. This simple message was put on a billboard between Calgary and Banff, and in front of the distillery itself, which opened in […] Read more

Using a sweep net is a standard method for determining the level of a pest infestation, 
but federal researcher Haley Catton, shown here, wants to give farmers a better way to gauge the level of beneficial insects and whether it makes sense to spray.

If this is the future, it can’t come soon enough

Unless you love writing cheques for inputs, you’ll want to cheer on the work of these three scientists

Grow more with less — that’s the goal of three Alberta researchers whose work could revolutionize the way we grow cereals. “Canadian agriculture will be facing quite high demand for food production because of the growing global population and reduction in arable land,” said federal research biologist Alicja Ziemienowicz. “We’re trying to give you the […] Read more


Crop Commissions to fund wheat research

The Alberta Wheat Commission and its Saskatchewan counterpart will spend $1.6 million over three years on seven wheat research projects. These include stripe rust surveillance to improve resistance in regional wheat varieties, developing a reliable method of gene editing in wheat to simplify the breeding process, and improving nitrogen use efficiency. Other research will look […] Read more

Get the lowdown on plant growth regulators and crop varieties

PGR fact sheet looks at lodging and staging while crop fact sheets examine performance in Alberta

New fact sheets on plant growth regulators and crop varieties are now available. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are synthetic compounds that can modify plant growth and development by altering plant hormonal activity. While PGRs are popular in other regions of the world like Western Europe, their use in Western Canada is relatively new. “The plant […] Read more


Crop fact sheets available

Three crop varietal fact sheets are now available. The Varieties of Cereal and Oilseed Crops for Alberta 2017 that provides agronomic characteristics and disease-resistance information are provided for varieties of wheat, barley, oat, rye, triticale, flax and canola. Varieties of Pulse Crops for Alberta provides information on pulse variety performance for varieties of field pea, […] Read more

Cereals North America: Shift to La Nina may hurt yields

Winnipeg | CNS Canada –– El Nino weather patterns are typically beneficial to North American grain yields, but cut into the production prospects of key Eastern Hemisphere demand markets, according to presenters at this week’s Cereals North America conference. However, an expected shift toward La Nina conditions by late 2016 could see North American grain yields […] Read more


Silage varieties for Alberta cattle producers

This year’s version of Silage Varieties for Alberta is now available. Under the umbrella of the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta, eight applied research groups performed forage testing of various varieties at 12 locations throughout the province. This was the sixth year of tests. “Varieties of barley, oats, triticale and peas commonly used […] Read more