GFM Network News


They’ve upped the bar on the century award

Some farms have shot past the 100-year mark and now qualify for the 125 Year Recognition award

It turns out a century award isn’t long enough for some Alberta operations. So last year, the province came up with a new award to recognize farm families who have continuously owned and actively operated the same land for 125 years or more. Antler Valley Farm, north of Innisfail, received the 125 Year Recognition last […] Read more

Crop share is becoming less common in Alberta, but this method can be a good starting point for determining a cash rent.

The going rate isn’t necessarily what you should pay in rent

Don’t pay a rent based on rumoured rates in your area and factor in the productivity of specific fields

Many landlords set their land rent based on what other local landowners are charging, but that’s not always an equitable rate, says a provincial farm business management specialist. “Following this approach has pitfalls because the rate may not be reflective of the soil productivity on the farm, or there may be a difference between what […] Read more


The FEAP Program shares costs for components of a new grain dryer or when retrofitting components for an existing dryer.

Provincial funding available for grain dryer upgrades

Program covers costs of high-efficiency components in existing or new models, and is retroactive

Grants are still available for upgrading components of grain dryers to high-efficiency models. The Farm Energy and Agri-Processors (FEAP) Program shares costs for components of a new dryer or when retrofitting components of an existing dryer, said Katherine Rogers, energy extension co-ordinator with Alberta Agriculture. “For retrofit grain dryer components, eligibility is determined on a […] Read more

Having a vision of the future allows the current and next generation, 
as well as non-farming family members, to pursue a plan that works 
for everyone.

What will your farm look like in 2029?

The odds of it being what you’d like it to be go up if you have a strategic plan, says business specialist

Producers often put off developing a long-term strategic plan, but they shouldn’t, says a provincial farm business management specialist. “Farmers are always busy with their daily and seasonal tasks,” said Dean Dyck. “When asked what their plan is for the next 10 years, they often say they haven’t had a chance to work on it […] Read more


Green foxtail can cut wheat yields by a quarter when populations reach 400 to 500 plants per square metre.

A large weed seed bank is a ‘gift that keeps taking’

No till, chaff collection, forage in rotation, and chemical control all reduce weed pressure

Below the soil surface lurks the weed seed bank — the predominant source of weed pressure on current and future crops. “You do not want to draw on this bank account,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “It is a source of annual and perennial weeds that will wait for years before the right conditions […] Read more

Some farmers are seeing a reduction in the green seed count in stored canola, others are seeing ‘dry’ canola spoil because of green seed.

Green seed canola a big issue for producers this year

Know what you’ve got, watch for spoilage, and make calls to potential buyers of lower grades, says crop specialist

Canola samples have highly variable levels of distinctly green seed this year, says a provincial crops analyst. “Some farmers have reported that there has been a reduction in the green seed count during storage and others have said that it has not changed since harvest,” said Neil Blue. But many producers, particularly in the northern […] Read more


The 2018 Agriculture Hall of Fame inductees (from left, with Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier) are Ronald Howard, Dietrich Kuhlmann, and Garnet Altwasser.

Three agriculture leaders inducted into Hall of Fame

Garnet Altwasser, Ron Howard, and Dieter Kuhlmann all played major roles in their sectors

Three Alberta visionaries have been honoured by the Agriculture Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the cattle-feeding, crop science, and greenhouse industries. This year’s inductees — Garnet Altwasser, Ronald Howard, and Dietrich Kuhlmann — were honoured at a ceremony in Leduc on Oct. 26. Garnet Altwasser became a leader in Canadian agribusiness […] Read more

Know what you have for livestock feed and use it strategically

You’ll need higher-quality feed later on, and the last thing you want to do is overfeed

When planning your feeding program, keep the good stuff for later. “Using higher-quality feed early in the season could mean it is not available later in the season when the cows really need it,” said livestock extension specialist Andrea Hanson. “It could get costly for the operation, either by increasing feed costs or reducing cow […] Read more


A hot and dry summer has reduced barley weights in many areas, but lighter-weight barley doesn’t have a big impact on daily gain, says a provincial beef specialist.

Lightweight barley works well in cattle feeding program

One study found only a four per cent difference in feed efficiency, but it should be properly processed

Initial reports from this year’s harvest indicate that bushel weight of threshed grains is variable, with barley ranging from 35 to 50 pounds per bushel. “Feedlots and elevators are more than willing to take the heavyweight barley without any hesitation or discounts,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “When barley bushel weights are below […] Read more

Grants available for irrigation upgrades

Grants to reduce water use or energy use can be as much as $15,000 for each irrigated parcel

Applications are now being accepted for the Irrigation Efficiency program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The program offers grants for new low-pressure centre pivots or upgrades to existing pivots (such as sprinkler and nozzle packages, control panels, and variable-rate irrigation) as well as drip irrigation. Any active producer who owns an irrigated agricultural operation in […] Read more