GFM Network News


Connecting with customers such as Hideo Suzuki (far right), president for Belex chain of supermarkets in Japan, was a top priority for Alberta Canola director Andre Harpe (second from left) on a recent trade mission. Also pictured are Deputy Ag Minister Andre Corbould and Tanya Fir, the provincial minister of economic development, tourism and trade.

Trade missions more valuable than ever, say Alberta producers

You have to show appreciation for customers and ask face to face how you can improve, says canola director

In times like these, friendship is more valuable than ever. “The mission was a direct result of the China (canola) ban,” said Alberta Canola director Andre Harpe, “When you lose part of your market, you have to make sure your other markets are OK.” Harpe was one of two Alberta producers who recently travelled to […] Read more

Maynard Kolskog has made some remarkable tasting oat-based cheeses. Pictured here are a smoky cheese and a blue cheese.

Reporter plays foodie and samples oat-based cheeses

“The more I work with Alberta crops, the more I get excited about them,” says local culinary arts instructor

It’s not every day that I go into a laboratory to try food. But today, I walk into a room with steel containers and refrigerators, where researchers are wearing lab coats. I’m about to taste some new oat ‘cheese,’ and I’m excited. Before I get to taste the oat cheese, research chef, Maynard Kolskog has […] Read more


A clean source of drinking water is even more valuable in dry years. If you’re relying on dugouts, sulphates and blue-green algae 
are two serious threats.

Less rain equals more danger for cattle on your ranch

Polioencephalomalacia, fog fever, blue-green algae, and vitamin A deficiency. Those are just four potential health threats to cattle when conditions are extremely dry. “The biggest problem we have on the Prairies is water that is high in sulphates,” said Dr. John Campbell, professor in the department large animal clinical sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. […] Read more

What you need to know about workers’ compensation in Alberta

The new provincial government plans to allow third-party coverage but for now, the old rules remain in place

For now at least, farm employers still have to have insurance from the Workers Compensation Board of Alberta. But there are benefits that come from WCB coverage, an official with the company told attendees at a recent Alberta Beef Producers meeting. That includes no-fault insurance, said Boris Makale, an insurance specialist with WCB, which is […] Read more



This photo shows the conceptual site plan for a $400-million pea processing facility that French multinational Roquette will be building in Portage la Prairie, Man. If efforts by Protein Industries Canada come to fruition, there will be a host of such processing plants in Western Canada in the decades to come.

Protein supercluster aims to transform food processing in Western Canada

The region can be a world powerhouse in value-added processing, says head of Protein Industries Canada

Protein Industries Canada has a plan to kickstart the growth of the plant-based protein sector in Western Canada over the next four years, says its CEO. “From a processing perspective, this is a growing industry in Canada — we’ve got 7,000 food processors,” Bill Greuel told attendees at the recent Bridge2Food Plant-Based Food Summit. But […] Read more


Even though prices have dropped, the prospects for Alberta’s feedlot sector remain high, say feeders.

Despite current dip, cattle feeders optimistic about what lies ahead

With lots of cattle on increasingly pricey feed, margins are taking a hit, but optimism remains strong

The feedlot industry is experiencing a little dip right now, but the sector continues to chug along nicely. That’s why Doug Price opted to buy Western Feedlots at High River, which has been shuttered since 2016. “It was a fairly good-sized feedlot and we’re just tearing most of it down except the bunks and re-doing […] Read more

Smoke from wildfires can definitely delay plant growth but the precise effect on crops and pastures is largely unknown because very little research has been done.

Impact of smoke on crops is more than a little hazy

Field crops are impacted but the science is scarce and the subject is very complex, say experts

After watching smoke choke the skies over their fields for three years running, producers in Alberta are increasingly asking what effect it’s all having on their crops. But unfortunately, little research has been done on the phenomenon. “It is so plant and environment specific,” said Jeremy Boychyn, research extension agronomist with Alberta Barley and Alberta […] Read more


Only a small percentage of producers are able to attend research and advanced agronomy demos like this one. So Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley have hired an extension agronomist to deliver research results back to farms in the province.

Extension agronomist aims to bridge gap between research and producers

The two crop commissions want their investment in research to be put to use on Alberta farms

Alberta’s wheat and barley commissions are determined to get their research into the hands of producers. They’ve hired a research extension agronomist to make sure that happens. “I don’t know if there’s anyone who has a similar role to me at this point,” said Jeremy Boychyn, who started his new job in October. The two […] Read more

It’s shaping up to be another very tough year for pastures and hay production.

Double whammy: Second dry year hits forages hard

With pastures suffering and hay supplies tight and expensive, fallback strategies are needed

It’s already a tough situation for forages, and fears are mounting that it will get worse. “We went into the winter in very dry conditions. We have had some rains as of late, but with perennial forage crops, their production is pre-set from the year before,” said Ed Shaw, president and chief executive officer of […] Read more