GFM Network News


The increase in farmland prices in the first half of the year was normal, but price rises may slow because of the drought.

Land Prices: Interest still high, pocketbooks thinner

Scarce listings get a lot of looks, but drought may curb price rises

Reading Time: 4 minutes The hot weather this summer may cool the price rise for Alberta farmland this winter — but there are still plenty of farmers looking to add acres, say experts. Prior to the drought, the increase in land prices was typical for the first half of the year, said Kuuri Carlson, an appraiser with Farm Credit […] Read more

Soil electrical conductivity data can reveal a lot about a field, says Lewis Baarda, seen here placing an instrument called an EM38 in a sled prior to field mapping.

Could soil electrical conductivity maps give productivity a little jolt?

This easy-to-obtain data could be a way to use fertilizer and irrigation more effectively

Reading Time: 4 minutes You might get a charge out of this — measuring the ability of soil to conduct electricity, turning that info into field maps of moisture, and then using that info to fertilize or irrigate more effectively. Soil electrical conductivity is something that may already be measured on your farm. “Often if farmers are getting their […] Read more


While these busy guys can cause problems, they also provide a host of valuable ecological services, says riparian specialist Kerri O’Shaughnessy.

They can be troublemakers, but beavers do a lot of good, too

There are low-cost ways to prevent the busy dam builders from causing flooding and other damage

Reading Time: 3 minutes Beavers have been given a bad rap, but they can benefit the landscape — and there are ways of coexisting with them. “People are beginning to recognize the value of beaver and how they might be able to help us as a society navigate some of the challenges we are facing,” riparian specialist Kerri O’Shaughnessy […] Read more

It just makes “more sense to work with Mother Nature,” says Nora Paulovich, who has played a pivotal role promoting soil health practices in Alberta.

Research leader’s passion for soil health proves infectious

Reading Time: 4 minutes Nora Paulovich developed a passion for soil health during her years leading the North Peace Applied Research Association. Her legacy is that so many other Alberta farmers now share her belief that building soil health needs to be Job 1 on their farms. Cover crops, integrating livestock into crop production, and regenerative agriculture were among […] Read more


The SHARP program is a way to know your land better, improve management practices and demonstrate stewardship efforts, says Melissa Downing, pictured with husband Murray and their children Colten and Rayna.

Using a conservation assessment as a springboard

Program offers a check on wildlife and ranch health, and works with ranchers to make improvements

Reading Time: 4 minutes Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got until you have a wildlife habitat assessment done. That was the case for Melissa and Murray Downing, who were among the first to participate in a relatively new initiative by the Alberta Conservation Association. “We learned a lot about the different species that exist here,” said Melissa who […] Read more

Kendra Donnelly, pictured with husband Bryan and son Owen, is featured in a new video sponsored by McDonald’s Canada. Being open and telling the story of sustainable beef remains critical, says an expert in global beef supply chains.

Sustainable beef has made big gains, but there’s more to do

Beef industry now needs to achieve ambitious targets to combat climate change, says expert

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s beef sector is a model when it comes to sustainability but the entire industry has more to do in the face of a changing climate, says an expert in global beef supply chains. “Our needs today are changing rapidly — with the widespread droughts in some places and flooding in others,” Tim Hardman of […] Read more


Cynthia Beck is a master’s student in clinical psychology, and works in rural mental health in Saskatchewan. She offered some tips on how to manage stress and mental health challenges during a recent webinar.

In times of crisis, putting the farm first can be a big mistake

Neglecting your mental health during times of high stress is not the way to treat your farm’s top asset

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farming is stressful at the best of times, and with drought piled on top of a pandemic, the farm community is currently experiencing “really high rates of chronic stress,” says an expert. And it’s actually made worse by the strong work ethic of producers when times get tough, said Cynthia Beck, a crop and cattle […] Read more

The number of breeding cows in the U.S. has dropped by a million head, which is one of the factors that’s been driving wholesale beef prices higher.

Cattle producers struggle but beef suppliers are doing just fine

Wholesale beef prices at record levels but those strong prices haven’t made their way to producers

Reading Time: 3 minutes The good news is that beef prices are extremely strong, even in the face of record beef production in North America. “We have record-high wholesale beef prices right now,” CANFAX manager and senior analyst Brian Perillat said at the recent (and virtual) Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Unfortunately, cattle prices are just not responding. “That’s been […] Read more


It’s way more profitable to ship containers back to China empty, says the vice-president of WTC Group, which has two West Coast container
terminals, including this one in Delta, B.C.

Backhaul gets the heave-ho in red-hot shipping container market

Container shipping in a mess, not expected to restore itself at least until 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes The shipping container mess created by the pandemic will likely last until at least 2022, says the vice-president of a West Coast container transloading company. “Steamship lines across the globe are all playing catch-up with the import movements from across Asia and North America,” said Jordan Atkins, vice-president of WTC Group in New Westminster, B.C. […] Read more

peas lethbridge

It’s been anything but business as usual for pulse sector this year

It’s not just the drought hitting production — global demand is up, shipping disrupted and processing plants coming online

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s definitely unusual times for the Prairie pulse sector, and save for a lucky few, it’s a year most will be glad to see the back of. “It’s rare to see such a large cross-section of the industry impacted by drought, but that is very much the case here,” said Pulse Canada president Greg Cherewyk. […] Read more