GFM Network News


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


A ‘tech cold war’ being waged by Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump; the African swine fever outbreak; and the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou have set in motion a chain of events that could pummel grain farmers here.

SIDE-SWIPED: The stars are not lining up for Alberta farmers

A series of unforeseeable events has suddenly set 
the stage for a return to the bad old days of the 1980s

A pig disease that’s been around for a century. A new ‘tech cold war’ between Beijing and Washington. A mercurial American president who calls himself “the tariff man.” These are the unlikely set of factors that are threatening to pummel grain markets — and the incomes of Alberta’s grain producers. “I am not looking at […] Read more

While other ag sectors have been roiled by politics or other issues, the cattle sector has been steady.

Stability of Steady Eddie cattle market is the envy of other sectors

Calf prices a bit higher, exports edging up, and despite a smaller herd, processing is doing well

There have been a few small hiccups but unlike much of the ag sector, the cattle market has been blissfully uneventful in recent months. “Calf prices are generally higher than a year ago. We’re seeing our calf and feeder prices 15 to 20 cents higher than a year ago, which is pretty positive,” said Brian […] Read more


If you seed 20 plants per square foot, an average of 10 will emerge, says the Canola Council of Canada — a number that provides insurance in case frost, pests, and disease kill off a few more seedlings. But if conditions are good, 
you could lower your seeding rate.

Dealing with the canola crisis on your farm

Controlling costs, marketing plans, and finances should all be on your radar

No one can predict what China will do next when it comes to Canadian canola. There are certain things that you can do on your farm, but producers face some tough decisions when it comes to deciding what to spend on inputs, when to pull the trigger on sales, and whether to take a large […] Read more



The number of horses infected with West Nile jumps in Alberta

The number of cases nationally more than doubled last year, with more than half in Alberta

West Nile virus is becoming a more serious issue in horses — rates are rising in Alberta and a third of the horses which become infected will die. But there is a way to protect your horses, said veterinarian Melissa Smith of West Wind Veterinary Hospital in Sherwood Park. “There are vaccines available for West […] Read more

Soil scientist David Lobb has criss-crossed the country to talk about soil health, but the issue isn’t getting nearly the attention it deserves, says the University of Manitoba professor.

Soil degradation the forgotten issue

Reducing tillage and summerfallow hasn’t fixed a problem that is costing farmers billions every year

Soil degradation in Canada is causing a huge economic loss — but few people are paying attention. That includes farmers, even though degraded soil is significantly reducing their yields, according to University of Manitoba soil scientist David Lobb. “Soil erosion accounts for a loss of about 10 per cent,” he said. “Farmers are only getting […] Read more


Burying a pair of cotton shorts in the soil is one way that soil enthusiasts can raise awareness about soil health.

Underwear campaign fun with a serious purpose

The goal is to promote awareness that soils are living, breathing entities — and need protection

It seems like just a fun, even silly, thing to do — bury a pair of underwear made of white cotton, and then dig them up a couple of months later to see what soil microbes have done to them. But the Soil Your Undies campaign has a very serious purpose: To show people that […] Read more