GFM Network News


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

Former CGC assistant chief commissioner broke conflict rules

Jim Smolik, a former Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) assistant chief and acting chief commissioner, contravened post-employment obligations under the federal Conflict of Interest Act while working for Cargill Canada. That’s according to a 24-page report released May 30 by Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion. Dion ruled Smolik breached Sections 33 and 35(2) […] Read more


Canada gearing up to slap more tariffs on U.S. imports

Canada will update its list of U.S. imports, including farm products, on which it will place tariffs in retaliation to U.S. tariffs on imported Canadian steel and aluminum, David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, said Monday. “The intention… is not to escalate anything but simply to do what we said we’d do — […] Read more

Richardson International, which spent $140 million to expand its port terminal in North Vancouver in 2016, had its registration to ship canola to China cancelled on March 1 — a move that sent shock waves through the entire canola sector.

Growers fear a China crisis over canola

Farmers are worried but quiet diplomacy is the best option, says Alberta Canola official

Wait and hope. And test. That’s about all Alberta canola growers can do as what appears to be political gamesmanship by China plays out. News that Canada’s biggest buyer of the oilseed had cancelled Richardson International’s registration to ship canola prompted worried producers to call the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. “At first it was kind of […] Read more


China stops buying Canadian canola

China has stopped buying any Canadian canola, says Canola Council of Canada president Jim Everson. “The Chinese are unwilling to purchase Canadian canola (from any company) at this time,” he said Thursday. “Trade that was executed earlier is continuing. New sales are what appears to be affected.” Earlier this month China blocked canola imports from […] Read more

Canada working to end China’s canola block, Freeland says

Montreal — The Canadian government is working hard to reopen Richardson International’s Canadian canola markets in China, says Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs. “We’re working closely with Canadian farmers and Canadian industry,” Freeland said in a brief interview after speaking at the Canadian Crops Convention (CCC) here Wednesday. “Our embassy is very focused […] Read more


China’s block on canola seen as blowback from diplomatic spat

Montreal — Canola industry leaders attending the first Canadian Crops Convention here this week say they don’t know why China has abruptly blocked imports of Canadian canola from Richardson International, Canada’s biggest grain company. But according to a senior Richardson official it’s in retaliation to the diplomatic spat between China and Canada over the arrest […] Read more

Farm groups blast grain commission for refusing to give back surplus

Federal grain agency plans to spend $90 million on more services, but farm leaders want fees reduced

Alberta’s wheat and barley commissions and the Grain Growers of Canada are unhappy that the Canadian Grain Commission won’t be giving back $90 million in surplus service fees it collected from Prairie farmers. “Over the past five to six years, the Canadian Grain Commission has built up a surplus of funds based on user fees […] Read more


The Canadian Grain Commission will use individual standard samples for frost/heat stress and mildew replacing the current combined standard samples as the assessment tools for these grading factors in all classes of western Canadian wheat starting Aug. 1. This photo shows various amounts of mildew versus a sound sample.

Grain commission tweaks grading tests for start of new crop year

New test for assessing mildew and heat/frost stress will prevent unnecessary downgrading of wheat

Grading factors for mildew and heat/frost stress when grading western Canadian wheat will be tweaked starting Aug. 1, the start of the 2018-19 crop year, the Canadian Grain Commission has announced. “It’s not a significant difference,” said Daryl Beswitherick, the grain commission’s program manager for quality assurance standards and reinspection. “The frequency of the factors […] Read more

CFIA has done the DNA studies on GM wheat found in an Alberta ditch but is no closer to answering how it got there.

Where did GM wheat found in Alberta come from?

So far, there seems to be no logical explanation on how the GM wheat came to exist

The mystery over how seven plants of genetically modified wheat wound up growing next to an Alberta field access road will take some time to unravel. This high-tech whodunit has regulators scratching their heads to figure out how a known glyphosate-resistance gene from Monsanto got into an unknown variety of wheat hundreds of kilometres from […] Read more