GFM Network News


This CP derailment in February near Guernsey — the second in two months near the Saskatchewan hamlet — prompted the federal transport minister to restrict the speed of trains carrying crude oil or liquid petroleum gas. Those rules, which could have impacted movement of other rail freight, have been dialled back under certain conditions.

Minister revises order on rail speed limits in cold weather

Higher-risk trains can back up other rail traffic; revised order eases some restrictions

The federal transport minister has revised an order that railways feared would unnecessarily slow down freight traffic on frigid winter days. The new rule dials back one issued last spring after the fiery derailment of a CP Rail train carrying crude oil near Guernsey, Sask. in February. Although the order by the federal transport minister was […] Read more

Give a thought to serving on a farm group, says outgoing barley chair

You’ll not only help your fellow farmers but learn a lot and meet ‘great people,’ says Dave Bishop

Getting producers to serve on farm groups can sometimes be a challenge — but those who do typically say it’s been a great experience. And that includes outgoing Alberta Barley chair Dave Bishop. “We all have term limits and my term is up,” said Bishop, who farms near Barons. “It’s been a bit of a […] Read more


Call to pay dairy farmers to quit misses the mark, says Alberta Milk

Report predicts half of dairy farms will go out of business in a decade without sweeping changes in the sector

Report predicts half of dairy farms will go out of business in a decade without sweeping changes in sector

CORRECTED, Nov. 19 — Alberta’s milk sector faces challenges — but a call to pay farmers to quit the business and to overhaul the entire system is off base, say industry officials here. A recent report from the Agri-Food Analytics Lab says that without major changes, Canada could lose half of its dairy farms in […] Read more

Replacing canals with underground pipes will cut water loss from evaporation and leakage — enough to irrigate an additional 200,000 acres in southern Alberta.

More crop per drop — irrigation gets ‘historic’ cash injection

New $815-million project will irrigate another 200,000 acres without any additional water allocation

There are a lot of big numbers behind a “historic” expansion of southern Alberta’s irrigation system, but also the smallest possible one — zero. That’s the amount of extra water that will, or rather won’t, be needed to add more than 200,000 irrigated acres that will be created by a $815-million project, officials say. “With […] Read more


Railways say they’re more prepared than ever

Increased capital spending and better technology will improve performance, CN and CP both say

When the federal government passed the Transportation Modernization Act in 2018, the headline news was the requirement for railways to negotiate level-of-service agreements with grain companies — and face penalties for poor service. But the act also requires the railways to produce ‘winter plans’ to show how they’ll keep grain moving when the weather turns […] Read more

Battered pork sector proposes ‘simple solution’ to trigger aid

Upping the payout from AgriStability would throw a lifeline to hog producers facing ruin, says pork council

With pork producers fighting to stay afloat but government unwilling to step in, industry leaders have come up with a new pitch: Instead of making it easier to get assistance, have AgriStability pay out more when things are really bad. In a recent letter to the country’s ag ministers, Canadian Pork Council chair Rick Bergmann […] Read more


Agriculture can lead Alberta out of pandemic woes, say leaders

Blue ribbon panel offers six-point action plan to make sector a driver of provincial growth

Agriculture could be a driver of growth in Alberta and offers “mountains of opportunities for growth, investment and jobs,” says a report from a high-profile panel of ag sector players. The panel was one part of a wider group of experts and business leaders asked by Premier Jason Kenney to make recommendations on how to […] Read more

Nationally, farm net cash income was $12.95 billion, up six per cent overall

Not the best of times, but farm income rose in 2019

After a big drop two years ago, net income rose last year — and cannabis became a major crop

Alberta farm income more than doubled last year. But it’s not as good as it sounds, even if you have been indulging in some of what is suddenly the province’s third-largest cash crop. Net farm income in Alberta in 2019 was just north of $671 million — which is well above the 2018 figure of […] Read more


The joy that comes from slowing down and “hanging out” has been one of the key things that Kevin and Rosalie Steeves — and many others — have learned during the pandemic. Supplied

Life and its blessings continue during these troubled times

Little joys have new meaning and family time has taken on new significance on farms across the province

Getting ready for the new baby and celebrating the one newly born. Having coffee with your spouse. Checking out some four-legged farm visitors. Getting a bit goofy on social media. Pausing to appreciate the arrival of spring. On farms across Alberta, special moments abound during these stressful and unprecedented times. And they are worth celebrating. […] Read more

Meat-processing plants across North America have had to temporarily close because workers have contracted COVID-19. But the Canadian beef sector is particularly vulnerable because two Alberta plants process nearly 75 per cent of the country’s cattle.

Alberta’s cattle sector takes a direct hit from pandemic

Packing plant closures create a backlog that quickly affects the entire production chain

It’s going to be painful, but hopefully COVID-19 in packing plants won’t turn into a nightmare scenario, say the president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and a leading food industry expert. Alberta’s two big facilities — Cargill’s High River plant and JBS’s Brooks plant — process nearly 75 per cent of the country’s beef. Combined, […] Read more