GFM Network News


Since you can’t ask a cow if it’s happy, Irish researchers came up with an innovative way to try and figure out if they suffer from “livestock lockdown.”

Researchers ask, ‘Do you feel lucky, cow?’

Apparently cows on pasture do, according to an experiment that attempted to measure ‘judgment bias’

Reading Time: 2 minutes Irish researchers say they’ve been able — sort of — to show that cows that aren’t allowed out on pasture “may have damaged emotional well-being.” But the research from Queen’s University Belfast relied on a roundabout method to come to the conclusion that “livestock lockdown” takes a mental toll on cows. The researchers set up […] Read more

Jason Kenney, who made scrapping the carbon tax a centrepiece of his election campaign, allied with Ontario Premier Doug Ford (who came to a rally in Calgary in the fall of 2018) in a court challenge to the levy. Now that the Supreme Court has sided with Ottawa, Kenney said he is considering “all options” for a made-in-Alberta levy.

Made-in-Alberta carbon tax poised to return, but no details yet

Farm groups want carbon capture payments, premier says ‘all options’ on the table

Reading Time: 3 minutes Premier Jason Kenney isn’t saying what’s next after losing a court battle to declare the carbon tax unconstitutional — but his options appear to be limited. “There are better ways to help the environment than by punishing people for living ordinary lives, for heating their homes and driving to work,” Kenney said following the Supreme […] Read more


The latest change to AgriStability is a significant improvement but producers still need a proper business risk management program, says Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president Bob Lowe, who ranches and has a feedlot near Nanton.

It’s a start but farm groups and governments eye bigger changes to AgriStability

Changes to the federal farm support program get generally favourable reviews, but calls for a better program aren’t going away

Reading Time: 5 minutes Better, but not great. And let’s come up with something that really works. Those two sentiments characterized most of the comments about the recently agreed-to change to AgriStability. And most producers would add ‘still really complicated’ as the decision by Ottawa and the provinces to scrap the ‘reference margin limit’ will impact individual farms in […] Read more

A coalition of national farm organizations say farmers’ stewardship efforts should be recognized in the new carbon credit program.

Giving credit where it’s due: New front opens in carbon tax debate

Farmers could benefit greatly from a carbon trading market but the devil will be in the details

Reading Time: 3 minutes A new front has opened up in the carbon tax debate: What sort of reward will farmers get for their stewardship efforts? On March 6, the federal Environment Department — now named Environment and Climate Change Canada — issued a draft of the regulatory framework for its new carbon offset market. This sets the stage […] Read more


The social media chatter and news stories started spreading when the butter stopped being so easy to apply on a slice of bread.

‘Buttergate’ has dairy sector on the defensive

Hard-to-spread butter suddenly becomes an international controversy on what Canadian dairy farmers feed their cows

Reading Time: 2 minutes It started with a few tweets and texts, but escalated into an issue that drew international attention — and a vow from the chair of Alberta Milk “to do better.” It began with people wondering why their butter no longer spread easily at room temperature before suddenly turning into a controversy over what dairy farmers […] Read more

These three pictures from last summer tell a mighty tale of what irrigation can do: On the left, Jason Hale’s granddaughter Blayk stands in a forage corn crop on his Bassano-area farm on June 21; the middle photo was taken July 7; and the one on the right was taken July 21. “It’s amazing how fast this corn grows in two weeks,” Hale tweeted when posting the July 21 photo.

Irrigation mega-project takes next big step

Farmers in southeast back plan for huge expansion of Snake Lake Reservoir

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farmers in southeast Alberta have given a big thumbs up to a major chunk of a historic $815-million expansion of the province’s irrigation system. Three-quarters of the 648 producers in the Eastern Irrigation District who voted in a plebiscite last month cast ballots in favour of an irrigation allotment increase that allows a $170-million expansion […] Read more


Some beleaguered hog farmers want production cuts

Some beleaguered hog farmers want production cuts

In another sign of distress, six growers asked Alberta Pork to lead efforts to cut production

Reading Time: 2 minutes Some hog producers are urging Alberta Pork to lead a charge to cut pig production in the province. The unusual request is the latest instalment in an ongoing effort to staunch the flow of red ink in the province’s hog sector. But leading an effort to cut production in a bid to win higher prices […] Read more

Both CP Rail and CN Rail continue to set records for grain movement and that’s earning praise from farm groups that had long been at odds with the railways.

Record-setting performance earns kudos for railways

Farm group offers its congratulations but says improved grain movement needs to ‘stay that way’

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s something that would have seemed unimaginable even a few years ago — a major grain group issuing a news release just to praise the performance of the two big railways. “The Western Canadian Wheat Growers offers congratulations to both CN Rail and CP for the record volume of grain and grain products moved in […] Read more


“It was really invaluable that immediately after it was updated, I’d have all that information at my fingertips.” – Tyler Fulton.

Having cattle data at your fingertips makes for better decisions, says producer

Tyler Fulton says a tool for inputing and accessing data on his smartphone has proven its worth

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ever tweeted out a histogram? Tyler Fulton has — and for the very practical reason that it showed at a glance the weight gain of his latest calf crop from birth to weaning. “When we were marketing some steers in the fall, I actually got on Twitter and shared this information,” said the cow-calf producer […] Read more

Ottawa’s plan to increase the carbon tax will greatly up the price tag for grain drying, and transport will cost farmers “hundreds of millions of dollars in Saskatchewan alone,” says the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.

Carbon tax will increase costs by $12 an acre, says farm group

Costs for drying and shipping grain will soar as carbon tax rises, says APAS

Reading Time: 2 minutes Boosting the carbon tax to $170 per tonne will push up the cost of producing and transporting wheat by $12.50 an acre, says the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS). Three-quarters of that cost will come from the additional cost for propane for drying wheat and from a surcharge that CN and CP Rail will […] Read more