GFM Network News


What’s in a number? It could be a lot if it’s a favourable falling number. The results of this test (done in Cigi’s Winnipeg lab) are very high — numbers above 300 are considered good while those below 300 aren’t. Alberta Wheat argues farmers should be paid for a good falling number even if a visual inspection results in a lower grade.

Could a wheat sample test put money in your pocket?

Buyers are increasingly using falling number to determine wheat’s value — but farmers don’t get paid for that

Alberta Wheat is hailing a move by the Canadian Grain Commission to consider making tests for falling number and deoxynivalenol official grain-grading factors. “We want the grain commission to make a whole bunch of changes,” said chair Gary Stanford. “We think the grain should be sold by falling numbers… Everybody wants to sell at Grade […] Read more

Court ruling alone won’t fix ‘orphan’ well crisis

There are now more than 3,000 abandoned wells in Alberta, and many more that are no longer active

A Supreme Court ruling that puts cleanup ahead of creditors is a step forward — but won’t “make too much difference” to landowners with abandoned wells, says a director with the Alberta Surface Rights Federation. “The landowners are still going to be in a situation where they have to deal with contaminated land for maybe […] Read more


No herbicide even comes close to glyphosate’s popularity — or the controversy it generates.

No ordinary herbicide — glyphosate keeps making headlines

The world’s most widely used herbicide will continue to be one of agriculture’s biggest newsmakers

Two things happened to glyphosate over the past 15 years — it got a lot more popular and a lot more unpopular at the same time. There’s no question that most farmers love it. Although the most recent estimates are a few years old, farm use of glyphosate soared in this century. A major European […] Read more

Then and now, the times they keep on changing

While digging around in the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation Library and Archives in Cochrane last summer, reporter Jennifer Blair came across something she described as “a little bit of history,” namely Volume 01, Number 01 of this newspaper, bearing the date January 2004. Back then it was called The Alberta Express — the word Farmer wouldn’t […] Read more



The situation is grim for many ranchers, ABP warns province

Provincial officials will need to quickly roll out assistance programs if drought continues, says Charlie Christie

Alberta’s main cattle group is warning the provincial government to stand ready as a severe feed shortage could soon lead to a major culling of herds. Many ranchers depleted their hay stocks after a cold spring delayed pasture growth, and have seen only meagre production this summer in the face of dry, hot conditions, said […] Read more


Ward Middleton is a veteran of Alberta's organic scene.

Alberta organic industry hits new heights

There’s money to be made as organic becomes more mainstream and the industry matures

A surge in the number of organic crop producers in Alberta has boosted organic production on the Prairies to a level not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. That’s a key highlight of a new report from the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, an alliance of Organic Alberta and its counterparts in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. “The […] Read more

This photo of President Donald Trump was taken just before he announced missile attacks on Syria — a story which relegated fears of a trade war with China to the back pages.

Farmers wonder what’s next from mercurial president

The threat of a trade war has been pushed off the front pages, but continues to roil the farm sector

The phrase ‘that’s so last week’ is supposed to be ironic, but it’s an apt description for the ongoing whirlwind of trade measures coming out of the Oval Office.  Since ordering tariffs of 25 per cent on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods in early April, U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered more tariffs on […] Read more



The surge in Black Sea wheat is a huge — and underappreciated — threat, says Alberta producer Greg Porozni (left), seen here talking with Essa Al Ghurair, owner of the United Arab Emirates’ largest flour mill and canola crush plant, during a trade mission earlier this winter.

A tsunami of Black Sea wheat is flooding global markets

The Black Sea troika of wheat producers used to be minnows — now they’re giants and still growing

The Russians aren’t coming, they’ve already arrived. And they’ve been joined by the Kazakhs and Ukrainians. The surge of wheat exports from Black Sea producers into global grain markets isn’t new, but most Prairie farmers may not appreciate just how strong they’ve become. “Russia continues to dominate the global wheat export trade,” market analyst Marlene […] Read more