GFM Network News



There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to grazing management, says range management specialist Ross Adams. Shown here are cattle grazing south of Pincher Creek earlier in July.

Taking a fresh look at your land, cattle and grazing system

Range management principles are ‘fairly simple’ but applying them depends on local conditions

You might think you know your land inside and out, but getting back to basics can improve pasture productivity. “It’s important to look at this basic stuff because it helps tune the eye,” said Ross Adams, range management specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks. “It’s easier to integrate livestock into the system if you understand […] Read more


G3’s newly opened terminal in North Vancouver — which can load up to 6,500 tonnes an hour — is the latest improvement to a shipping network that has been moving unprecedented amounts of grain during the pandemic.

Railways ‘blowing the doors off’ with grain movement

It could be a record year for movement but bottlenecks remain despite heavy investment

Grain is flying off the Prairies now that it’s not competing with other sectors for space on the rail network. “We’ve always said that the terminals, the grain companies, and the processors feel that they can move more,” said Steve Pratte, manager of policy development at the Canadian Canola Growers Association. “This year, we’ve had […] Read more

U.S. farm aid began shooting up in 2018 thanks to Washington’s ‘market facilitation program’ but will go sky high this year after President Donald Trump pledged $16 billion for farmers hurt by the pandemic. “I tell you, you can go back to Abraham Lincoln, there’s no president who has treated the farmers as well as Trump,” the president said in announcing the payout in May.

Farm aid is raining down south of the border, but not in Canada

Alberta farmers say they don’t want bailouts – but effective risk management programs are needed

American farmers will receive record-high amounts of farm aid this year, but Canadian producers say they don’t want a handout — just a business risk management program that works. The current programs, such as AgriStability, don’t function well, said Sexsmith-area farmer Greg Sears. “It’s not predictable, it’s not timely, and it rarely pays out — […] Read more



This device, developed by Manitoba Agriculture, compares run-off (collected in the top row of jars) to water that seeps through soil. Management practices can significantly increase the ability of soil to absorb water — but water retention, organic matter, aggregation, soil structure compaction and nutrient cycling are all interconnected, says Farming Smarter researcher Gurbir Dhillon.

Soil health is a whole meal deal, says researcher

The properties of healthy soils are interlinked and good management addresses all of them, says Gurbir Dhillon

Your soil is a little like a supply chain — an interconnected series of chemical, physical, and biological interactions that help make your lands productive and your crops profitable. But just one weak link in that chain can cause problems on your farm. “Soil is irreplaceable, so it has to be sustainable,” said Gurbir Dhillon, […] Read more


Forage mixes generally include species from four different categories — warm-season broadleaf plants and grasses along with cool-season broadleaf plants and grasses.

Pick the right forage for productivity and profitability

Productivity in many Alberta pastures is so low it ‘doesn’t pay a lot of bills,’ says forage specialist

There’s an elephant in your pasture. “The elephant is disappointment,” said Grant Lastiwka, forage specialist with Union Forage. “When you start to look at the average, Alberta hay yields are around 1.3 tonnes per acre across the province. That’s a low number. “When we look at pasture, all we’re getting in grazing days across many […] Read more

A first batch of 60 Starlink satellites — each about the size of a table and weighing about 500 pounds — were stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket and put in orbit in May 2019. More batches have been deployed and SpaceX plans to put thousands in place in a low orbit just a few hundred miles above the Earth’s surface.

Out-of-this-world rural internet speeds still a long way off

Famed entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to bring affordable, high-speed internet to rural Canada, but experts are wary

SpaceX is shooting for the moon with the promise of reliable high-speed internet for rural Canadians — but farmers might want to keep their expectations a little more grounded, at least for now. Last month, the space exploration company owned by Elon Musk (of PayPal and Tesla fame applied for several Basic International Telecommunications Service […] Read more



Sales of his farm’s organic produce have risen during the pandemic, says Andrew Mans.

Organic sector sees strong demand even as pandemic batters consumers

COVID has challenged province’s organic growers but their customers have remained loyal

Demand for organic food hasn’t been slowed by the pandemic even though many consumers have struggled with job losses and reduced income. “The thing that’s been most surprising is seeing that the demand for organic continues, despite the income level people are at,” said Tia Loftsgard, executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association. “Organic […] Read more