GFM Network News



Whether to go for malt or for feed is “a question a lot of farmers are asking themselves,” says the markets manager for Alberta Barley.

It’s not glamorous, but feed barley is a bright spot

Demand has shot up over the past year but there’s a caveat — China has been the big buyer

Barley growers will have a tough choice this spring: Target an oversaturated malt market or go for the red-hot one — feed barley. “It’s got to be a question a lot of farmers are asking themselves, especially if you’re in a region where feed and malt prices have been about the same,” said Geoff Backman, […] Read more


Most producers live a long way from the Alberta legislature, but what happens there affects their bottom line.

Alberta votes: The Big 3 issues for the province’s farm sector

Farm leaders say that keeping producers competitive is key, and why these issues must be addressed

Farm safety. The carbon tax. Research funding. These are the issues that are top of mind for Alberta’s farm leaders heading into the April 16 provincial election. And no matter which party Albertans elect, provincial farm leaders hope to see some movement on some critical policy decisions. “Oftentimes, agriculture gets overlooked among other sectors in […] Read more

More ag issues for Alberta’s next government

There are a host of issues that affect farm profitability — 
here are seven key ones

The carbon tax, research funding, and farm safety are three top-of-mind issues for Alberta’s farm leaders heading into the provincial election — but they’re not the only ones. Here’s what seven farm leaders had to say about other priorities for the next provincial government: 1. Market access “We want to make sure that, with these […] Read more



Safety improvements for bins was one of the biggest expenses at Will Farms, but the cost was covered by a provincial grant.

Safety is the new norm at Will Farms

Elaine Bellamy says not having a farm 
safety plan is a risk you simply can’t afford

Elaine Bellamy suspected she had her work cut out for her when the provincial government announced its plans to improve farm safety in the fall of 2015. So in January 2016, just as the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act was coming into effect, Bellamy attended a workshop on creating a farm safety […] Read more


St. Paul-area farmer Lynn Dargis developed the grain-pricing app to make it easier for farmers to compare grain prices.

Alberta producer creates an ‘Expedia for grain prices’

Farmbucks compares grain prices on offer from buyers in Western Canada

Lynn Dargis was fed up trying to compare grain prices last winter. A busy farmer with a 4,400-acre grain operation, 2,000-head feedlot, and three small children, Dargis didn’t always have time to log into each grain buyer’s website to find the best prices. But she also knew she couldn’t afford to leave money on the […] Read more

This is not the sort of shot you want to post on Instagram, but it’s going to be a more common scene in Alberta this year — especially in the south.

Expect a full blast of kochia this spring

The tumbleweed already has the south in its grip and two years of dry conditions have made it stronger

[UPDATED: Mar. 26, 2019] Alberta kochia populations have exploded following back-to-back years of dry growing conditions. “Kochia was one of the worst weed problems across the southern Prairies last year,” said federal research scientist Charles Geddes. “If we have another dry year this year, there will certainly be issues with kochia management.” The past two […] Read more


Provincial officials are hunting high and low for the source of the virus causing porcine epidemic diarrhea 
but it’s been a “frustrating” process.

Hunt for deadly porcine virus thwarted at every turn

Officials have gone to extraordinary lengths to find out how porcine epidemic diarrhea arrived here


The porcine epidemic diarrhea continues to spread while officials conduct a relentless, but exasperating, search for how the deadly virus is breaching biosecurity defences. Just two days before the fourth case was confirmed on March 15, officials outlined their exhaustive detective work to track down how the virus came to Alberta and how it is […] Read more

Hemp growers can now look at three markets — grain, flowers, and fibre — and that’s a game changer, says Jan Slaski, a longtime advocate of the crop.

Cannabis legalization opens the doors to new hemp markets

Hemp seed has driven most of Alberta production, but CBD offers rich promise for the future

Jan Slaski was one of many Canadians who celebrated last fall’s passage of the act legalizing cannabis — but not for the reasons you might think. After 17 years of researching industrial hemp, Slaski was simply excited what he views as the next Cinderella crop might finally make it to the ball. “It’s a game […] Read more