GFM Network News


Opinion: On cereal commissions. Collaboration? Yes. Amalgamation? No

Opinion: On cereal commissions. Collaboration? Yes. Amalgamation? No

Sharing staff has been good for Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley, but having one board wouldn’t be wise

Reading Time: 3 minutes At FarmTech last month, the membership of the Alberta Wheat Commission passed a resolution to explore the possibility of one governance structure with the Alberta Barley Commission. Alberta Barley passed a similar resolution at its AGM in December. The exploratory process shouldn’t be clouded by turf wars on the employee side of things since the […] Read more

If a proposed merger results in one national seed organization with regulating authority, then companies selling seed to farmers will have greater control.

Opinion: When it comes to rules, it matters who writes them

Reading Time: 4 minutes I recently read The Myth of Capitalism where author Jonathan Tepper argues that if competition is a key tenet of capitalism, then it’s a myth to say the 21st-century economy is capitalistic. Many industries lack true competition and are dominated by monopolies and oligopolies, allowing them to charge higher prices and pay lower wages. One […] Read more


The Alberta Federation of Agriculture and its Prairie counterparts are proposing a new model for funding variety development.

Third alternative for seed royalties proposed

The model uses an end point royalty system but some of the money would go for public-interest research

Reading Time: 3 minutes Attendees at the joint annual meetings of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association and the Canadian Seed Trade Association heard about a proposed model for seed royalties endorsed by the general farm organizations of the three Prairie provinces. Although lacking in specifics, the value creation model, presented by Alberta Federation of Agriculture president and Enchant-area farmer […] Read more

It breaks your heart — and sends your stress levels soaring: Irmi and Barry Critcher in a canola field this summer and in the same field earlier this month.

The long wait: Delayed harvest wears you down

The stress isn’t just in the mind — and talking things out will lessen those physiological drivers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Fatigue when working long hours is a serious safety concern on farms — but another kind of exhaustion often sets in when farmers want to be out in the field, but are hampered by poor weather. “Even though we aren’t actually combining and it’s not physically taxing, the fatigue can still be there,” said Hannah […] Read more


Many months pass from seed year to seed year. Do you have a checklist to prepare your equipment and employees before they take to the field?

Things go better with standard operating procedures

All sorts of companies have so-called SOPs — because they save time and grief, and empower employees

Reading Time: 3 minutes Pilots complete checklists before every flight, even when flying the same plane several times a week. Farm equipment operators, on the other hand, often rely on their memory from 11 months ago when they start up the air drill or other equipment at the beginning of a new season. Some farm owners and managers, however, […] Read more