GFM Network News

More irrigation being contemplated

More irrigation being contemplated

Reading Time: < 1 minute More irrigation could be coming to Alberta. A study will be undertaken to see if expanding irrigation in the Special Areas and the MD of Acadia is doable, the province says. The Special Areas board and municipality are working with the province and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (which put up most of the money for […] Read more

The Chin Reservoir — which is earmarked for expansion under an $815-million trilateral agreement — provides water to three irrigation districts: St. Mary, Raymond and Taber. Pictured is the Chin Reservoir where it feeds into the Stafford Reservoir.

Major expansion of Chin Reservoir being planned

The Chin will be one of two reservoir expansions in historic 200,000-acre irrigation project

Reading Time: 4 minutes Details of an $815-million irrigation expansion agreement are slowly trickling in. The Chin Reservoir is one of two off-stream reservoirs to be expanded as part of adding more than 200,000 acres to the province’s 1.7 million acres of existing irrigation, an irrigation district official said. “We’re still in the planning stages of how much we’re […] Read more


Indigenous farming has a rich, although largely lost, history but many communities want to make ag part of their future, said Shaun Soonias, director of Indigenous relations for Farm Credit Canada.

Indigenous communities eye opportunities in agriculture

Farming has largely become a lost skill but there’s a keen interest in both production and value adding

Reading Time: 3 minutes Costly land. Labour shortages. Knowledge gaps. Expensive equipment. New farmers in Canada face plenty of hurdles — but for a growing number of Indigenous producers, those barriers are even bigger. “We see a tremendous amount of interest in all forms of agriculture,” said Shaun Soonias, director of Indigenous relations for Farm Credit Canada. “But a […] Read more

Ag lender pledges new approach to Indigenous people

Reading Time: < 1 minute The country’s top ag lender says that in order to serve Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs, it needs to “better understand” them. “Diversification of Canada’s agriculture and food industry is one of our top priorities,” said Michael Hoffort, president and CEO of Farm Credit Canada. “It begins with developing a deeper understanding of Indigenous agriculture — […] Read more


The stunning beauty of the Eastern Slopes makes it easy to understand opposition to coal mining in the area. But those who live and ranch there, like John Smith of the Plateau Cattle Company, say the threat extends far further east as the watershed is critical for the farms, ranches and feedlots on the plains below.

COAL MINING: Quiet policy change sparks a fast-spreading uproar

Ranchers and landowners unite and gird for battle after province opens the door to new mines

Reading Time: 7 minutes [UPDATED: April 20, 2021] The threat of open-pit mining in the Eastern Slopes has Laura Laing spending hours every day researching everything from coal exploration techniques to selenium contamination. It has Callum Sears frustrated and angry. And they are just two of a host of ranchers and landowners in the southern foothills — and beyond […] Read more

Borders would still close if a wild pig was found to be infected with African swine fever, but the agreement allows a country to create “control zones.”

Swine fever containment plan agreed to

Reading Time: < 1 minute If African swine fever ever found its way into wild pigs in Canada, exports of pigs and pork would come to a screeching halt — even if commercial hog farms were totally free of infection. But food inspection agencies in Ottawa and Washington have come up with a plan to “minimize trade impacts while protecting […] Read more


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

Farmers needed for new national mental health survey

Farmers needed for new national mental health survey

Survey closes May 7

Reading Time: < 1 minute Researchers at the University of Guelph are seeking farmers to take part in a new national survey on mental health. The online survey being conducted by the Ontario Veterinary College seeks to understand the impacts of work on the mental health of farmers. Findings from this study will provide further insight into data previously collected […] Read more


Cereal groups launch joint website

Cereal groups launch joint website

Reading Time: < 1 minute They haven’t reached the altar yet, but Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley have taken another step down the aisle by launching a joint website at albertawheatbarley.com. The two cereal commissions moved to a combined management structure in 2018 and are in the midst of considering a full merger. A committee is currently putting together a […] Read more

Farmers asked to back gene editing

Farmers asked to back gene editing

Reading Time: < 1 minute Producers are being asked to urge Health Canada to adopt “fair and reasonable rules” for gene editing. The department is conducting a public consultation on “novel food” guidelines, which could impact use of gene editing by plant breeders. Canada has not kept pace with other countries, says an alliance of national farm groups and industry […] Read more


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