GFM Network News

Mentorship program connects the lab with the cattle ranch

Two Alberta scientists are among the quartet of researchers in the 2019-20 edition of the Beef Researcher Mentorship program. The program pairs the researchers with innovative cattle producers and industry professionals — many from Alberta — for a one-year mentorship along with a travel budget to attend industry meetings, producer workshops, and farm tours. Among the […] Read more

A veterinarian with Alberta Agriculture says that any person raising pigs should be registered with Alberta Pork’s Swine Traceability system.

Everyone needs to be on traceability system

Even if you have just one pig, you should be registered with Premises Identification

If you raise pigs — whether in a commercial setting, on a natural or organic operation or in the backyard — get a Premises Identification. “During the outbreak, we used it for tracing, and we used it for notifying farms in the risk area,” said Dr. Julia Keenliside, veterinary epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. […] Read more


Relentless PED virus could return to hog barns at any time

An outbreak appears to be contained but incredibly hardy PEDv could reappear at any moment

We’ve got all of Saskatchewan between us — but that’s not enough to shield Alberta from the threat of a deadly pig virus that has swept across Manitoba. The virus that causes porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) is proving to be a challenge unlike any other — an incredibly hardy infectious agent able to travel […] Read more

Know your grain quality going into the bin

A provincial crop specialist is reminding producers to take a sample of each load going into the bin to get a representative overall sample. “The goal is to have a sample that has the same characteristics as the large volume of product that it represents,” said Neil Blue. Farmers should also consider using the Canadian […] Read more


Sure, drones draw a crowd, but like other farm tools today, they need to earn their keep by generating usable data that actually increases profits.

The farm data overload needs a fix

Ag tech event shows future of farming is data driven — but 'we're not there yet'

Jay Bruggencate has a bit of a bone to pick with the ag-tech industry. “We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into smart equipment that knows what it’s doing but can’t talk to each other,” said the Lacombe-area farmer at the recent AgSmart event at Olds College. “There’s so much data now available to us […] Read more

Numbers don’t lie — but can mislead if there’s not enough of them

When it comes to making decisions on the farm, the more data the better —
especially if that data comes from other farms

Did you know that there’s a direct correlation between the divorce rate in Maine and the per capita consumption of margarine in the States? It’s true. If you chart the data on a graph going back a decade or two, one line rises and falls with the other. That’s the problem with data like this […] Read more


At Hebert Grain Ventures, data from field operations -- as well as from employees, financial statements and a host of other sources -- is analyzed and used to find new ways to improve efficiency.

How one farm put data analytics to work

Saskatchewan grain farm makes money by assessing data on everything from employees to soil moisture

Most people say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But at Hebert Grain Ventures, their motto is, “If it’s not broke, you haven’t looked hard enough.” “We don’t believe that, just because we had a good year or a good yield, that’s enough,” said Evan Shout, the Saskatchewan farm’s chief financial officer. “If we […] Read more

A poor canola crop can be used for feed

Salvage canola crops can make good cattle feed, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “With dry conditions in the northern and southern parts of the province, late seeding and hailstorms in others, some canola crops could be candidates for salvaging and used for cattle feed,” said Barry Yaremcio. Canola plants in full bloom to […] Read more


Rig Hand owner and distiller Geoff Stewart repeatedly tried and failed to make a gin from fababeans. But the flowers were a much different story.

‘Gin is in’ — spirit’s sales soar here and abroad

Gin was all the rage in the Roaring ’20s — and it seems the cycle is repeating itself a century later. “Gin is in,” said Matthew Hendriks, distiller at Park Distillery in Banff. This simple message was put on a billboard between Calgary and Banff, and in front of the distillery itself, which opened in […] Read more

A slide is pictured behind members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a news conference on the Special Report on Climate Change and Land after IPCC's 50th session in Geneva on Aug. 8, 2019.

UN report on livestock and climate change gets lost in translation

Panel of climate change experts say meat production must be sustainable — but few noted that distinction

“Eat less meat” was the phrase of choice for describing a new report from the United Nations’ climate change panel. Those three words appeared in headlines in publications such as Time magazine, the National Post, and the Times of London. But the report itself said something different, said the science director of the Beef Cattle […] Read more


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