GFM Network News


Not every one of Alberta’s 12 applied research associations have as many staff as Chinook Applied Research Association (top) and Farming Smarter, but the $2 million the dozen groups collectively receive annually from the province’s new research agency doesn’t come close to covering their costs.

Prospects for ag research in Alberta still up in the air

New research agency is finding its feet but uncertainty abounds

Reading Time: 5 minutes Alberta’s new research funding body has made some progress over the last six months — but it’s still very much a work in progress. “It’s been a pretty hectic time for them with lots of growing pains, and there’s still lots of room for improvement, but we are getting support and hoping for improvements over […] Read more

RDAR hires chief executive

Reading Time: < 1 minute Mark Redmond is the new CEO of Results Driven Agriculture Research, the new body funding ag research in the province. He was most recently the director of incubation service at PEI BioAlliance and was previously associate dean at NAIT’s School of Health (from 2016-18) and an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta (2011-17) and […] Read more


Opinion: Are the changes to ag research really being led by farmers?

Opinion: Are the changes to ag research really being led by farmers?

The changes being made will have a major impact, but the issue isn’t attracting much attention

Reading Time: 3 minutes In February of 2016, I experienced something I will never forget. I witnessed farmers and ranchers unite across the province in passionate protest against the newly introduced Bill 6, the occupational health and safety legislation. We saw France-style farmer protests including tractor demonstrations and big crowds of angry folks. It reminded me of images I’ve […] Read more

Farm groups ‘disappointed’ by research cuts

Farm groups ‘disappointed’ by research cuts

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley say they are “disappointed at the level of research that will be conducted this year” by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The two farm groups say Ag Canada management has suggested field trials will only be about 30 per cent of capacity this year because of constraints created by the pandemic, […] Read more


AgCanada says public health orders will prevent it from doing field and lab work at its research centres, such as this one in Lethbridge. But universities and private research groups are doing plot work this summer, and cereal commissions want the department to continue with key research projects.

Pandemic threatens federal field research this year

But crop commissions urge AgCanada to follow example of universities, private researchers

Reading Time: 2 minutes COVID-19 threatens to sideline Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s field, greenhouse and lab research this year, but Prairie wheat and barley commissions that help to fund it want as many projects as possible to go ahead. In a statement issued April 24, AgCanada seemed to all but rule out field work this spring. “In response to […] Read more

The new agency’s mandate is to focus on research that produces direct benefits for farmers.

Province announces new ag research agency

The new Results Driven Agriculture Research will fund both pure and applied research for the crop and livestock sectors in Alberta

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s back to the future for ag research in Alberta. After holding a series of consultations across the province as well as an online survey, the provincial government has created a new organization that “takes the best parts of previous research models.” That’s a reference to two former agencies — the Alberta Livestock and Meat […] Read more


Alberta farm groups propose new research model

Alberta farm groups propose new research model

A ‘white paper’ by crop and livestock groups calls for a new way of doing things

Reading Time: 2 minutes The provincial government should “play a role” but needs to work closely with the ag sector to develop a new research funding model, say Alberta farm groups. “Both Agriculture Minister (Devin) Dreeshen and Premier (Jason) Kenney have been vocal about the need to put research back in the hands of producers,” Alberta Wheat and Alberta […] Read more

The revamp of provincial ag research needs to be done right or farmers won’t be able to “really realize our full growth potential, says Thorhild-area farmer Janine Paly.

What’s the future of agricultural research in Alberta?

The province wants a farmer-led ag research model but what that looks like is the big question

Reading Time: 5 minutes The shape of agriculture research in Alberta is changing — and what that change should look like is now up for debate. The provincial government held a series of “engagement” sessions with farmers this month (as well as an online survey) as a first step to creating a farmer-led research model. Alberta farmers seem to […] Read more


Olds College Smart Farm expanding thanks to gift of land

Olds College Smart Farm expanding thanks to gift of land

Reading Time: < 1 minute Olds College Smart Farm is expanding thanks to a gift of 320 acres of farmland from George and Marge Steckler. The Smart Farm was launched in 2018 with 110 acres and has since expanded to more than 2,000 acres. It features soil monitors, digital weather stations, wireless grain bin sensors, multispectral imaging, precision ag tools, […] Read more

The province wants its funding research to boost productivity on Alberta farms and plans to work closely with farmer-led research organizations to determine priorities. But it also plans to cut ag research spending by $34.1 million over the next four years.

Are you prepared to do more with less agricultural research?

That’s the question farm and research groups are facing as government and industry funding falls

Reading Time: 4 minutes There will be less government money and a renewed focus on boosting productivity on the farm, but the details of the province’s new plan for ag research are still up in the air. “We’d like to get to a point where we have a long-term vision for agricultural research — one that’s designed to be […] Read more