GFM Network News


Farm groups ‘disappointed’ by research cuts

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

Lakehead University to operate Thunder Bay ag station

The not-for-profit Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station’s quest for a longer-term operating plan has ended with a new operator, and a new name. The Ontario government recently announced it will transfer the TBARS’s operating and research programming responsibilities to Thunder Bay-based Lakehead University, which will now operate the site as Lakehead University Agricultural Research Station […] Read more


Farm groups welcome Ottawa’s research funding pledge

Agriculture Canada is giving positive signs that it will continue to invest in wheat and barley research

[UPDATED: Feb. 6, 2017] – Federal dollars are key to barley and wheat research in Alberta. Fortunately, there are a lot of signs that the Liberal government is willing to continue investing in it. “We’ve been happy with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,” said Jason Lenz, chair of Alberta Barley Commission. The federal government has been […] Read more

Reem Aboukhaddour is one of four new Ag Canada scientists hired in Alberta this year. Her focus is on diseases such as stripe rust, leaf spot, and fusarium head blight.

Ottawa opens its wallet: Ag research back on the front burner again

Top scientists hail the end of decades-long plunge in the number 
of Ag Canada agricultural researchers

Recent hirings at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are a sign that the long decline in research capability is over. “That they’re hiring is very positive,” said Ron DePauw, who established himself as one of the world’s top wheat breeders with his work at AAFC’s Swift Current station. “If you go back to 1973, there were […] Read more