GFM Network News


Agronomy update to carry on, but in a virtual setting

The province’s four big crop commissions are “working together to continue the legacy of Agronomy Update.” The annual conference, formerly put on by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, will be a virtual affair this winter. This year’s event will be held Jan. 19-20 and will feature “a slate of high-quality speakers on a range of interesting […] Read more

Tips for your dugout inspection this fall

When checking your dugouts this fall, start with the area that feeds into the dugout, says a water specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. ‘Make sure this area is free of debris that might flow into your dugout,” said Dan Benson. “This area should be mowed and kept clear of trees and weeds.” Leaves add […] Read more


Keep an eye out for blue-green algae in dugouts

The cyanobacteria is highly toxic and it’s better to be cautious, says water engineer

When temperatures rise, you need to be on the watch for toxic bacteria in dugouts. “Blue-green algae is actually cyanobacteria, and can produce toxins that can be very dangerous,” said Shawn Elgert, agricultural water engineer with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “It can cause organ damage or even death if ingested by livestock or pets.” “If […] Read more

Annual forages offer benefits, says forage specialist

Annual pastures allow you to properly rest their perennial cousins and can be used for silage or greenfeed

Annual forages offer a couple of advantages for producers, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “By seeding annual pastures, producers can give stressed perennial pastures a rest,” said Karin Lindquist. “If those pastures are rested early in the spring and following rain, they can produce good amounts of growth later in the summer. However, […] Read more


More U.S. cattle head North

Live cattle imports from the U.S. are up sharply, says a provincial livestock market analyst. From January to November, nearly 243,000 non-purebred head were imported, an increase of 40 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, said Jason Wood. “Alberta non-purebred cattle imports were more than 145,000 head for the January to November […] 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

Part of a 36-panel array in Athabasca County expected to produce 16,100 kilowatt hours annually. Fixed panels and a grid-tied system are recommended by the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, whose rural workshops continue to attract large numbers of producers.

Interest in solar remains strong, but subsidies in doubt

It’s not clear whether the new government will axe subsidies, but producers still drawn to solar workshops

Are provincial subsidies for on-farm grid-tied solar projects dead? And if they are dead, does that mean solar and other renewable energy projects have gone the way of the dodo as well? It would be hard to fault anyone for answering ‘Yes’ to both questions. While on the campaign trail in February, now-premier, Jason Kenney […] Read more


Starting later this year, BASF’s InVigor canola seed will be packaged in bags featuring four different thousand seed weight ranges with recommended seeding rates.

You can count on thousand seed weight

Seeding by weight or volume is too imprecise to give you the optimum number of plants per square foot

The message is clear: If you’re still using bushels or pounds per acre as your seeding measure, you may not only be losing yield but spending more on seed than necessary. More and more producers are adopting thousand seed weight (TSW) as their primary seeding measurement. TSW is a more precise gauge of seed size […] Read more

You can determine the protein content of your wheat using the Canadian Grain Commission’s 
free Harvest Sample Program.

Protein premiums drop from historic high in 2018

Shopping around can reveal how buyers are grading your wheat and how they pay for protein premiums

The 2018 crop year featured a strong protein premium for wheat, in particular hard red spring wheat. Neil Blue, provincial crop market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, looks at the situation with protein premiums on wheat in 2019. Blue says that wheat protein premiums this crop year have dropped back to below-average levels due […] Read more