GFM Network News


Opinion: On cereal commissions. Collaboration? Yes. Amalgamation? No

Sharing staff has been good for Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley, but having one board wouldn’t be wise

At FarmTech last month, the membership of the Alberta Wheat Commission passed a resolution to explore the possibility of one governance structure with the Alberta Barley Commission. Alberta Barley passed a similar resolution at its AGM in December. The exploratory process shouldn’t be clouded by turf wars on the employee side of things since the […] Read more

Research clusters fund host of projects

Alberta’s cereal commissions are helping to fund 30 research projects. Alberta Wheat is giving $2.6 million, part of a $25-million effort called the Canadian National Wheat Cluster. The initiative by Ottawa and several ag groups is funding 22 variety development, pathology, agronomy and pre-breeding projects. Among the recipients are three federal researchers working in Alberta: […] Read more


Ed Tollefson has 700 acres he couldn’t get off last fall — part of nearly one million unharvested acres province-wide that must be dealt with this spring.

The Big Wreck: One million unharvested acres

The financial hit will be huge and getting rid of those damaged crops 
could delay seeding and put this year’s crop at risk

[Updated: March 20, 2017] Ed Tollefson is worried he won’t be able to get 700 acres of snow-buried crop off his field before seeding this year. And the Valleyview-area farmer is not alone. Alberta producers have reported 967,569 unharvested acres to Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) — a massive area that would have cost those […] 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



Weather woes not the only concern

The grain transportation system is far from fixed, poor quality will 
have continuing repercussions, and the world is awash in grain

All that rain and its effect on crop quality is top of mind for Alberta farm leaders, but lurking just behind is the prospect of the railways seizing up again in the face of a huge harvest. “It looks like there’s a lot of crop out there — I’ve heard estimates that this might be […] Read more


“It’s up to the industry as to how we want to continue funding. Do we see value in Cigi and is there enough value to keep funding it or is there some other model?

Sylvan Lake farmer joins Cigi board at a critical time

Kevin Bender’s new role will involve sorting out funding and trade issues

UPDATED: Aug. 3, 2016 – Governance, trace residues, and falling gluten strength. Those are among the issues Kevin Bender wants to tackle in his latest off-farm role. The grain grower from the Sylvan Lake/Bentley area — already vice-chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission and its representative on Cereals Canada — joined the board of the […] Read more

Allison and Mike Ammeter, pictured on their Sylvan Lake farm, are likely the first Canadian farm couple to each chair a provincial crop commission.

It’s a family affair: Two commission chairs in one household

Allison Ammeter is the new chair of Alberta Pulse Growers and her husband Mike 
fills the same role for the Alberta Barley Commission

They don’t keep records on these sorts of things, but Allison and Mike Ammeter are likely the first Canadian farm couple to each chair a provincial crop commission. Allison became chair of Alberta Pulse Growers at the organization’s annual general meeting at FarmTech, six weeks after Mike became chair of the Alberta Barley Commission. The […] Read more


Sustainability in the crop industry will likely mean a new way of record-keeping, says Alberta Barley vice-chair Jason Lenz.

Crop sector starts its sustainability roundtable

As with beef, producers will be asked to document their practices, but carrying the system past the grain elevator may be tricky

The push for sustainability continues — and this time, it’s hit the Canadian crop sector. “End-users are looking to have a certified or verified supply chain that goes to the farm level,” said Kara Barnes, market development co-ordinator with the Alberta Barley Commission and a best practices specialist with the Barley Council of Canada. “Just […] Read more

Following the money: Farm leaders say it’s well spent

Saskatchewan and Manitoba aiming to keep admin costs below 15 per cent of spending —
but their Alberta counterparts aren’t sure it can be done

Do Alberta’s wheat and barley commissions have a spending problem? The chair of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission suggested as much when he took a shot at GrainsWest, a magazine published quarterly by the Alberta Barley Commission and Alberta Wheat Commission. “You’ll not see us putting out a great big glossy magazine,” Bill Gehl said […] Read more