GFM Network News


Kevin Serfas and Robert Semeniuk new canola and pulse chairs

Kevin Serfas and Robert Semeniuk new canola and pulse chairs

Three of the big four crop commissions have new leaders following recent annual general meetings

Reading Time: 2 minutes Some familiar faces have departed the leadership ranks of Alberta crop commission but some equally well-known ones — as well as some newcomers — are taking on leadership roles. Turin-area producer Kevin Serfas is the new chair of Alberta Canola. He takes over from John Guelly, who has been a director for Region 5 for […] Read more

Trio of AGMs being held online

Meetings take place Jan. 26 and Jan. 27

Reading Time: < 1 minute You’ll have to bring your own coffee, but you can still participate in the annual general meetings of the three crop commissions normally held during FarmTech. With the conference cancelled this year, Alberta Wheat, Alberta Canola and Alberta Pulse Growers are all holding their AGMs online. Alberta Canola’s meeting is Jan. 26 (from 9:30 a.m. […] Read more


One canola director spot still open

One canola director spot still open

Reading Time: < 1 minute Three directors on the board of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission were re-elected by acclamation. Andre Harpe from Valhalla Centre in Region 2, Ian Chitwood from Airdrie in Region 8, and Roger Chevraux from Killam in Region 11 will all serve a second term as director. There were no nominations in Region 5 and so […] Read more

Online voting is just one of the changes Alberta’s crop commissions have made to their yearly regional meetings and annual general meetings.

We’ll meet again — but not likely in person for a while

This year’s round of meetings will be mostly virtual but commissions hope producers stay involved

Reading Time: 3 minutes The fall meeting season hasn’t fallen by the wayside, but it will be very different. “We haven’t done any in-person events since the pandemic started, and we will not be doing any in-person events until at least February or March 2021,” said Rick Taillieu, manager of grower relations and extension for Alberta Canola. “Along the […] Read more


Alberta crop commissions announce new board director lineups

Alberta crop commissions announce new board director lineups

Some well-known faces completing their final terms, including Jason Lenz and Gary Stanford

Reading Time: < 1 minute The provincial barley, wheat, and canola commissions have announced new directors. Tara Sawyer from Acme was acclaimed to the board of Alberta Barley as director-at-large replacing Brian Sewell from High River. Neil Gorda from Willingdon was also acclaimed as a director for Region 4. An election was to be held for the Region 3 director, […] Read more

Finding room to store this year’s crop is only one of the 
challenges that canola growers are facing this year.

Government aid may be needed for canola growers, says analyst

China situation will drag on and stocks of unsold canola will continue to mount, says trade expert

Reading Time: 3 minutes With no end in sight to China’s ban on their biggest money-making crop, Ottawa may have to offer financial aid to canola growers, says an ag trade expert. “There will likely be discussions of compensation for canola farmers,” said Sarah Pittman, a policy analyst with the Canada West Foundation in Calgary. “I’m not sure we […] Read more


Connecting with customers such as Hideo Suzuki (far right), president for Belex chain of supermarkets in Japan, was a top priority for Alberta Canola director Andre Harpe (second from left) on a recent trade mission. Also pictured are Deputy Ag Minister Andre Corbould and Tanya Fir, the provincial minister of economic development, tourism and trade.

Trade missions more valuable than ever, say Alberta producers

You have to show appreciation for customers and ask face to face how you can improve, says canola director

Reading Time: 3 minutes In times like these, friendship is more valuable than ever. “The mission was a direct result of the China (canola) ban,” said Alberta Canola director Andre Harpe, “When you lose part of your market, you have to make sure your other markets are OK.” Harpe was one of two Alberta producers who recently travelled to […] Read more

White’s role on the board of directors will represent canola growers from south-eastern Alberta.

Holly White joins Alberta Canola board

Reading Time: < 1 minute Rolling Hills producer Holly White is the new Region 12 director for Alberta Canola. She replaces Brian Hildebrand who completed his term representing canola growers in southeastern Alberta. The other members of the board are chair John Guelly, vice-chair Kevin Sarfas, Dan Doll, Andre Harpe, Denis Guindon, John Mayko, Wayne Schneider, Mike Ammeter, Ian Chitwood, […] Read more


This plant was found in 2017 in a trial plot of a resistant variety that Scott Keller was growing. It turns out that bags of resistant varieties aren’t pure — and so a percentage could be a non-resistant variety, said Keller. “So even resistant canola seed can help spread clubroot!” he said in an email. Still, experts and agronomists urge producers to seed resistant varieties — something Keller and Alberta Canola chair John Guelly say isn’t happening often enough.

In denial? Farmers ‘failing’ in battle against clubroot

Scott Keller has crunched acreage numbers and found tight rotations and susceptible varieties are commonplace

Reading Time: 6 minutes For the last three years, Scott Keller has been crunching acreage numbers from the provincial crop insurer — and he’s not liking what he sees. “To me, everything the researchers and the Canola Council (of Canada) is saying that farmers should do; they’re not even doing anything outside of just adopting the resistant varieties,” said […] Read more

A still image taken from CCTV video shows Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg on Jan. 14 in court, where on retrial for drug smuggling he was sentenced to the death penalty in Dalian in China’s Liaoning province.

Political gamesmanship casts shadow over canola sector

China is still buying Canadian canola and the entire industry is hoping that doesn’t change

Reading Time: 3 minutes Concerns in the canola sector are mounting in lockstep with the growing tensions between China and Canada. “Everybody is very concerned about it,” a senior Canadian grain company official told Commodity News Service Canada. “If the conflict isn’t resolved, (canola) will be the obvious target, and that’s a deep concern to everybody.” The situation began […] Read more