GFM Network News


‘Perfect storm’ hits grain movement

The blockade of CN rail lines by Indigenous-rights protesters has contributed to “a perfect storm” affecting grain movement this winter, say Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley. “An eight-day CN rail strike in late November, followed by a 10-day cold spell in January and heavy rains impacting rail movement and the loading of grain vessels at […] Read more

Alberta crop commissions announce new board director lineups

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

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


Prairie cereals summit coming in December

Event takes place Dec. 11-12

The second annual Prairie Cereals Summit will take place Dec. 11-12, 2019 at the Banff Springs Hotel. The event, put on by Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat, will feature a presentation on international trade by former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day. As well, former CropLife CEO Ted Menzies will discuss the creation of an agricultural […] Read more

There are multiple markets for soft white wheat — malting, milling, feed and as a feedstock for ethanol production, says Secan marketing rep Trent Whiting.

Malt driving demand for soft white spring wheat

Soft white spring acres in Alberta have rebounded thanks to the craft beer movement

Soft white wheat acres are starting to creep up in Alberta, thanks to the burgeoning craft beer movement. “There’s been a growing market for malting soft white wheat,” said Geoff Backman, markets manager with Alberta Wheat and Barley. “It’s been driven by demand from the craft brewing industry, and that’s a nice value-added market on […] Read more



Alberta reps to help chart Cigi course

Kevin Bender’s term as board chair of the Canadian International Grains Institute has ended but Alberta Wheat vice-chair Hannah Konschuh has been elected to the executive as secretary. The organization (which provides market development and technical support for Canadian wheat and other crops) is at a critical juncture as it works on details for a […] Read more


Cigi, Cereals Canada agree to pursue amalgamation

The boards of the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) and Cereals Canada have agreed to pursue amalgamation by March 31, 2020. That’s if a proposal, yet to be developed, is approved by the two bodies’ member organizations, leaders Dean Dias and Cam Dahl, said Friday in separate interviews. “During the past week, both boards have […] Read more

A new in-depth study of grain drying systems, costs, and practices aims to help farmers save money.

Study aims to get a grip on pricey grain drying costs

Tens of millions are spent on grain conditioning in wet years but data on how to trim that cost is lacking

Alberta farmers learned the hard way last fall that wet harvests go hand in hand with grain drying — and the costs that come with that. But Alberta’s main crop commissions are looking for ways to trim those costs as harvests trend later and the need to condition grain goes up. “There has been an […] Read more


Crop sector eyes code of practice to showcase stewardship credentials

The initiative has widespread support among farm groups and industry

It’s early days, but work has begun on developing a code of practice for field crops — a move aimed at reassuring consumers that producers are using sustainable methods to grow food. “It’s basically on the idea level — we’ve done a little bit of work on what it could potentially look like, but it’s […] Read more

What’s in a number? It could be a lot if it’s a favourable falling number. The results of this test (done in Cigi’s Winnipeg lab) are very high — numbers above 300 are considered good while those below 300 aren’t. Alberta Wheat argues farmers should be paid for a good falling number even if a visual inspection results in a lower grade.

Could a wheat sample test put money in your pocket?

Buyers are increasingly using falling number to determine wheat’s value — but farmers don’t get paid for that

Alberta Wheat is hailing a move by the Canadian Grain Commission to consider making tests for falling number and deoxynivalenol official grain-grading factors. “We want the grain commission to make a whole bunch of changes,” said chair Gary Stanford. “We think the grain should be sold by falling numbers… Everybody wants to sell at Grade […] Read more