GFM Network News


About 100 animals were saved from this barn fire (believed to be caused by an electrical short) in southern Ontario in December 2018, but another 1,300 pigs perished. Statistics on the number of barn fires, animals lost, and causes are hard to come by in much of Canada, but these “horrific” blazes are far too common, says Humane Society International/Canada.

Barn fires underreported — and far too common, says humane society

Most provinces, including Alberta, lack accurate stats, and that’s part of the problem, says official

Reading Time: 3 minutes Even animal death in a barn fire is one too many. But at first glance, it would seem Alberta has a reasonably good handle on them. A recent study found that during a five-year period (2015-19), Quebec had 141 barn fires and Ontario 121 — but there were just eight barn fires in Alberta. The […] Read more

(Sansubba/iStock/Getty Images)

Feather sector’s on-farm upgrade program underway

Applications now being accepted for funding

The federal free trade compensation program to help Canada’s poultry and egg producers pay for on-farm upgrades, renovations and improvements is now taking applications. The $646.8 million, 10-year Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program (PEFIP) is now formally underway, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Monday. Each eligible Canadian producer is entitled to an amount proportional […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Diesel prices, carbon tax cause headaches for farmers

MarketsFarm — Crude oil prices have been steadily on the rise since last November as oil-producing nations implement production cuts and Canadian farmers already affected by climbing diesel prices will have to dig deeper into their wallets this April. On April 1, the federal government’s carbon levy on diesel will go up from 8.05 cents […] Read more

Despite their size, modern trusses can have less bracing when plywood is added as diaphragm bracing.

Farm buildings getting bigger, but also stronger

Diaphragm bracing has been key as farm buildings become larger and larger

Reading Time: 2 minutes One comment Steven Adema often hears is that his company’s building designs are getting heavier. But the engineer with Tacoma Engineers in Guelph, Ontario argues that heaviness is not the culprit — the buildings are simply getting bigger in order to accommodate producer needs and government regulations. “For comparison’s sake we pulled an old Beaver […] Read more


Province taking wait-and-see approach to new farm building code

Farm buildings are generally exempt from the provincial 
building code, but that’s likely to change in a few years

Reading Time: 2 minutes The growing complexity of farm buildings — not to mention the ongoing threat of fire — has attracted regulatory attention. However, Alberta does not have a specific farm building code nor has it adopted the federal National Farm Building Code. The provincial government is waiting on the results of a new, planned federal code currently […] Read more



concrete

Concrete may be coming down in price

Reading Time: < 1 minute Thinking of building? Check out the price of concrete first. “Concrete seems to be more expensive in the Prairie region as compared to British Columbia and Ontario,” said Todd Bergen-Henengouwen, a market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “I found that the price of a 32 MPa (megapascal) concrete in B.C. and Ontario was about […] Read more

This central Alberta machine shed looked OK from the front, but had actually collapsed under heavy snow this winter (see below). Whether replacing or building new, experts say an engineered structure is worth the investment.

Replacing collapsed buildings? Build strong and to code

The collapse of farm buildings last winter showed why it pays to invest in well-built, engineered structures

Reading Time: 3 minutes A spate of farm buildings that collapsed from heavy snow loads this past winter has Alberta farmers looking at replacing structures they never expected to fail. More than a dozen collapsed barns were reported in central Alberta. In one case near Ponoka, more than 30 cattle were reported killed. Other cases saw expensive farm equipment […] Read more