GFM Network News

The Elbe River at Oberrathen, southeast of Dresden. (

Germany plans to toughen conditions for insecticide use

Berlin | Reuters — Germany plans to make it more difficult for farmers to use crop insecticides in a bid to preserve biodiversity, an environment ministry document showed. “Insect biomass has fallen by more than 75 per cent in the last 27 years in Germany,” according to the paper seen by Reuters on Wednesday, saying […] Read more

Agricultural biomass in the spotlight

Reading Time: < 1 minute Using agricultural biomass to create fuels, chemicals, and materials will be in the spotlight at an upcoming conference in Edmonton promoting innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the bio-industrial sector. While many of the speakers are from the energy sector, there will be several presentations with an agricultural focus. A trio of professors […] Read more

Sacramento-based Origin Materials in March started working with bottled-water firms Nestle Waters and Danone on development of plastic bottles made from biomass feedstocks. (

Bioprocessor coming to Sarnia

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has invested in California bio-based products company Origin Materials. Origin Materials will be building its first commercial-scale demonstration facility in Sarnia, Ont. by late next year. It will be using bio-based feedstocks such as crops and biomass to make new polymers, surfactants and carbon blacks, which are used as fillers and […] Read more

Canada invests in Canadian biomass and composites industries

Federal and provincial governments are investing up to $2.9 million to the Composites Innovation Centre Manitoba for two initiatives. The funds will go towards the development of quality standards and measurement techniques for Canadian biomass, and research into overcoming technology barriers to the adoption of natural fibres in the composites industry, a news release says. […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

U.S. EPA finalizes 2016 renewables target at 18.1B gallons

New York | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants energy companies to blend 18.1 billion gallons (68.5 billion litres) of biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply next year, more than in a proposal laid out in May, it said in announcing final rules on renewables use for 2014-16 on Monday. The EPA’s long-awaited […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Farm business tax credits on tap in Manitoba budget

Expansions and extensions for tax credits of use to Manitoba farmers and small agribusinesses were laid out Thursday in the province’s latest budget. Finance Minister Greg Dewar’s plan calls for an expansion of the province’s small business venture capital tax credit, broadening its list of eligible businesses to include “non-traditional farming” ventures, as well as […] Read more

N.S. puts feed-in-tariff program on hold

Nova Scotia will stop taking applications for its local-level renewable electricity program pending a review. The province on Thursday announced seven new approvals under its Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) program, but also that it will “pause and evaluate” the program. The pause, the province said, is meant to see that COMFIT “continues to be community-based, […] Read more

Research scientist Harmadeep Kaur demonstrates part of microwave extraction at Radient Technologies.  

Company expects big things from microwaving biomass

Radient Technologies uses patented microwave technology to extract 
high-value components from flax, rosemary, and other crops

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Alberta advantage isn’t just about oil. For Radient Technologies, it means better access to funding, nearby sources of agricultural biomass, and joining a developed sector of bio-based companies. Founded in Toronto in 2001, the now Edmonton-based company has developed a new, faster way to extract high-value natural compounds from plant biomasses. Using a microwave-assisted […] Read more