GFM Network News


Smart ag research program receives $5.1 million in funding

Olds College’s Smart Farm has received $5.1 million in federal and industry funding for its applied research program. The funds will be used for a series of “industry-driven, college-led” projects to develop, evaluate and demonstrate smart ag technology. “Our goal is to provide beta testing research that will support small to medium enterprises and help […] Read more

Sawyer to lead ag-products marketing council

Pine Lake cow-calf producer Doug Sawyer has been named permanent chair of the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council, and Calgary lawyer Stan Church has been named vice-chair. As well, ag business management specialist Patricia Henderson and consultant Julie Stitt have been appointed council members. The marketing council provides oversight to the province’s seven agricultural marketing […] Read more


Nationally, farm net cash income was $12.95 billion, up six per cent overall

Not the best of times, but farm income rose in 2019

After a big drop two years ago, net income rose last year — and cannabis became a major crop

Alberta farm income more than doubled last year. But it’s not as good as it sounds, even if you have been indulging in some of what is suddenly the province’s third-largest cash crop. Net farm income in Alberta in 2019 was just north of $671 million — which is well above the 2018 figure of […] Read more

The grain trains just keep getting bigger

Less than a year after loading the province’s largest-ever grain train, Paterson Grain’s Foothills terminal at Bowden has upped the record by a wide margin. The terminal recently loaded 16,313 tonnes of grain on 167 new high-capacity hopper cars — 10 per cent more grain than on a 147-car train last summer. The train was […] Read more


Despite the pandemic, seeding at Hebert Grain Ventures got off to a good start this spring thanks to a solid management plan.

Planning for success can also help you in a time of crisis

Large-scale Saskatchewan farm says it has found some financial positives during pandemic

Hebert Grain Ventures might just be the closest thing to pandemic-proof a farm can be. “From a pandemic standpoint, the farm really hasn’t felt it. It’s kind of business as usual,” said Evan Shout, chief financial officer of the 22,000-acre grain operation in southern Saskatchewan. “We probably came out of this a little bit better […] Read more

Move it or compost it might be the motto when it comes to bedding plants and baskets, which is why getting gardening centres designated an essential service was critical for the sector.

Growers relieved as Alberta garden centres declared an essential service

Product needs to move during the brief spring sales window, veggie gardens are suddenly popular again

Garden centres may not spring to mind when thinking of essential services, but getting that official designation was critical, says the CEO of Landscape Alberta. “It opens the value chain from the agricultural side,” said Joel Beatson, whose organization joined Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association in requesting greenhouses, nurseries and garden centres be classed as essential […] Read more


Merger of Cereals Canada and Cigi approved

Members of Cereals Canada and the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) have approved the amalgamation of both organizations. “This merger brings together two strong organizations with a common vision to serve our members and build value for the Canadian cereals industry,” said Cereals Canada board chair Jean-Marc Ruest. “Cereals Canada and Cigi have already established […] Read more

Summer jobs program to pay entire wage

The federal government has made changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program for businesses with fewer than 50 employees delivering essential services. Businesses will have 100 per cent of their employees’ salaries covered by the federal government (up from the previous 50 per cent), and employees can be covered until February 2021. As well, the […] Read more


Provincial comparison of farmland values: Annual percent change in farmland values from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019.

The price of farmland likely to be unaffected by pandemic

The formerly red-hot market has cooled considerably, but the price of land isn’t getting cheaper

The pandemic seems to be impacting almost everything, but not the price of farmland. “I would expect that impacts are going to be minimal,” said J.P. Gervais, vice-president and chief agricultural economist for FCC. “We still have a very limited supply of available land for sale. That was the case in 2019. It was the […] Read more

Land is getting more expensive relative to farm income, says Farm Credit Canada’s chief agricultural economist.

Alberta farmland values likely to be unaffected by COVID-19

FCC farmland report doesn’t account for the pandemic, but impact on land values should be ‘minimal’

Alberta’s farmland values have been rising at a slower pace for nearly a decade, and the pandemic isn’t likely to change that. “I would expect that impacts are going to be minimal,” said J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist for Farm Credit Canada (FCC). “We still have a very limited supply of available land for sale. […] Read more