GFM Network News


Former CGC assistant chief commissioner broke conflict rules

Jim Smolik, a former Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) assistant chief and acting chief commissioner, contravened post-employment obligations under the federal Conflict of Interest Act while working for Cargill Canada. That’s according to a 24-page report released May 30 by Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion. Dion ruled Smolik breached Sections 33 and 35(2) […] Read more

This graphic illustrates how the falling number test is conducted.

What’s the big deal with the falling number test?

Bakers and pasta makers prize wheat with a certain falling number as determined by this test

Even the best bread and pasta makers are at the mercy of an enzyme called alpha-amylase. The enzyme breaks down starch in wheat and converts it to sugars, but you don’t want too much — and the level of alpha-amylase in a batch can vary dramatically. And if there is too much, it’s a bad […] 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

Richardson International, which spent $140 million to expand its port terminal in North Vancouver in 2016, had its registration to ship canola to China cancelled on March 1 — a move that sent shock waves through the entire canola sector.

Growers fear a China crisis over canola

Farmers are worried but quiet diplomacy is the best option, says Alberta Canola official

Wait and hope. And test. That’s about all Alberta canola growers can do as what appears to be political gamesmanship by China plays out. News that Canada’s biggest buyer of the oilseed had cancelled Richardson International’s registration to ship canola prompted worried producers to call the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. “At first it was kind of […] Read more


Grain grading revamp may add falling number, DON as factors

Two significant grain specs that aren’t yet factors for a crop’s official grade are now under consideration to join that official list. The Canadian Grain Commission on Monday put out a call for “grain sector stakeholders” to submit their views before May 10 on a proposal for falling number and deoxynivalenol (DON) to both become […] Read more

You can determine the protein content of your wheat using the Canadian Grain Commission’s 
free Harvest Sample Program.

Protein premiums drop from historic high in 2018

Shopping around can reveal how buyers are grading your wheat and how they pay for protein premiums

The 2018 crop year featured a strong protein premium for wheat, in particular hard red spring wheat. Neil Blue, provincial crop market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, looks at the situation with protein premiums on wheat in 2019. Blue says that wheat protein premiums this crop year have dropped back to below-average levels due […] Read more


Weekly canola exports pick up

Weekly Canadian canola exports hit their highest level in more than two months during the week ended Sunday, helping narrow the gap between this year’s export pace and the year-ago movement. Canola exports of 268,500 tonnes during week 26 of the crop year were roughly double the previous week’s total and the largest movement in […] Read more

It doesn’t hurt to check, says grain commission

Only licensed grain companies are required to post security that ensures farmers are paid for deliveries


The Canadian Grain Commission is reminding producers that only licensed grain companies provide security that ensures farmers are paid when they deliver grain. “Do you know if the company you’re delivering to is licensed?” the commission asked in a recent tweet. A complete list can be found under ‘Licensed grain companies’ at the Canadian Grain […] Read more


Lagos, the Nigerian capital, is guesstimated to be home to anywhere from 14 million to 21 million people. Not surprisingly, it’s not a stable market but it’s an important one for Prairie farmers, says Sylvan Lake producer Kevin Bender, who travelled to the city last month to promote Canadian wheat.

In the end, the conversation always turns to quality

Whether they make pasta or couscous, blend it or mill it straight, buyers associated Canada with quality wheat

Quality counts, whether in developing markets or established ones. That was a key takeaway for two Prairie farmers who participated in New Crops Missions prior to Christmas. “I was surprised in Ghana that two of the millers were using 100 per cent Canadian wheat,” said Kevin Bender, outgoing Alberta Wheat chair and a Cereals Canada […] Read more