GFM Network News


Fifty provincial agriculture ministry staff get layoff notices

Fifty provincial agriculture ministry staff get layoff notices

Many of those losing their jobs are scientists and their work greatly benefited farmers, says a retired researcher

Reading Time: 3 minutes In the second week of December, about 50 staff at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry got a pre-Christmas delivery no one would want — they were laid off. Details have not been released but among those affected are engineers, agrologists, and managers. “This is just another example of where they have taken some significant steps backwards,” […] Read more

clubroot

Researcher offers ‘gospel’ to control clubroot before it spreads

If the infected area is small, mark it and give it special attention — which may even include hand-weeding

Reading Time: 3 minutes When the world’s top clubroot researchers gathered here earlier this month, a hot topic of discussion wasn’t cutting-edge science but an old-fashioned way of controlling a crop infestation — hand-pulling diseased plants. Once a field is heavily infested with clubroot spores, there’s virtually no economical way to deal with the infestation. But at the International […] Read more



Fresh hops can fetch $8 a pound, but only have a shelf life of about 24 hours before they must be dried.

Demand is there, but jumping into hops isn’t easy

Reading Time: 2 minutes If you’re wondering if hops might be something you’d like to try, Ontario’s Ag Ministry’s website has a powerpoint primer called Local Hops: A brewing industry. Even though the presentation is barely a year old, Alberta doesn’t even make the list of hops-growing provinces. The owners of Northern Girls Hops west of Edmonton actually started […] Read more


Genomics testing is now practical for crossbred herds, says Delta Genomics.

Genomics testing now available for commercial herds

Knowing more about your cattle’s DNA can help you make better decisions, says non-profit developer of test

Reading Time: 3 minutes Delta Genomics has released a new genomics tool that will help commercial cattle producers determine breed composition and fertility of their cattle. EnVigour HX, which was released in February, allows producers of crossbred cattle to tap into the power of genomics, said Michelle Miller, chief executive officer of the not-for-profit genomics service division of Livestock Gentec. […] 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


Alberta cattle numbers are no longer falling — but herds are on the move

Alberta cattle numbers are no longer falling — but herds are on the move

Some counties are seeing a major increase due to bigger herds, but crops are replacing cattle in other areas

Reading Time: 3 minutes While the Alberta cow herd has stopped shrinking, it has not yet rebounded. “The positive returns for the cow-calf producers over the last few years indicate the Alberta cow herd has finally stopped shrinking,” said Herman Simons, a farm business management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “In fact, the total beef cow numbers for […] Read more