GFM Network News


Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt (l) and Baljit Singh, dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary, tour the vet college’s Spy Hill campus.

Vets decry province’s plan to redirect school funding to Calgary

Province will pull funding from Saskatoon’s veterinary college to expand its Calgary counterpart

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association says the province is making a mistake by pulling its $8 million in annual funding from the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine to expand the vet school at the University of Calgary. The association said it supports the expansion of U of C’s veterinary medicine program to […] Read more

Opinion: Why the cattle checkoff should rise

Opinion: Why the cattle checkoff should rise

Canada’s beef industry has a bright future but innovation is key and costly — and the 
current levy simply isn’t enough

Reading Time: 3 minutes As cattle producers, you and I have been helping to fund Canadian beef research since 2002 by paying checkoff every time we sell an animal. The work that’s been done with that money has benefited the industry as a whole and at the individual farm level because of the information and innovations that come as […] Read more


The trade deal with Europe could be worth $600 million annually for the Canadian beef industry, but so far producers aren’t enrolling in a program that would give them access to this premium market. 

The door to Europe isn’t quite open yet

The EU trade deal is now a go, but ‘very few producers’ have signed up for a program that makes their cattle eligible

Reading Time: 3 minutes The European Union has the potential to be a big marketplace for Canadian beef producers, but it’s going to take some effort to get them here. “We are concerned that to date very few producers are enrolling their cattle in the EU program,” the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in a recent edition of its e-newsletter. […] Read more

Annual Drive Away Hunger campaign now underway

Reading Time: < 1 minute Camrose and Lloydminster are two of the stops on Farm Credit Canada’s Drive Away Hunger tractor tour this year. The Drive Away Hunger campaign collects food and cash donations for food banks and hunger programs. Beginning Oct. 10, tractors pulling trailers will visit communities in five provinces to collect donations, which can also be made […] Read more


Ross McKenzie heard a lot of micronutrient claims during his lengthy career as a provincial agronomist and researcher, but the vast majority couldn’t be substantiated.

Proceed with caution when it comes to micronutrients, says agronomist

It’s not hard to spend thousands of dollars on micronutrients that aren’t needed or produce little benefit, 
says Ross McKenzie

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers need to put on their critical thinking caps when dealing with micronutrient claims — or risk spending lots of money for no or marginal results. There is a lot of hype surrounding supplemental micronutrients right now, said Ross McKenzie, a retired agronomy research scientist. However, not all micronutrients are created equally; some of the […] Read more

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies so far this growing season (April 1 to Aug. 27). You can see just how dry it has been this year across the southern and central Prairies. A large part of this region has seen less than 250 millimetres over this five-month period, with large parts of Saskatchewan and southwestern Alberta seeing less than 200 millimetres. The only ‘wet’ area is in northwestern Saskatchewan and 
north-central Alberta where precipitation amounts are in the 400- to 500-millimetre range.

There are extreme rains, and then the deluge caused by Harvey

Some parts of Texas received more rain in 24 hours than 
Prairie centres have seen in their wettest-ever month


Reading Time: 2 minutes As fairly quiet weather continues across the Prairies, the big weather story recently has been Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore in Texas late on Aug. 26. Harvey rapidly strengthened in the 12-hour period leading up to landfall and came ashore as a borderline Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 210 kilometres per hour. It wasn’t […] Read more


With interest rates on the rise, is it time to lock in?

With interest rates on the rise, is it time to lock in?

Variable rates have been a winner for decades, but a fixed rate is an option worth considering

Reading Time: 2 minutes Is it time to lock into a fixed long-term mortgage? “Since 1975, the majority of the time the variable interest rate has been the better option and has saved producers money,” said provincial farm financial specialist Rick Dehod. However, the Bank of Canada recently increased its prime rate by a quarter of a percentage point […] Read more

Enterprising young farmers are the hope of a new Africa

The beleaguered continent has the potential to feed the world — if it can rise above the divisions created by its troubled past


Reading Time: 3 minutes The concept of a united Africa feeding the world is often considered. With a massive land base, Africa has an estimated 632 million hectares of arable land of which only 179 million hectares are currently being utilized. More than 40 per cent of these lands are in Nigeria, DR of Congo, and North and South […] Read more


Prairie grain growers have a big stake in NAFTA talks

Prairie grain growers have a big stake in NAFTA talks

Trade deal has produced great benefits and can be made even better

Reading Time: 3 minutes The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a boon for Canadian agricultural producers, facilitating cross-border trade and commerce, and fuelling the economic performance and growth of this highly export-driven sector. It has achieved this mainly through the continued reduction of tariffs on agricultural goods, but also through measures addressing non-tariff trade barriers, sanitary and […] Read more

‘Public trust’ conference aims to find ways to win back consumers

The popularity of campaigns attacking conventional agriculture shows that the industry needs to do more, says organizer

Reading Time: 2 minutes Public trust is eroding in Canada, and farmers — along with others in the value chain — need to fight back, says the head of a new ag organization aimed at winning back confused consumers. “The whole industry needs to know a whole bunch more about consumers,” said Kim McConnell, an Okotoks-based marketing expert and […] Read more