GFM Network News



Ontario backs ‘horse experience’ businesses for horse upkeep

Trail ride operations, riding schools, others eligible

Ontario horses whose jobs with riding schools, camps and trail rides were lost or cut back during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for funding toward their upkeep. The province on Thursday announced a $3 million equine hardship program would launch starting Monday (Jan. 18) help “horse experience” businesses cover animal maintenance costs. The program […] Read more


Trump administration mulls industry-wide biofuel waiver

Comment period would end after Trump's exit

New York | Reuters — The Trump administration is considering requests from the oil refining industry and its backers for a sweeping nationwide waiver to exempt them from their obligations to blend biofuels, a measure they argue would help them weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency […] Read more

USDA unveils more COVID-19 aid, mostly for livestock farmers

Funds earmarked for farmers under contract

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will pay an additional US$2.3 billion in COVID-19 aid to farmers, directing more money to livestock producers suffering from disruptions in slaughtering and restaurant demand for meat. The aid, which comes from money allocated to USDA from previous pandemic stimulus legislation, follows […] Read more


The gardening craze even extended to apartment dwellers who grew salad greens in hanging baskets and potatoes and carrots in pots, said Shelley Batdorf (pictured with husband Roy) of Pots ’n’ Pansies Greenhouses and Garden Centre.

COVID-19 pandemic produces a bumper crop of novice gardeners

Whether it was growing their own food or beautifying the yard, gardening was hot in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Greenhouses, garden centres and nurseries experienced a year like no other in 2020 as first-time gardeners took up trowels and hoes in unprecedented numbers. “Even if people had never planted before, they wanted to grow a garden,” said Tammy Meinecke, manager of Dunvegan Gardens in Grande Prairie. “Everybody was out planting seeds and trying to […] Read more

Argentina ‘evaluating’ corn export suspension

Move meant to boost domestic food supplies

Buenos Aires | Reuters — Argentina’s government said on Thursday it would review its decision to temporarily suspend corn exports after a meeting between the farming minister and the leaders of the country’s main agricultural associations. The agriculture ministry said in a statement that agreements had been struck to guarantee the domestic supply of corn […] Read more


Scenes like this one from last year’s Prairie Cereals Summit used to be normal but with in-person meetings cancelled because of the pandemic, discussions on merging Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley have been drawn out.

Cereal groups’ amalgamation talks slowed by pandemic

Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat aiming to wrap up review of merger proposal in coming year

Reading Time: 3 minutes There’s no marriage proposal yet, but Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat want to get moving on what has become a longer-than-expected process on whether to amalgamate or not. “We’re just in the beginning stage of where it will go, and the timeline and how to communicate,” Dave Bishop, immediate past chair of the Alberta Barley […] Read more

Soil Biodiversity: What’s most important? features six characters who come to realize that all of their areas of study are key to a healthy soil ecosystem.

Soil scientists turned children’s authors win acclaim

Reading Time: 3 minutes Benjamin Ellert and Katelyn Lutes know a lot about soil, but knew nothing about writing children’s books. Until they wrote one. And now the two federal soil scientists can add ‘prize-winning children’s author’ to their resumés. The duo from Ag Canada’s Lethbridge research station recently won second prize in an international book contest run by […] Read more


Cargill is awarding “financial credits” for verified sustainable cattle at two of its facilities.

Sustainable beef processing expanded

Reading Time: < 1 minute Cargill will be able to source beef from farms and ranches across the country that are certified under Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef protocols. However, while the company’s processing plant in Guelph, Ont. has successfully completed certification, it was temporarily shut down on Dec. 17 after more than 80 workers contracted COVID-19. Once it is […] Read more

Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details […] Read more