GFM Network News


(Dave Bedard photo)

Federated Co-op buying into ag retailer Blair’s

Central, southeastern Saskatchewan sites to go into new joint venture

The ag retail arm of the Saskatchewan-based Blair’s Family of Companies is set to go into a joint venture with one of Canada’s biggest co-operatives. Blair’s and Federated Co-operatives (FCL) announced last week they’ve reached an agreement to set up a joint venture which, pending regulatory approvals, will own and operate the seven Blair’s ag […] Read more

It’s critical to slash the amount of energy needed to produce nitrogen fertilizer — and quantum computing and artificial intelligence could do that within five years by revolutionizing the chemical process used to make N, says Teo Laino, manager of IBM Research Zurich.

A fertilizer revolution is on the horizon

IBM says it will produce a breakthrough within five years that will greatly lower the energy needed to make nitrogen fertilizer

Reading Time: 5 minutes As fledgling technology goes, quantum computing sounds as science fiction as it gets. Most people have likely not even heard about it, let alone think it can be used for anything immediately useful. But if IBM fulfills a very bold promise it made in September, crop producers will see the fruits of this technology in […] Read more


The fertilizer bill can be the biggest single cost in growing a crop, but how do you know if you’re overdoing it?

Get more bang for your fertilizer buck by focusing on rates

It’s not easy to determine the optimum rate, but start with post-harvest soil testing, says soil scientist

Reading Time: 4 minutes A bumper crop of canola or wheat is bound to put a smile on your face. But writing a cheque for replacing all the nitrogen used by that crop? Not so much. And those cheques are only going to get bigger if the trend for N use continues on the same track it’s been on […] Read more

File photo of a Richardson Pioneer concrete elevator. (Dave Bedard photo)

Richardson to boost Peace region grain handle

New elevator in progress west of Grande Prairie

Prairie grain handler Richardson Pioneer has started work on a new elevator to expand its access to the southern reaches of northwestern Alberta’s Peace region. The Winnipeg company said Thursday it expects to complete a new high-throughput grain elevator by fall next year on Canadian National Railway (CN) track at Huallen, about 35 km west […] Read more


Charles Baron and partners brought FBN to Canada in 2017, buying Saskatchewan-based Yorkton Distributors. (FBN video screengrab via YouTube)

FBN cuts yearly membership fee to zero

Ag e-commerce firm offers free accounts to farmers

E-marketplace Farmers Business Network (FBN) has disposed of the annual membership fee that allowed members access to its various buying groups and services. California-based FBN, which has operated in the U.S. since 2014 and expanded to Canada in 2017, announced Tuesday (Sept. 15) its farmer members may now have “access to a select range of […] Read more

A farmer walks through a field of maize near Chikuni in the south of Zambia on Feb. 21, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

U.S. farming body, Zambian firm partner aim to boost crop yields

Country rebuilding drought-battered ag sector

Lusaka | Reuters — A U.S. non-profit organization has launched a US$40 million joint venture with one of Zambia’s top farm suppliers to boost crop yields and food security as farmers struggle to access finance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the local company said on Sunday. The chairman of African Green Resources (AGR), Zuneid Yousuf, said […] Read more


Probe eyes possibility of ‘co-ordinated behaviour’ in Big Ag

Competition Bureau probes majors' response to FBN's Canadian launch

Canada’s Competition Bureau is investigating leading agriculture companies for allegedly attempting to drive a California-based online farm-supply retailer out of the Canadian market. Documents filed in Federal Court show Federated Co-operatives, Cargill, Winfield United Canada, Univar Canada, BASF Canada Inc., Corteva and Bayer CropScience (and, by extension, Monsanto Canada) are all under investigation. Investigators with […] Read more

Dow Fertilizer’s Onoway, Alta. facility. (CropManagement.com)

Alberta’s Crop Management Network expands reach

A crop input dealer northwest of Edmonton is the newest link in the Crop Management Network ag retail chain. CMN, whose chain includes retailers in seven other central Alberta communities, said Thursday it has purchased the assets of Dow Fertilizer, which operates sites at Onoway and Mayerthorpe, effective Jan. 9. “We are very excited to […] Read more


At Hebert Grain Ventures, data from field operations -- as well as from employees, financial statements and a host of other sources -- is analyzed and used to find new ways to improve efficiency.

How one farm put data analytics to work

Saskatchewan grain farm makes money by assessing data on everything from employees to soil moisture

Reading Time: 6 minutes Most people say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But at Hebert Grain Ventures, their motto is, “If it’s not broke, you haven’t looked hard enough.” “We don’t believe that, just because we had a good year or a good yield, that’s enough,” said Evan Shout, the Saskatchewan farm’s chief financial officer. “If we […] Read more

(ThompsonsLimited.com)

Sylvite set to buy Thompsons agronomy business

Ontario grain and bean handler Thompsons Ltd. is set to sell its crop agronomy business to a retail business partner in that province. U.S. grain firm The Andersons, the owner of Thompsons since January, announced Tuesday in its second-quarter report it plans to sell Thompsons’ “agronomy assets” to Burlington, Ont.-based Sylvite Holdings. Financial terms of […] Read more