GFM Network News


Smoke from wildfires can definitely delay plant growth but the precise effect on crops and pastures is largely unknown because very little research has been done.

Impact of smoke on crops is more than a little hazy

Field crops are impacted but the science is scarce and the subject is very complex, say experts

After watching smoke choke the skies over their fields for three years running, producers in Alberta are increasingly asking what effect it’s all having on their crops. But unfortunately, little research has been done on the phenomenon. “It is so plant and environment specific,” said Jeremy Boychyn, research extension agronomist with Alberta Barley and Alberta […] Read more

This sort of work is risky and should be done outside.

Simple steps for avoiding the nightmare of a barn fire

Annual electrical inspections, hard-wiring equipment, and good housekeeping are proven risk reducers

A barn fire can be one of the most distressing disasters on a farm — no amount of insurance can rectify the loss when livestock are killed this way. Although there are fewer barn fires today, the pure destruction factor has never been higher. Ontario had 89 barn fires from 2014 to 2018, but the […] Read more



Safety Day events have taught tens of thousands of children about the hazards and risks associated with farming and rural life.

Get a grant to hold a Safety Day event

There’s still time to apply for funding to put on a Safety Day event this year for children in your area. Each year, communities across Canada host Safety Day events — reaching approximately 17,000 young people annually. Participants learn about the hazards and risks associated with farming and rural life. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association […] Read more


Officials check on a flooded home in the Constance Bay area in Ottawa on April 26. A grant of nearly $250,000 from the Intact Foundation for a quartet of flood mitigation projects was announced as communities in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick were battling devastating floods.

Farmers in three provinces tapped to help reduce flood risk

A $250,000 investment will see 46 farmers establish and maintain 365 acres of wetland projects

New funding for an innovative conservation program could help reduce flood risk in Alberta’s largest city. The charitable arm of Intact Financial Corporation — the country’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance — is giving nearly $250,000 in funding for ALUS Canada to develop natural infrastructure projects in four communities across Canada, including two […] Read more

AgSafe Alberta has a series of guides to help producers review hazards on their farm and start dealing with them.

Safety is getting its turn in the spotlight

With new workplace regs in effect, there’s a lineup of producers wanting to make their farms safer

After a bit of a slow start, farmers are increasingly turning to AgSafe Alberta for help in reducing the risk of an accident on their operation. “It’s actually really busy — it’s gone from being very quiet to a wave,” said Jody Wacowich, the executive director of the non-profit society created by farm groups in […] Read more


The number of farm fatalities is going down, but much of that is due to safer equipment. And experts say 
the danger is increasing as aging boomers continue to farm, often using older, less safe equipment.

Canadian farms are getting safer — but not fast enough

Safer machinery is saving lives, but farms remain dangerous places to work, says expert

Farms across Canada are becoming safer, but danger still abounds. “We are seeing fewer entanglement injuries and fewer deaths from rollovers — that’s where the big gains are on the technology and engineering side,” said Don Voaklander, director of the University of Alberta’s Injury Prevention Centre. “The other stuff is kind of the same. Falls […] Read more

Hanneke and Michel Camps wanted training for seasonal workers and have developed a safety program that involves their full-time staff. 

Farmer-led AgSafe program helps producers tackle farm safety issues

Farm Safety Week: The program is free, designed to be practical, and can be tailored for individual farms

Better farm safety can start with small steps. Even a simple act like hanging a sign can play an important role in preventing a disaster. “We have these lockout tags that say ‘Lockout. DO NOT OPERATE,’” said Donna Trottier, extension co-ordinator of the AgSafe Alberta program. “There was an incident a farmer told me about. […] Read more


Grass fires are becoming more common and farmers need to recognize the threat, says a wildfire expert at the University of Alberta.

Climate change equals more grass fires, says expert

Farmers should be aware of this danger and take steps to reduce the risk

This year’s spate of wildfires across the western Prairies were not an anomaly, but rather a “glimpse into the future” for Alberta farmers. “In Canada, our area burned has doubled since the 1970s, and I — and a number of others — attribute this to climate change,” said Mike Flannigan, a professor with the department […] Read more

Feds announce tax support for cattle producers

Measures will assist those hit by bovine TB outbreak and in areas affected by drought

Alberta and Saskatchewan cattle producers affected by bovine TB outbreak in 2016 and this year will receive additional tax relief. Farmers who received compensation under the Health of Animals Act from livestock destroyed due to the bovine tuberculosis outbreak in 2016 and 2017 in Alberta and Saskatchewan are eligible for livestock tax deferral provisions. These allow them to defer a […] Read more