GFM Network News


Prairie drought conditions improve

CNS Canada — While drought conditions in Western Canada have improved following late-season snowfall, it isn’t a completely rosy picture just yet. “We have seen significant departures from normal in terms of precipitation (on the Prairies over) a long period. The winter hasn’t been above average (for precipitation) so there hasn’t been a whole lot […] Read more

Checking the dugout should be on the winter prep list

Provincial water specialist offers his inspection to-do list and tips for protecting water quality

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to inspect your dugouts, says a provincial water specialist. An inspection should start with a check of the area that feeds into the dugout, said Dan Benson. “Make sure that this area is free of debris that might flow into your dugout,” he said. “A properly […] Read more


Heat wave may have left a toxic legacy

The heat wave from earlier this month could pose a lingering and deadly danger to your children, livestock, or pets — blue-green algae. The algae contains several types of toxins, which can cause organ damage; affect the nervous and respiratory systems; cause paralysis; and, in extreme cases, can kill. While people are not likely to […] Read more



If you suspect blue-green algae is in a water body, don’t swim in it, 
allow livestock near it, or use the water on your garden.

Don’t take chances with blue-green algae

Cyanobacteria can produce toxins that can cause organ damage or even death

An Alberta Agriculture and Forestry agricultural water engineer, has a warning about the dangers of blue-green algae. “Blue-green algae is actually cyanobacteria, and can produce toxins that can be very dangerous,” said Shawn Elgert. “It can cause organ damage or even death if ingested by humans, livestock or pets.” Blue-green algae can often be hard […] Read more

Will you have enough water when you need it?

Growing Forward 2 funding is available for new water sources such as wells and dugouts

Winter is a good time to review your water resources and identify any risks, says a provincial water engineer. “It’s the perfect season to spend some time working on your long-term water management plan,” said Melissa Orr-Langner. The goal of the plan is to ensure a farm has adequate and sustainable water sources to meet […] Read more


Factors to consider before constructing a dugout

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to dugouts, says provincial water engineer

This is the time of year producers may be thinking about digging new dugouts. And, as with any new building project, there are factors to ponder before the first shovel hits the dirt. “Fall is a great time of year to construct new dugouts,” said Melissa Orr-Langner, agricultural water engineer with Alberta Agriculture and Rural […] Read more