GFM Network News


When the herd is a province away, you need reliable water

Beiseker rancher has solar waterer for 100 cow-calf pairs he grazes across the Saskatchewan border

Reading Time: 2 minutes The phrase ‘remote watering’ takes on a new meaning on Duane Kent’s farm. Kent lives in Beiseker (northeast of Calgary) but also has a four-quarter pasture more than 500 kilometres away in Biggar, Sask. The site has no natural surface water and it would cost $30,000 to bring in electrical power. So he relies on […] Read more

Agricultural biomass in the spotlight

Reading Time: < 1 minute Using agricultural biomass to create fuels, chemicals, and materials will be in the spotlight at an upcoming conference in Edmonton promoting innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the bio-industrial sector. While many of the speakers are from the energy sector, there will be several presentations with an agricultural focus. A trio of professors […] Read more


Sending a replacement or first-calf heifer into winter in poor condition will cost you later on as pregnancy rates, calf weaning weights, 
and successful pregnancies will be lower.

First-calf heifers need some extra love

Keep a close eye on the conditions of these young females, that require more energy 
and nutrients than mature cows

Reading Time: 4 minutes Replacement and first-calf heifers need extra management, but producers can take different paths to get to the same destination. Beef producers like Alberta’s Darren Bevans, Tyler Fulton in Manitoba, and Murray Shaw in Ontario know replacement and first-calf heifers need some extra attention heading into winter, but that doesn’t mean over-the-top management. Bevans and Fulton […] Read more

Feed testing now can pay big dividends over the winter. 

Feed testing now can save you money

Testing is especially important this year as supplies are tight and quality down in many areas of the province

Reading Time: 3 minutes Doing feed tests now, at the start of the feeding season, will allow producers to develop a strategy to ensure all categories of cattle in the herd are fed to their production goals and extra costs are avoided. “Livestock feed supplies are going to be tight in some areas of Alberta, while in other areas, […] Read more


Get advice on renewable energy leases

Get advice on renewable energy leases

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Farmers’ Advocate Office has released an updated guide for landowners who have been approached by renewable energy developers to lease land for wind and solar developments. The first version of the guide, called Renewable Energy in Alberta, only came out in February but has been revised following a series of presentations to landowners across […] Read more

Funding sparks boom in small-scale solar projects

Funding sparks boom in small-scale solar projects

Attractive lease rates for ‘micro-gen’ projects have many farmers thinking 
of doing their own

Reading Time: 2 minutes Although smaller-scale community-organized solar farms have, so far, been left in the lurch, there’s good news for farmers and other rural landowners interested in solar. Growing Forward 2 offers grants of up to $50,000 for ‘micro-gen’ solar projects where the power is used in the production of a primary commodity. That kind of government support […] Read more


Dairy farmer Jordan Schuurman explains the energy-efficient changes he and his parents made to their dairy operation during a government press conference held at his family’s farm.

Province ups funding for energy efficiency projects on farms

Farm groups welcome additional funding but say ‘work 
still needs to be done’ to reduce impact of carbon tax

Reading Time: 3 minutes After installing about 100 solar panels on their dairy barn, the Schuurman family has reduced their energy bill by 60 per cent. And they plan to drive it lower still. “My personal conviction is that I want to be sustainable long term — I believe in climate change, and I have an opportunity to change,” […] Read more

Canada invests in Canadian biomass and composites industries

Federal and provincial governments are investing up to $2.9 million to the Composites Innovation Centre Manitoba for two initiatives. The funds will go towards the development of quality standards and measurement techniques for Canadian biomass, and research into overcoming technology barriers to the adoption of natural fibres in the composites industry, a news release says. […] Read more


Canadian biofuels aren’t a ‘blunder,’ they’re a success story

Canadian biofuels aren’t a ‘blunder,’ they’re a success story

Well-designed renewable fuel policies can be good for the 
environment, the economy, and agricultural producers

Reading Time: 3 minutes In an opinion piece published in the previous edition of this paper (Biofuels are one of our greatest environmental blunders), Gwyn Morgan questions the benefits of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Mr. Morgan would have it that biofuels are a “blunder.” In our opinion, biofuels are a home run for the environment and the rural economy. […] Read more

Biofuels are one of our greatest environmental blunders

Proponents of biofuels are simply refusing to count their true environmental cost

Reading Time: 3 minutes Are biofuels really greener than the fossil fuels they displace? In a recent column I pointed out that electric cars are only as green as the fuel used to generate the electricity they consume. For internal-combustion-powered vehicles, much of the focus has been on trying to reduce carbon emissions by adding ethanol to gasoline and […] Read more