GFM Network News


Rod and Shelley Bradshaw, along with sons Kurt and Brent, farm near Innisfail and want to keep the quality of the land and water there high for future generations.

Stewardship projects getting ‘ticked off the to-do list’

ALUS Canada has seen a jump in interest in its conservation programs during the pandemic

The pandemic hasn’t just prompted more housebound urbanites to undertake property improvements — more farmers are also looking at conservation projects. ALUS Canada — which helps fund projects such as fencing riparian areas or protecting wildlife habitat — has seen more applications since COVID-19 struck, said Christine Campbell, ALUS Canada’s western hub manager. “We’ve actually […] Read more

Under the Site Rehabilitation Program, farmers can nominate abandoned well sites — like this one in the Municipal District of Taber — for cleanup.

Lots of applications on orphan wells, but few boots on the ground

Abandoned well program inundated with applications but approvals slow in coming

Progress has been slow, but Alberta farmers should soon see work being done to remove abandoned oil and gas wells. In May, Ottawa put up $1.72 billion to clean up orphan or inactive oil and gas wells, pipelines and facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C., with Alberta using its $1-billion share to create the Site […] Read more


Grasslands make great carbon sinks when grazed properly, says a new University of Alberta study.

Making rotational grazing the norm would be a ‘win win,’ says study

If all of Alberta’s grasslands were rotational grazed, 1.2 million tonnes of carbon could be sequestered every year

Grazing your cattle just a little differently could be a win win for your operation and the environment, says a new study from the University of Alberta. “The idea is to evaluate alternative grazing systems to see which ones are best and which ones maximize the sequestration and storage of carbon,” said ecology professor, Mark […] Read more

The yodelling young cowboy in this Burger King ad has a catchy tune, but one of Canada’s leading beef researchers says its claim of reduced methane emissions from feeding lemongrass to cows is “highly unlikely” to be true.

A whopper of a different sort?

Burger King unveils splashy new campaign built around lemongrass, and not much science, says expert

The yodelling young cowboy is pretty good, but don’t take it for gospel when Burger King’s newest pitchman warbles that “the scientists have proven that it works.” The American burger chain recently launched (in a few U.S. cities) the Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper. Burger King says it “teamed up” with “top-level” scientists from the […] Read more


If you have an inactive gas or oil site on your land, now’s your chance to have it cleaned up.

Landowners can ‘nominate’ oil and gas sites for cleanup

Website allows owners to put a site on their property onto a list for potential cleanup

The province is now accepting “nominations” from landowners who have inactive oil and gas sites on their properties. The nomination program is the latest phase of the $1-billion Site Rehabilitation Program announced in spring. The program provides grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation work. To nominate […] Read more

The Waldron ranch is an example of how having cattle on the landscape can protect grasslands.

Conservation groups rally behind beef sector

If pandemic forces ranchers to exit sector, grasslands will suffer, say conservationists

Government needs to step up its support for the cattle sector — not just for ranchers, but to save the country’s most endangered habitat, say a coalition of conservation groups. Very little of Canada’s grasslands remain and the cattle sector is essential to preserving what’s left, conservation organizations told the federal environment minister in a […] Read more


If your environmental farm plan is more than a decade old, you will need to renew it.

Having an official stewardship plan comes with benefits

Access to grants and the ‘sustainable sourcing’ trend are key reasons for an environmental farm plan

A lot of Alberta farmers have an environmental farm plan, but many are gathering dust on a shelf and are no longer valid. But having a valid environmental farm plan (EFP) has several benefits and renewing one has become easier, say officials who run the program. A constant in Alberta since 2003, there are 4,500 […] Read more

EU plans to halve pesticide use, expand organic farming

Brussels | Reuters — The European Commission said on Wednesday it planned to increase organic farming and cut agricultural chemical use to protect the environment, proposals welcomed by green groups but which farmers said would make them less flexible. Agriculture is a contributor to climate change – producing around 10 per cent of EU greenhouse […] Read more


This pilot solar installation, built by SkyFire Energy near Tilley in 2015, could be a model for reclaiming orphan well sites on lower-quality land. Another pilot is underway in the MD of Taber but the provincial UCP government hasn’t demonstrated an interest in using well reclamation money for this sort of project.

Orphan well cleanup gets $1.7 billion from Ottawa

Move to deal with long-standing problem welcomed but bid to use sites for solar arrays may get lost in shuffle

A federal cash injection of $1.7 billion will help clean up Alberta’s mess of orphan oil and gas wells. “We were already planning to have a very busy 2020, and this is going to help us continue doing the work that we’re doing,” said Lars De Pauw, executive director of the Orphan Well Association. The […] Read more

Solar panels lose a little bit of efficiency each year but the irrigation district’s arrays come with a guarantee of 80 per cent output in 25 years’ time.

Inspired by farmers, irrigation district aims for ‘net zero’

St. Mary River Irrigation District moves a lot of water and has a big electric bill — but that’s about to change

The St. Mary River Irrigation District is putting the sun to work providing water to its users. Solar arrays at two large pump stations have the district in a position to achieve net zero electrical use — and potentially save hundreds of thousands in electricity costs down the road. The inspiration to look at solar came […] Read more