GFM Network News


Cleanfarms opens office in Lethbridge

Cleanfarms has opened an Alberta office in Lethbridge. The national stewardship organization is best known for its ag-plastics recycling programs for pesticide and fertilizer jugs and totes as well as grain bags. The organization, which has offices in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan, has hired environmental scientist Davin Johnson for the Lethbridge operation. Johnson grew up […] Read more

A canola council project looking at beneficial insects in wetlands, shelterbelts, and other insect habitats caused a Twitter firestorm when farmers thought the organization was partnering with Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Confusing canola council tweet ‘bugs’ farmers

Tweet suggested council and Ducks Unlimited were partnering in agronomy project on beneficial insects

A tweet that suggested the Canola Council of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada were working together on an agronomy project prompted a firestorm of angry comments. The tweet, posted on Feb. 1, was about a project on beneficial insects in wetlands, shelterbelts, and other insect habitats. The idea of the canola council and Ducks Unlimited […] Read more


This map, created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, shows the dominant agricultural systems around the world. (The dark-green areas are forests and the grey is desert.)

The complicated calculus of climate change

While Canadian farmers may see a longer growing season, there may be more pests and less rain

Farming and food production will be changed as a result of climate change — but the how is a complicated question. “Agriculture is a unique sector,” University of B.C. Professor Navin Ramankutty said earlier this month during this year’s edition of the Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Alberta. “Agriculture is a […] Read more

The problem with practices like minimum till isn’t just that carbon sequestration can be easily reversed, but the protocols that allow payments to be made are complicated and costly to produce. But that may soon change because major food companies, input suppliers, and restaurant chains are vowing to shrink their carbon footprint.

Cashing in on carbon: It’s coming, says expert

Big multinationals are vowing to reduce their carbon footprint and this will create an opportunity for farmers

Alberta farmers lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions — they just don’t get paid for it, says an expert in the carbon-credit market. But that’s starting to change, said Jon Alcock, sustainability specialist at Viresco Solutions, a company that develops carbon credits and “carbon intensity scores.” “On a global scene, Alberta has been […] Read more


A $220,000 sponsorship from the TD Bank Group will help support ALUS projects in eight communities, including Lac Ste. Anne County and Red Deer County. Pictured is a fence protecting a wetland on Duane Movald’s ranch in Brazeau County, one of several ALUS-sponsored projects on the fifth-generation farm.

Bank signs on as launch sponsor for ALUS Canada’s New Acre program

“We know that restoring nature on the landscape has many benefits for both farmers and their communities..."

Three hundred acres of farmland across Canada will be transformed into conservation projects thanks to a sizable sponsorship from TD Bank Group to ALUS Canada’s New Acre program. “The TD sponsorship is an indication that the private sector recognizes the value of this kind of work and is willing to put money behind it,” said […] Read more

Consumers don’t understand the practices of crop farmers, but want to know they are sustainable, said Ted Menzies, chair of the committee developing a code of practices for sustainable crops.

Consumers want proof that crop farming is sustainable

Code of practice expected to be released for feedback this summer, says industry veteran Ted Menzies

Crop producers are practising sustainable farming, but consumers want proof — and that’s why a code of practice is needed, says a veteran industry leader. Consumers don’t understand that crop practices in Canada are sustainable, Ted Menzies said at the recent AGM of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture. “Maybe they don’t need to understand that,” […] Read more


Canada must be seen as leaders in agriculture and food as well as food ingredient technology.

Agriculture must continue to be a technology leader

We need to foster innovative research in order to meet the challenges that we will face in the coming years

As I stood in the desert with my colleagues, I realized that competing both economically and in volume to their level of production would be impossible. The sand delivered 48 dry tonnes of forage in many harvests per year. More importantly, the long-term objective of turning the desert into food production was becoming a reality. […] Read more

Scott Proudfoot took advantage of a forage seed rebate program to rejuvenate 
110 acres on his operation near Youngstown.

Fostering forage and grasslands in the Special Areas

The region has been hit hard by a multi-year drought so rejuvenating forage stands is a challenge

It’s a bitterly cold day with the wind blowing hard from the north and few trees to hide behind. Scott Proudfoot, though, has grown to cherish the wide-open spaces in the Special Areas of southeastern Alberta. “I’ve fallen in love with it out here. It’s one of the last places in the world you can […] Read more



Pivots that used to sink into the soil on Brendon Rockey’s farm was one of the signs that something was wrong with the soil structure, 
the Colorado potato grower told attendees at the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health & Grazing.

Cooking up a successful recipe for improved soil health

Brendon Rockey’s farm is far different than most, but his winning formula has lessons for other growers

In some ways, soil health conferences are like recipe swaps — with attendees always on the lookout for a mix of ingredients that will produce better results. One of those recipes presented at the sold-out Western Canada Conference on Soil Health & Grazing last month came from a Colorado potato grower who farms in high-elevation, near-desert conditions and no […] Read more