GFM Network News


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A lot of Alberta farmers have an environmental farm plan, but many are gathering dust on a shelf and are no longer valid.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


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