GFM Network News


The new $70-million grasslands conservation effort will allow hundreds of Prairie ranchers to do projects on their land, says Tamara Carter, a Saskatchewan producer recently hired as the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s director of prairie grassland conservation.

Grasslands conservation effort gets $70-million boost

Major grasslands initiative to fund 800 stewardship projects across the Prairies

Reading Time: 4 minutes There have been a lot of grasslands conservation efforts, but none as large as the Weston Family Prairie Grasslands Initiative. Five organizations are being given nearly $25 million by the Weston Family Foundation for what may be the largest grasslands conservation effort ever in Canada. And each of the five groups will be committing additional […] Read more

“We have a chance to diversify our markets and sell canola to the size of the Japan market right in our backyard.” – Chris Vervaet.

Will the future be electric or driven by canola?

New fuel standard will give canola a major boost, but electric vehicles are a rival

Reading Time: 4 minutes Biofuels aren’t the only clean energy game in town, and a hoped-for boost for canola as a biofuel feedstock might be tempered by a surge in demand for electric vehicles. In December, the federal government released details of its Clean Fuel Standard, which ups the amount of biofuel in diesel. That prompted predictions it could […] Read more


In many areas of the world there is a direct threat to farming.

Schoepp: Climate change policies — how will they impact your farm?

One of the newest initiatives is called rewilding and it illustrates the gulf between farmers and the public

Reading Time: 3 minutes Will changes in climate policy impact land use on your farm? We don’t know yet in Canada but here are some considerations and examples from around the world. Agriculture, and in particular animal agriculture, has long been proclaimed by special interest groups as climate culprits and has been accused of a litany of woes, stemming […] Read more

File photo of domestic hogs on a German farm. (FooTToo/iStock/Getty Images)

EU farmers could get cash to curb emissions from belching livestock

Brussels | Reuters — Farmers should get European Union funding to reduce methane emissions from livestock or increase organic farmland, the European Commission said on Thursday, under plans to make agriculture greener. The EU is nearing the end of a two-year battle to overhaul its massive farming subsidies scheme, to attempt to align the agriculture […] Read more


This graphic from a new federal report shows the “most damaging extreme weather events” in terms of insured losses in 2018 dollars. However, it does not include last June’s hailstorm in Calgary ($1.3 billion in insured damage) and April’s flooding in Fort McMurray ($562 million in insured damage).

Climate change will bring drastic change here, say experts

Alberta has been hit hard by extreme weather in recent years, and a new report says more trouble lies ahead

Reading Time: 4 minutes Albertans can expect to see more extreme weather as climate change reshapes the landscape of the Prairies. “There’s quite a bit of strong scientific evidence that, in a warming climate, you can expect extreme weather events to occur with increased severity, in particular flooding and wildfire,” said Dave Sauchyn, director of the Prairie Adaptation Research […] Read more

Extreme weather events were not hard to come by in 2020.

Alberta weather disasters make Top 10 in 2020

Reading Time: < 1 minute It’s an unwelcome honour, but Alberta has two of the top three spots in Environment Canada’s Top 10 weather stories of the year. The June 13 hailstorm in Calgary caused an estimated $1.3 billion in damage – $386 million in smashed or cracked windshields alone along with pummelling “hundreds of thousands of hectares” of grain […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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