GFM Network News


Saving a jewel — and the setting it’s placed in

Easement protects pristine valley — and the farmland above it

There’s a little slice of paradise nestled in the Rosebud River Valley. Along its craggy cliffsides, golden eagles and peregrine falcons nest, while moose and deer leave their own marks on the native grassland that surrounds the river’s edge. But these lands are home to more than just the wildlife. On top of the river […] Read more

Added costs are the last thing farmers need after a hard year, says one farm group leader.

Lift carbon tax on grain drying, say farm groups

Fuels used for drying grain have not been exempted from the federal carbon tax

Farm groups have fired off urgent appeals for government financial help for producers struggling with a weather-disrupted harvest made worse by the imposition of the federal carbon tax on fuel used to dry grain. A coalition of Alberta commodity groups as well as the Grain Farmers of Ontario sent requests directly to Prime Minister Justin […] Read more


It’s shaping up to be another very tough year for pastures and hay production.

Double whammy: Second dry year hits forages hard

With pastures suffering and hay supplies tight and expensive, fallback strategies are needed

It’s already a tough situation for forages, and fears are mounting that it will get worse. “We went into the winter in very dry conditions. We have had some rains as of late, but with perennial forage crops, their production is pre-set from the year before,” said Ed Shaw, president and chief executive officer of […] Read more

Burying a pair of cotton shorts in the soil is one way that soil enthusiasts can raise awareness about soil health.

Underwear campaign fun with a serious purpose

The goal is to promote awareness that soils are living, breathing entities — and need protection

It seems like just a fun, even silly, thing to do — bury a pair of underwear made of white cotton, and then dig them up a couple of months later to see what soil microbes have done to them. But the Soil Your Undies campaign has a very serious purpose: To show people that […] Read more


Chris Williams (in blue cap) and Erin Cherlet are part of a team of researchers who have been measuring the impact of wildfires on run-off.

More wildfires and changes in run-off a challenge for irrigation district

A lack of tree cover can boost run-off volumes but they come sooner and with much more sediment

As wildfire experts peer into the future, they see more — and more severe — forest fires because of a changing climate. But some are also looking to the past and measuring the impact that forest fires have on the quantity and quality of run-off — two factors that could have major implications for Alberta’s […] Read more

A new grant program is aimed at improving the energy efficiency of facilities used by agricultural societies.

Grant to reduce ag societies’ energy costs

The government of Alberta has announced a $10-million grant program to reduce energy use in facilities operated by agricultural societies, which operate more than 700 facilities including hockey rinks, curling rinks, community halls and facilities that serve rodeos and fairs. The new program will support technologies that help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facility […] Read more


The Arctic is one of the best predictors of climate change and shrinking polar ice.

What happens up north also affects southern Canada

Melting polar ice and a warming north will have an effect on agriculture elsewhere in the country


Canada has the most extensive coastline in the world, and much of that is in the Arctic. That place we know near the North Pole is not however, governed by Canada alone. The Arctic is governed by eight nations: Canada, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, U.S. and Iceland. This group, known as the Arctic Council, […] Read more

What are perceived as imperfections by some in fruits and vegetables, results in global losses as much as 50 per cent of the total grown.

When it comes to food waste, the system is broken

An astonishing amount of food spoils or is thrown out — it’s time to take action

Between my home and the Victoria airport is a big sign urging “Let’s reduce food waste.” If you are reading this column from your farm table, you may already be an expert at the preservation of food and the use of leftovers. Typically, we eat all we grow on the farm. In the store however, […] Read more


Grants preserve grasslands and wildlife habitats

Provincial funding funds conservation easements to protect 13,000 acres from development

The Alberta Land Trust Grant Program is giving more than $7 million to support 24 different projects that will conserve 13,000 acres of private land containing watersheds, grasslands and wildlife habitats. The grants will support projects by the Alberta Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Legacy Land Trust Society, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the […] Read more

Are we trying to feed the world or profit from it? Which lens are we looking through?

Building the foundation for a sensible food policy

We need to have strong and unbiased science to create approaches that are sensible and sustainable

Food prices are expected to stay low for the next decade or so, according to recent reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That is good news to people who eat, which, of course, includes farmers. But it does remind us that farmers […] Read more