GFM Network News


McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook (centre) and Canadian division head John Betts met with Crossfield rancher Graeme Finn (right) on their tour of Alberta ranches in 2015. Canada’s beef sector is now a model for the company as it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

McDonald’s raises the bar — but Canada’s beef industry already there

Fast-food giant wants to slash its carbon footprint, and Canada's beef sector is a model

Reading Time: 2 minutes McDonald’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one-third over the next dozen years is actually good news for Canadian beef producers, says the chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. “We’re far exceeding their expectations now and even into the future, so even for the 2030 goals, we’re well under it,” said Cherie […] Read more

Advance registration now required for obtaining carbon credits

A new rule means producers must register 
with an aggregator by May 1 to obtain a 
carbon credit for this crop year


Reading Time: < 1 minute An important change has come to Alberta’s Carbon Offset System. Farmers must be registered with an aggregation company prior to May 1 or they will not be able to claim credits for the 2018 year for the Conservation Cropping protocol, the main offset that farmers currently use. This is a change from previous years, when […] Read more


Farmers, particularly in the northern half of Alberta are experiencing a significant dieback of white poplar.

Alberta’s most abundant tree species under threat

The reasons aren’t known for certain but the widespread loss of poplars has significant implications for farming

Reading Time: 4 minutes Have you noticed that the poplar trees in your yard and in your bush are dying? You’re not alone. Alberta is experiencing a significant dieback of one of its most abundant species, and while some landowners are skeptical of the cause, evidence points to climate change as one possible contributor. A massive poplar dieback is […] Read more

Beef isn’t bad for the planet if you take a holistic approach to raising cattle, Nicolette Hahn Niman told Organic Alberta conference attendees.

Cattle aren’t actually killing the planet, says vegetarian rancher

Livestock’s environmental impact is complicated but done right, it’s good for the planet, says author

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s become accepted wisdom that cattle production is worse for the environment than gas-guzzling SUVs — but it’s not true. “We’re told over and over again that cattle are bad for the environment and, therefore, everybody should eat less beef,” said Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. “We’re […] Read more


Agricultural biomass in the spotlight

Reading Time: < 1 minute Using agricultural biomass to create fuels, chemicals, and materials will be in the spotlight at an upcoming conference in Edmonton promoting innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the bio-industrial sector. While many of the speakers are from the energy sector, there will be several presentations with an agricultural focus. A trio of professors […] Read more

There may be slim pickins in the pasture

Water-stressed forages have more fibre and less protein, and that can reduce 
feed intake and body conditioning

Reading Time: 2 minutes A hot, dry summer hastened the maturity and dormancy of native and improved pastures in many parts of the province, reducing both quality and digestibility of forages. “Plants do not grow as tall as normal in dry conditions,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “Fibre levels increase faster and overall energy content of the […] Read more



Tillage can effect your carbon payments

Reading Time: < 1 minute Tillage is expected to increase this year as producers deal with ruts caused by wet weather or installation of fire breaks. But that can have implications for producers involved in the Alberta Carbon Offset Program-Conservation Tillage Protocol. “If you till 10 per cent or more of your field, that field won’t be eligible to receive […] Read more


Feeding the planet is challenging, dealing with its waste is even harder

Earth is becoming an urban planet and that raises a host of issues 
we’ve never had to deal with before

Reading Time: 3 minutes The migration of rural persons to cities hit a historical milestone in 2008 when urban residents outnumbered those in rural areas. The result has been congestion in cities that were ill prepared for this growth and an intense pressure on rural areas to produce more food with less people. The United Nations claims six out […] Read more

Using open-path lasers (pictured), federal research scientist Sean McGinn found between 50 to 60 per cent of nitrogen 
in a feedlot is lost to the atmosphere as ammonia.

Half of nitrogen from feedlots is lost to ammonia emission

Mitigating emissions from feedlots isn’t easy, but there are ‘simple’ steps 
to reduce nitrogen losses and save money


Reading Time: 3 minutes Feedlots have come a long way in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. But a new federal research study has found that nitrogen losses in feedlots are still significant — and can significantly affect the bottom line. “We’re losing about 50 per cent of the nitrogen to ammonia loss in a feedlot, and […] Read more