GFM Network News


industry and nature

The groupthink on CO2 levels ignores some basic science

Views will change as atmospheric CO2 continues to rise with little or no significant change in global temperatures

Reading Time: 3 minutes As an agricultural producer, a former science teacher, and someone who is involved in the delivery of agricultural extension, I would like to submit some comments in relation to Daniel Bezte’s article in the Feb. 13 edition, “Articles on climate change provoke some readers“. The article’s title is entirely fitting because articles on climate change […] Read more

‘Change’ is the watchword in a warming world, says researcher

‘Change’ is the watchword in a warming world, says researcher

Longer summers and milder winters sound nice, but even the pluses come with some negatives

Reading Time: 3 minutes How will the Canadian cattle industry fare if global temperatures continue to rise? Count a reduced feed demand, a longer grazing season, and higher forage production among the benefits — but also expect more extreme weather, pests, and transport headaches, according to University of Manitoba research scientist Kim Ominski. “We know the future of our […] Read more


This map shows the total amount of precipitation that fell across the Prairies during January. You can see it was a fairly dry month for most regions, with a large portion of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and western Manitoba seeing less than 60 per cent of average.

Articles on climate change provoke some readers

Like politics and religion, global warming is a polarizing topic —
but it’s one that we should discuss

Reading Time: 3 minutes Over the years, some of my weather articles have provoked or inspired various amounts of comments. What surprised me recently was the number of emails I received about the top weather events from around the world in 2016 — in particular, several from readers who accused me of leaning too heavily towards climate change or […] Read more

The 42,000 acres of short-grass prairie at Onefour Ranch is home to at least 23 federally listed species at risk, including the mountain plover (inset).

Historic research ranches won’t be riding off into the sunset

The future of Onefour and Stavely ranches has been secured by the province and the University of Alberta

Reading Time: 2 minutes Decades of grassland research in southern Alberta will be preserved thanks to a deal between the province and the University of Alberta. The agreement will ensure rangeland studies continue at the historic research ranches of Stavely and Onefour. In 2013, the future of both sites was thrown up in the air when the federal government […] Read more


Canadian beef industry gets high marks in sustainability assessment

Canadian beef industry gets high marks in sustainability assessment

Industry needs to reduce meat waste and improve labour practices, but does well on greenhouse gas emissions

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s finally complete. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef has crunched the numbers and can detail the full impact of what it takes to produce beef in Canada. The National Beef Sustainability Assessment — a first-of-its-kind study — took a comprehensive look at the environmental, social, and economic aspects of beef production. “Throughout the sustainability […] Read more

Canadian biofuels aren’t a ‘blunder,’ they’re a success story

Canadian biofuels aren’t a ‘blunder,’ they’re a success story

Well-designed renewable fuel policies can be good for the 
environment, the economy, and agricultural producers

Reading Time: 3 minutes In an opinion piece published in the previous edition of this paper (Biofuels are one of our greatest environmental blunders), Gwyn Morgan questions the benefits of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Mr. Morgan would have it that biofuels are a “blunder.” In our opinion, biofuels are a home run for the environment and the rural economy. […] Read more


Tim McAllister was presented with his outstanding researcher award at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference earlier this month. From left to right, Beef Cattle Research Council science director Reynold Bergen, McAllister, council chair Bryan Thiessen, and Darren Bevans, a council director and general manager of Deseret Ranches.

Renowned Alberta researcher honoured

Reading Time: 2 minutes Tim McAllister has been awarded the 2016 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. McAllister, who grew up on a cow-calf operation near Innisfail, has gained international recognition for his work on antimicrobial resistance, beef cattle nutrition, silage science, greenhouse gas emissions, E. coli 0157:H7, and prion science. He is a principal research […] Read more

Provincial forage and beef specialist Karin Lindquist (left) and Kaitlin McLachlan, extension co-ordinator with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, examine some roots during a pasture walk near 
Fourth Creek.

New non-bloating legume can power up your pastures

After years of development, a new and improved 
sainfoin variety is being field tested across the province

Reading Time: 2 minutes High-legume pastures can be profitable and productive, but many cattle producers are scared to use them because of the risk of bloat. That’s why Alberta Agriculture and Forestry along with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta have teamed up to do sainfoin trials across the province. “Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume,” provincial beef […] Read more


By installing waterers next to fenced-off riparian areas, Sean McGrath had gained extra weeks of water during dry years, and has eliminated problems like foot rot.

Capturing value from riparian areas

The first step is to have a plan before you start fencing, says riparian management expert

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ask just about any Alberta farmer about the worst drought in recent memory and there’s a good chance they will say 2002 — a year that saw water supplies devastated throughout the province. For Sean McGrath, some foresight around land management that year prevented what could have been a disaster. Fencing off a dugout and […] Read more

If these climate change predictions come true, massive heat waves will be the norm. The map on the left shows the current situation: Most of the Prairies is shaded blue (meaning 10 or fewer days when the temperature tops 30 C) with only Palliser’s Triangle in the light-green or yellow zones (20 to 25 days of +30 C). On the right is the prediction for the years after 2050 if there isn’t a reduction in greenhouse gases — with 30 to 45 days of scorching hot weather in a typical summer.

Southern Alberta could soon have Texas weather

Want to see the climate projections for your county? 
New online atlas predicts a sweltering future

Reading Time: 5 minutes Western Canada is on an “inevitable” march towards hot, dry summers and mild winters that will make southern Alberta feel like northern Texas, according to a new climate change mapping program. “One of the big, striking conclusions of the atlas is that, even if we reduce emissions, we still see substantial changes to our climate,” […] Read more