GFM Network News


HarvXtra alfalfa with Roundup Ready technology is gaining ground in Eastern Canada, but there are no plans to bring it west yet.

Does genetically engineered alfalfa have a place in Alberta?

There are advantages to GE alfalfa — but for most Alberta producers, the benefits don’t outweigh the risks

Genetically engineered alfalfa is gaining traction in Ontario — but don’t expect to see it in Alberta any time soon. During its June board meeting, the Alberta Forage Industry Network reaffirmed its 2016 position that Alberta should remain GE alfalfa free. That decision was an easy one, said Strathmore-area hay grower and marketer John Bland. […] Read more

Jim and Karen Taphorn hoped their son would take over their Kansas farm. He tried but plunging grain prices forced him out and the Taphorns decided to retire and sell their equipment at an auction in February.

Trade war and sagging prices push out U.S. farmers

A decade ago, young people were flocking back to the farm — but now they, and their parents, are leaving

A decade ago, young people were flocking back to the farm — but now they, and their parents, are leaving

Shuffling across his frozen fields, farmer Jim Taphorn hunched his shoulders against the wind and squinted at the auctioneer standing next to his tractors. After a fifth harvest with low grain prices, made worse last fall by the U.S.-China trade war, the 68-year-old and his family were calling it quits. Farming also was taking a physical toll […] Read more


Seek Hawk equipment now bears the red paint and logo of its parent company.

Renamed Seed Hawk now flies the flag of parent company

Saskatchewan equipment maker Seed Hawk has been rechristened as Vaderstad Industries Inc. The company was started in the tiny community of Langbank by farmer Pat Beaujot, his brother, and two friends in 1986. They were frustrated by the lack of suitable seeding equipment for no till at that time and decided to build their own […] Read more

Farmers on a committee dealing with workplace safety regulations argued that wearing a seatbelt while operating farm equipment doesn’t make sense much of the time. But the committee is recommending making buckling up mandatory.

Buckle up — workplace safety rules may be in for a rough ride

Mandatory seatbelt use is among several ‘pretty big’ regulations that don’t make sense, 
says the AgCoalition

Over the objections of its farmer members, a committee has recommended the province make seatbelt use mandatory in tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Forcing farmers to buckle up is just one — although likely the most controversial — of 142 recommendations from four “technical working groups” established to turn Bill 6 into actual occupational […] Read more


Misunderstood hand signals are a source of tension on the farm because they are often invented and not shared.

Temper tantrums: There’s way too much drama on some farms

A Facebook post on hand signals prompted an outpouring of comments 
from farm women subjected to angry tirades

This summer, a young female farmer posted the following message on Facebook: My husband is the worst ever at hand signals. Ten yrs. farming together and I still have no freaking clue what he is trying to signal to me. It would help if he actually used conventional signals and not his own secret signal […] Read more

Social media, texts, and emails are great but can’t take the place of talking with people face to face, 
says pedigreed seed producer Sarah Hoffmann.

All the iron is still there, but Agri-Trade has a new dimension

There’s still acres of farm equipment to be seen, but also an opportunity to upgrade your personal skill set

When you think of a farm equipment show, a motivational speaker talking about personal development might not spring to mind. But it’s exactly what women who attend Agri-Trade said they wanted to see at the popular Red Deer event. “Attendee surveys brought a strong message that there were a lot of women in agriculture who […] Read more


Ross McKenzie heard a lot of micronutrient claims during his lengthy career as a provincial agronomist and researcher, but the vast majority couldn’t be substantiated.

Proceed with caution when it comes to micronutrients, says agronomist

It’s not hard to spend thousands of dollars on micronutrients that aren’t needed or produce little benefit, 
says Ross McKenzie

Farmers need to put on their critical thinking caps when dealing with micronutrient claims — or risk spending lots of money for no or marginal results. There is a lot of hype surrounding supplemental micronutrients right now, said Ross McKenzie, a retired agronomy research scientist. However, not all micronutrients are created equally; some of the […] Read more

Feed prices have shot up and that’s lowered bids from feedlots, while drought also means cows are coming off grass earlier.

Big divide in crop and cattle marketing

Grain growers have options that most cattle producers just won’t have this fall

Drought conditions in Alberta will have an upside for crop growers when marketing, but it’s nothing but bad news for cattle producers. “From a bigger-picture perspective, certainly we’re going to have fewer bushels in Western Canada than in the past couple of years, and that is generally going to be supportive to prices,” said FarmLink’s […] Read more


‘Three times a day, you need a farmer’ — a phrase that says a lot

It’s not just the food we produce — farming is 
much deeper and more meaningful than that


My grandfather used to say, “Once in your life you need a doctor, lawyer, policeman, or preacher but every day — three times a day — you need a farmer.” To some this may be a catchy phrase but to others it has a deeper meaning. We were working on a school project, Grandpa and […] Read more

Gaining more efficiency in “labour, power, and machinery” is the key to bigger profits, says Saskatchewan farmer Kristjan Hebert.

Looking to cut costs and increase profits? Try the five per cent rule

Increasing yields and your sale price by five per cent while 
cutting costs by the same amount can double your profit


In the sport of baseball, the difference between superstar Derek Jeter and a squad player is simply hitting one more ball every 20 times at bat — a five per cent improvement done “over and over and over again.” Well, that’s fine for baseball, but what does five per cent look like in farming? “If […] Read more