GFM Network News


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Farm workers qualify for Alberta’s ‘critical worker’ benefit

Employers can apply starting Tuesday

Alberta has expanded the pool of workers eligible for its pandemic-related Critical Worker Benefit to include farm workers starting Tuesday (June 22). The province announced Tuesday that eligibility for the $1,200 payments would expand to more categories of workers who “provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods, and […] Read more

Farmers attend a protest during a nationwide strike against newly passed farm bills at the Singhu border near Delhi on Dec. 8, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Anushree Fadnavis)

Farmers protest across India against Modi’s farm market reforms

New Delhi/Mumbai | Reuters — Farmers’ protests against new laws liberalizing agricultural markets spread across India on Tuesday, as farm organizations called for a nationwide strike after inconclusive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. In eastern and western states, farmers blocked roads and squatted on railway tracks, delaying hordes of people getting to work, […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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



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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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


Farmer Standing on a Harvester

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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