GFM Network News


This harvest, take a bit of time to do things differently

Instead of the usual go-go-go approach, think about how we can all learn to use time more wisely

I watched in horror a video on social media in which a farmer wrapped his preteen son in bale wrap. The child was in the machine! Later that week I coaxed an elderly man holding his electric saw down off a 25-foot extension ladder. At a lavender farm, I encouraged the owner to stop giving […] Read more

Attendees at Olds College’s AgSmart 2019 event got to see new technology, including the autonomous DOT Power Platform, in action. Experts say the pandemic will speed up adoption of self-driving equipment as well as behind-the-scenes tech, such as distributed ledger technology.

Pandemic speeding up adoption of technology

Online ordering and virtual contracts commonplace, traceability and autonomous machines getting new push

Like it or not, the farm of the future will run on technology — and that future has become ever closer because of COVID-19. “It’s been a pretty big disruption for a lot of businesses,” said Wes Anderson, senior fertility specialist at CropPro Consulting. “It has forced a lot of our clients to use technology […] Read more


Louis Dreyfus adds venture capital unit

New unit's potential budget not yet discussed publicly

Paris | Reuters — Agricultural commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Co. has launched a venture capital program to invest in food and farming firms while also announcing a change of head for its innovation business. “Over the coming months, we will invest in early-stage companies with the potential to transform the food and agriculture industries,” CEO […] Read more

Report links business management, mental health of farmers

Farm women, young farmers report higher levels of stress, difficulties coping

Ottawa — A new report from Farm Management Canada (FMC) calls for action after determining 75 per cent of Canadian farmers reported being moderately to highly stressed about unpredictable interference, workload pressure and financial pressures. But how a farmer plans his or her business — and associated risks — can help lower that statistic. The […] Read more


Federal government to backstop TFW isolation with funding

Employers backed to provide mandatory two-week isolation

Farming and agrifood employers bringing temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to Canada will get per-worker support to make sure those employees can self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Monday announced up to $50 million for such employers to put such measures in place. As part of its response to the COVID-19 […] Read more



Fraser: In ag marketing, emotions need to start trumping facts

Emotional transparency 'actually goes a long way'

Go to an agricultural event and someone will inevitably point out how bad farmers are at getting their message to consumers. As annoying as it is, those comments underscore an increasingly important theme in Canadian agriculture: communication. It used to be enough to grow and market your crops, but that has changed dramatically over the […] Read more

U.S. states declare emergencies to help farmers in propane shortage

Reuters — Regional shortages of propane, which is used for heating homes and barns and by farmers to dry their crops, have led to emergency declarations covering nine U.S. Midwest states amid late harvests of soggy grains. Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin declared state emergencies beginning in late October, and continued last Friday to […] Read more


Sure, drones draw a crowd, but like other farm tools today, they need to earn their keep by generating usable data that actually increases profits.

The farm data overload needs a fix

Ag tech event shows future of farming is data driven — but 'we're not there yet'

Jay Bruggencate has a bit of a bone to pick with the ag-tech industry. “We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into smart equipment that knows what it’s doing but can’t talk to each other,” said the Lacombe-area farmer at the recent AgSmart event at Olds College. “There’s so much data now available to us […] Read more

At Hebert Grain Ventures, data from field operations -- as well as from employees, financial statements and a host of other sources -- is analyzed and used to find new ways to improve efficiency.

How one farm put data analytics to work

Saskatchewan grain farm makes money by assessing data on everything from employees to soil moisture

Most people say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But at Hebert Grain Ventures, their motto is, “If it’s not broke, you haven’t looked hard enough.” “We don’t believe that, just because we had a good year or a good yield, that’s enough,” said Evan Shout, the Saskatchewan farm’s chief financial officer. “If we […] Read more