GFM Network News


The yodelling young cowboy in this Burger King ad has a catchy tune, but one of Canada’s leading beef researchers says its claim of reduced methane emissions from feeding lemongrass to cows is “highly unlikely” to be true.

A whopper of a different sort?

Burger King unveils splashy new campaign built around lemongrass, and not much science, says expert

The yodelling young cowboy is pretty good, but don’t take it for gospel when Burger King’s newest pitchman warbles that “the scientists have proven that it works.” The American burger chain recently launched (in a few U.S. cities) the Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper. Burger King says it “teamed up” with “top-level” scientists from the […] Read more

Two-thirds of greenhouse gases produced by Canadian agriculture comes from beef production, 
with methane produced by digestion accounting for a portion of that.

Feed additive could be a methane game changer

Feed additive that can halve emissions while boosting feed efficiency is now undergoing a large-scale study

There’s pressure on the beef industry to be more sustainable, and some of that pressure falls on scientists like Karen Beauchemin. The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada ruminant nutritionist and her team at the Lethbridge research station are looking for ways to reduce enteric methane — gas produced when digesting feed — from beef cattle. One […] 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


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

Ontario proposal aims to double ethanol blend in fuel

Government move would boost corn market in the province

An Ontario government proposal could dramatically increase the amount of Ontario corn going into ethanol production and help bring consistency to the basis price for corn in the province. The government has posted its proposal to increase ethanol content in the province’s gasoline from five to 10 per cent to the Environmental Bill of Rights […] Read more


Agricultural biomass in the spotlight

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

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


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


Bocock Brothers receive top dairy award

John and Bill Bocock are the 2016 recipients of the Alberta Milk’s Dairy Industry Achievement Award. The brothers are trendsetters whose dairy careers have spanned decades, and among their contributions to the industry is a donation of 777 acres to the University of Alberta to create the St. Albert Research Station. The station is used […] Read more

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

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


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

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

The massive root systems of prairie grasses mean they can store up to 130 tonnes of carbon per hectare.

Grasslands a carbon-capture colossus

Do the math: Take Alberta $15-per-tonne carbon tax and then look at how much carbon is stored in grasslands

If the Alberta government really wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province, it should start with an incentive for farmers to reduce annual cropping, says a rangeland management expert. “There’s a pretty compelling case about why there should be a direct economic incentive for producers to maintain or even increase the amount of […] Read more