GFM Network News


A small parcel of less productive land seeded to pollinator-friendly plants drew an “amazing” number of native bees, said Rocky Mountain House producer Vance Graham, one of 38 Alberta participants in Operation Pollinator.

Alberta producers create a buzz on their farms with pollinator program

Program encourages farmers to seed an acre or two with plants that attract pollinators and build biodiversity

Vance Graham’s land is now more attractive to bees, and all he had to do was plant a few seed packets. Graham is one of 38 Alberta farmers who signed up for Operation Pollinator, a project run by Syngenta and the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. “They wanted it on an area of ground that […] Read more

Jim and Barb Bauer used to calve in March, which Jim sums up as “sloppy, cold, wet, miserable, and scours.”

Green grass and newborn calves a perfect match, says longtime grazer

The list of pluses is long, says Jim Bauer, including easier calving, reduced feed requirements, and calves that outgain their winter-born cousins

Assisting a cow with her calf is much nicer when the weather is pleasant — and matching calving season with the onset of green grass makes you more money, too. “When you can line up that reproductive cycle with the grass production cycle, that’s huge,” said Jim Bauer, an Acme-area rancher and former manager of […] Read more


Saline seeps don’t have to be as serious as this eight-acre one in southern Alberta 
to cause major yield losses, says agronomist Jack Payne.

Wet-dry cycle drives up salinity and cuts yields

Invisible soil salinity affects 22 million acres on the Prairies, cutting yields by a quarter

Another dry spring could leave producers feeling salty over increased salinity in their soil. “This year and part of last year, we’ve started to see more salinity showing up,” said Jack Payne, western Prairies regional agronomist with Farmers Edge. “Saline seeps tend to form more readily after we’ve had a series of wet years followed […] Read more

This as-yet-unnamed device aims to halve the time and labour when setting up temporary fencing.

Moving along: Institute developing super-fast fencing tool

The device has been designed to allow one person to string half a mile of four-strand, 3D fence in just two hours

Any producer who has put up a temporary fence knows what a tedious process it can be. However, a new device may soon save producers some headaches by halving both the time and labour spent on installing temporary fencing. “Based on some surveying we did of farmers, it takes four to eight hours to put […] Read more


Portable electric fencing is all you need for mob grazing, but there are a number of factors to consider when building a permanent fence.

Making electric fence installation easier

Thanks to better technology, electric fences aren’t as prone to breakages, fires, and shorts — but improper installation is costly

Although it’s arguably the most basic structure on almost any farm or ranch, building a fence can come with a surprising number of decisions in terms of placement and materials. Add electricity to the mix and producers are faced with even more complexity. The good news is that technology has improved dramatically since the days […] Read more

The Grey Wooded Forage Association tour includes Buenos Aires and the southern part of Argentina.

A chance to see how beef is raised down south

The Grey Wooded Forage Association is planning its first trip to Argentina

Members of the Grey Wooded Forage Association are planning a trip to a new continent, and they’re looking for people to join them. The group will be hosting its inaugural tour abroad to Argentina in February 2015. The tour is focused on Argentina’s beef industry, and participants will get to visit farms, research centres, and […] Read more