GFM Network News


Tighter regulations take effect for B.C. farmland reserve

Local governments' expanded role to take effect this fall

New regulations governing how — or if — changes can be made to land’s status within British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) are now in force, but local governments get more prep time for their expanded role. The province on Thursday announced amendments to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Act — having received royal assent […] Read more

A slide is pictured behind members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a news conference on the Special Report on Climate Change and Land after IPCC's 50th session in Geneva on Aug. 8, 2019.

UN report on livestock and climate change gets lost in translation

Panel of climate change experts say meat production must be sustainable — but few noted that distinction

“Eat less meat” was the phrase of choice for describing a new report from the United Nations’ climate change panel. Those three words appeared in headlines in publications such as Time magazine, the National Post, and the Times of London. But the report itself said something different, said the science director of the Beef Cattle […] Read more


A queen bumblebee collects floral resources for her nest.

Environmental threats put bumblebee queens under pressure

Insecticide exposure and declining floral diversity are jeopardizing key pollinator group

Spring is a busy time for bumblebee queens. After emerging from hibernation, their to-do list includes making nests, laying eggs, and keeping their larvae warm and fed. It’s physiologically demanding, and the stakes are high: the success of the colony depends on a queen. In a recent study, researchers at the University of California Riverside […] Read more

There may be slim pickins in the pasture

Water-stressed forages have more fibre and less protein, and that can reduce 
feed intake and body conditioning

A hot, dry summer hastened the maturity and dormancy of native and improved pastures in many parts of the province, reducing both quality and digestibility of forages. “Plants do not grow as tall as normal in dry conditions,” said beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “Fibre levels increase faster and overall energy content of the […] Read more


Ontario to add local weight to land use appeal process

Ontario’s Municipal Board (OMB), which handles appeals of land use planning decisions across the province, is set to be replaced with a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. The provincial government announced Tuesday it will introduce legislation “in the coming weeks” to replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the new tribunal, “mandated to give greater weight […] Read more

Preserving wildlife habitat on his Milk River ranch has been a win-win, says John Ross.

Fifteen years later, conservation program is an overnight sensation

Almost no one wanted to sign up for the wildlife habitat restoration 
project when it started, but now there’s a waiting list

John Ross was the first rancher to sign on to the MULTISAR (Multiple Species At Risk) program 15 years ago, when no one else wanted to sign up to the conservation initiative. Now, there’s a waiting list of ranchers signed up to make their grazing land more suitable for wildlife and native species. “We worked […] Read more


A neighbour’s ungrazed area could help you get through the dry spring.

Your neighbour’s unused grass could be a lifesaver

Reducing the fuel load on ungrazed areas could be a win-win for everyone

If you’re facing a feed shortage this spring, perhaps a neighbour could help. “Not every square foot of land in Alberta is farmed,” said provincial beef extension specialist Andrea Hanson. “Perhaps there’s a neighbour whose land borders yours and he or she doesn’t have cattle to use the grass or getting their cattle to the […] Read more

Grazing makes for healthier grasslands, which means more carbon capture and plant biodiversity.

Grazing grasslands is good for the environment, study finds

A research team conducted a study on 114 sites throughout Alberta and 
found that long-term grazing can have a positive impact on grasslands

Cattle are often demonized as environmental polluters, but grazing them can have a positive impact on grasslands. “Grasslands store a lot of carbon and we should be proactively thinking about the value of that carbon, not to mention all the environmental goods and services they provide,” said Edward Bork, professor of rangeland ecology at the […] Read more



Sunlight, water, biodiversity, and manure are the ingredients in profitable pastures, says grazing consultant Jim Gerrish.

Boosting the bottom line through better pasture management

It’s about more sunlight, rain, and forage types — and never overgrazing

If farming these days is all about managing inputs, then grazing comes down to managing the land itself — the sunlight, water, minerals, and biodiversity that make pasture lands grow. “We can’t control the price of oil; we can’t control the cost of steel for making farming equipment; but we can manage and control these […] Read more