GFM Network News


W.A. Grain and Pulse Solutions plant at Bowden will soon have two new neighbours. The first facility will have a lentil- and pea-splitting line and flour mill, along with dry and wet fractionation lines. A second facility will produce pet food ingredients from pulses.

Customers can’t wait for new pulse plant to open

Bowden facility will ‘fractionate’ peas and lentils into protein, fibre, and starch for the human and pet food market

A new pulse-processing plant near Bowden will tap into an underserved and growing market for plant-based proteins once it comes online next year. “It’s really a no-brainer — we already have markets (for the protein) across the U.S. and Canada waiting for us to get into production,” said Chris Chivilo, president of W.A. Grain and […] Read more

Canada’s pulse sector is poised to soar, says Murad Al-Katib.

Producers could score big in pulse industry

Murad Al-Katib says Alberta has it all — good growing conditions, port access, and containers

Alberta has a huge opportunity in the pulse sector — and that’s just to meet demand already out there. That was only part of the good-news message that Murad Al-Katib brought to this year’s FarmTech. The future looks even brighter, said the president and CEO of AGT Foods in Regina. “Meeting the demand and supply […] Read more


Provincial forage and beef specialist Karin Lindquist (left) and Kaitlin McLachlan, extension co-ordinator with Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, examine some roots during a pasture walk near 
Fourth Creek.

New non-bloating legume can power up your pastures

After years of development, a new and improved 
sainfoin variety is being field tested across the province

High-legume pastures can be profitable and productive, but many cattle producers are scared to use them because of the risk of bloat. That’s why Alberta Agriculture and Forestry along with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta have teamed up to do sainfoin trials across the province. “Sainfoin is a non-bloating legume,” provincial beef […] Read more

Lentil acres in Alberta have more than doubled in 2016, thanks in part to better genetics, said provincial crop specialist Neil Whatley.

Pulses’ popularity points to bright future

The boom in pulse acres may just be getting started thanks 
to rising demand, better varieties, and strong profitability

Only one hand shot up when Neil Whatley asked a recent crop tour near Castor if anyone was growing lentils this year. Luckily, a more rigorous Statistics Canada survey tells the real story — there are a whole lot of hands growing lentils this year. “There’s close to six million acres on the Prairies this […] Read more


If you haven’t locked in lentil prices, keep a close watch on the markets as bigs can move 10 cents or more on spikes, said Alberta Pulse Growers’ Nevin Rosaasen.

Lentil harvest — and marketing — comes with a learning curve

Lentils stay green into harvest, but you don’t want to wait too long

With Alberta lentil acres more than doubling in 2016, this fall will be the first-ever lentil harvest for a good number of growers. The trick to doing it successfully? Patience, said Nevin Rosaasen, policy and program specialist with Alberta Pulse Growers. “Harvesting lentils can be tricky, and you need to be patient,” said Rosaasen. “Lentils […] Read more

Pea acres should easily shoot up by another 400,000 acres, 
says Alberta Pulse Growers’ Nevin Rosaasen.

No question about it — pulses are hot, hot, hot

Yellow pea and lentil seed haven’t been available for months, 
and some see pulse acres soaring by 20 per cent or more

Pulse acres are set to rise in 2016 — but the multimillion-dollar question is: How much? “Realistically, we could see a 20 to 25 per cent increase in acres just based on seed sales and the usage of inoculant,” said Mark Olson, pulse crops unit head at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “We know from what […] Read more


Alberta producer Allison Ammeter (right) joined celebrity chef Michael Smith and culinary author Anita Stewart at the launch of the International Year of Pulses in Toronto earlier this month. Ammeter is the Canadian chair of the IYP as well as chair of Alberta Pulse Growers. The trio was photobombed by cookbook author Julie Van Rosendaal at the event, part of this year’s worldwide effort to promote pulse consumption.

Sky-high prices spark a boom in pulse production

Drought in India has sent prices to record highs, but the challenge for 
Alberta growers is finding yellow pea and red lentil seed

Expect to be hearing a lot more about pulses in 2016. And seeing a lot more of them, too — as western Canadian pulse acreage is set to soar this year. “Red lentils and yellow peas will be the leaders,” said Wes Reid, purchasing manager for WA Pulse Solutions, an Innisfail-based commodity buyer and seller. […] Read more

Cattle love purple prairie clover, and the legume also provides environmental benefits.

Saving the environment one legume at a time

Condensed tannins reduce bloat and do a whole lot more besides

In the environmental debate, some rank cattle up there with smokestacks and auto emissions. But Canadian researchers are discovering Mother Nature has developed her own mitigation strategy for bovine burps, flatulence, and excrement — and showing that grazing cattle has major environmental benefits. In 2000, concerns over cattle and greenhouse gases prompted Allan Iwaasa of […] Read more


A blend of cover crops — like this mix of proso millet, crimson clover, and tillage radish — will bring a variety of benefits to the soil.

Pick the right tool for the job when creating cover crop blends

Using a diverse blend of cover crops — including cool- and warm-season grasses and broadleaf crops — covers the bases while targeting soil issues

When it comes to choosing the right cover crops for your farm, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. “Growers need to have an objective in mind in terms of what they want to get out of a cover crop,” said Bob Blackshaw, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “You have to choose the […] Read more

There’s mysterious stuff happening in the soil, but U of Sask. soil scientist Diane Knight knows what you should be looking for in nitrogen fixation in legumes.

When it comes to rhizobial bacteria, an infection is a good thing

When you pull up a legume and find nodules on the roots, what should 
you be hoping for? Big nodules or little? White ones or red?

If you want to know if a legume is fixing nitrogen, you have to pull it out of the ground, look at the roots, and check for red nodules. That was one of the many bits of wisdom shared by University of Saskatchewan soil scientist Diane Knight at the Western Canadian Grazing Conference. The province’s […] Read more