GFM Network News


farm fields

The sizzling market for farmland may be ready to take a breather

Alberta land prices are still heading up, but double-digit 
annual rises appear to be over for now

Reading Time: 3 minutes The red-hot market for farmland is showing signs of cooling off. “The more recent sales are still showing some increase, but the increases aren’t what they have been previously,” said Dave Weber, an appraiser with Serecon, an agricultural consulting company. Alberta farmland values were increasing about one per cent a month during 2011 and 2012, […] Read more

Ian Murray

Budget cuts have applied research associations reeling

Election 2015: Producer-run research groups raised salaries and upped spending when funding doubled, but now that extra money has been taken away


Reading Time: 2 minutes Alberta’s applied research organizations are facing a financial crisis following the government’s “clawback” of two funds earmarked for research and innovation. “We realize that with the drop in oil prices and the model that the government is funded under, everything had to take a hit,” said Ian Murray, chair of the Agricultural Research and Extension […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Cheaper crude clouds Canada’s economic fortunes

While dropping oil prices have boosted the U.S. economy, how the price slump will affect the outlook north of the border remains a question mark from where Canada’s largest lender sits. “In Canada, it’s a little bit less clear-cut. And the reason is our energy sector is much larger as a share of the overall […] Read more

tracto in a field

Don’t expect diesel, fertilizer, and chemicals to match oil’s steep decline

Experts say it’s a mixed bag when it comes to input costs

Reading Time: 4 minutes Falling oil prices are bad news for energy producers, but that should be good news for farmers and other big users of fuel and energy-intensive products. “We’re paying 30 or 40 cents a litre less for gas today than we were three or four months ago,” said Michael Burt, director of industrial economic trends with […] Read more


person choosing meat in a grocery store

Consumers are richer, but their diets likely won’t be

Consumers will have more cash to spend, 
but very little will go towards bumping up 
their food spending

Reading Time: < 1 minute Consumers are starting the year with a little more jingle in their jeans thanks to the drop in oil prices. “About six or seven per cent of people’s spending in a year is just on gasoline,” said Michael Burt, director of industrial economic trends with the Conference Board of Canada. “If you’re suddenly giving people […] Read more

cattle in a feedlot

Oil price plunge will affect Alberta agriculture and the beef sector

The loonie has followed oil prices down and this will impact 
everything from feeder prices to packing plant utilization

Reading Time: 3 minutes The price of crude oil has fallen a long way since hitting $110 in July 2013 — and the debate on how long this drop will last, and what it will do to the economy, will continue for some time to come. The plunge in oil prices will create winners and losers — the question […] Read more


Oil’s steep fall — and the resulting drop in the dollar — has big implications for 
Alberta agriculture.

How the plunge in oil prices and the loonie affects you

From inputs and labour to the complex ramifications for the beef industry, 
the drop in oil prices and the dollar is changing the farm landscape

Reading Time: 2 minutes A plunging loonie and free-falling oil prices will create winners and losers — and farmers will clearly be in the winners’ circle, according to one of Alberta’s top economists. “Agriculture, forestry and tourism will all do well,” said Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial. “It’s really a big benefit to agriculture that we are […] Read more