GFM Network News


What does the Sustainable Beef Framework involve?

Even the overview of protocols set out in the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework runs nearly 60 pages. But here are a few of the ‘indicators’ for cattle producers from the five areas that the framework covers: Natural Resources One of the goals is to maintain or enhance water quality. To score 1 (a.k.a. Achievement level), […] Read more

“We’ve been striving for a long time to have a directed checkoff and this does allow people to have some choice,” says Ryan Kasko.

Long-running cattle checkoff battle may be coming to an end

An agreement on an industry development fund is key to a tentative deal between Alberta Beef Producers and cattle feeders

It’s not finalized yet, but the organizations representing cattle producers and feeders say they’re close to creating a fund to advance the province’s beef sector — and ending a nearly decade-long checkoff. “The Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund is a concept that would be able to be implemented with a non-refundable service charge,” said Rich […] Read more


Solar watering can save stress during droughts

Long viewed as a band-aid solution for droughts, solar watering systems can help raise your grazing game

Cattle grazer Tim Hoven has a love-hate relationship with solar watering systems. “When it works great, it’s amazing. But when there’s complications, it’s extremely frustrating — just like any piece of technology,” the Eckville-area producer said in an interview last month. “Yesterday, I was literally out fighting a frozen water line that had drained the […] Read more

Prairie farmers keep growing more canola — but world markets want it all.

THE GOLDEN CROP: The story for canola keeps getting better

Near-record crush and increasing global demand show that canola’s successful run is far from over

Canola is king across Alberta — and there’s no reason to think it won’t have a long and healthy reign. “Canola offers a leading and consistent mix of superior agronomics and strong demand,” said Greg Kostal, president of Kostal Ag Consulting. “Yeah, it has its ups and downs, and there’s little micro-reasons for it. But […] Read more


AgSafe Alberta offering free safety programs for farmers

New producer-run organization has free advisers who can make visits to help you improve farm safety


Newly formed AgSafe Alberta now has boots on the ground, says extension co-ordinator Donna Trottier. “There are a couple of things that we want farmers out there to know,” she said at the recent Canadian Agricultural Safety Association conference. “We have three advisers who are available to come out to your farm and help introduce […] Read more

Harvest better than expected in most — but not all — areas

Expectations were low in many areas of the province, but yield and quality have generally been decent

This year’s crop quality and yields are better than expected, which comes as a major surprise to both farmers and agronomists across the province. “Even as late as seeding was done, the yield seems to be average or better than expected, which is surprising, when some canola was planted on the 7th or 8th of […] Read more



Two Lethbridge researchers chosen for mentorship program

Program will give Robert Gruninger and Stacy Singer 
a chance to know the beef industry better

Two scientists from Ag Canada’s Lethbridge research centre and one from the University of Saskatchewan have been chosen for the Beef Cattle Research Council’s mentorship program. The program pairs up-and-coming applied researchers with innovative cattle producers or other industry professionals for a one-year mentorship. It provides researchers with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of […] Read more


Federal research scientist Syama Chatterton is working on a tool that will identify root rot risk in pulse crops.

Root rot risk analysis tool could come online by next year

There are few things that pulse producers can do to manage root rots in their fields — but a new risk assessment tool could help

A new screening tool that will tell producers the risk of a root rot infection in their pulse crops could be available as early as next year. “At the moment, if producers are concerned about whether they have root rot in their field, they can take their soil to a commercial testing lab to determine […] Read more

Cattle producers urged to get premises identification number

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency is urging Alberta livestock producers to prepare for new livestock traceability regulations that once enacted will require them to have a valid, premises identification (PID) number. A producer can call Alberta’s PID registry at 310-FARM with a legal land description to confirm or acquire a PID, or contact a field […] Read more