GFM Network News


Grow them fast and get them out is the motto of livestock nutrition expert Paul Luimes.

Efficiency in sheep production measured in pennies

Reading Time: 3 minutes Some livestock producers think about saving a buck when feeding their animals. But for sheep producers, it comes down to cents. “With sheep, you’ve always got to think about costs,” said Paul Luimes, a livestock nutrition researcher at the University of Guelph. “You’ve got to look for pennies to save because there’s not a lot […] Read more

JC Cahill

Listen to your crops — the plants are talking to each other

They’re also ‘foraging’ for nutrients, deciding where to put their roots, and calling for help when under attack

Reading Time: 3 minutes You might think it’s crazy — but plants talk to each other and act in ways that are similar to animals and humans. “Step away from the idea of plants as factories and start to think of plants as individuals,” biological sciences professor JC Cahill told attendees at the Western Canadian Soil Health and Grazing […] Read more



Fresh hops can fetch $8 a pound, but only have a shelf life of about 24 hours before they must be dried.

Demand is there, but jumping into hops isn’t easy

Reading Time: 2 minutes If you’re wondering if hops might be something you’d like to try, Ontario’s Ag Ministry’s website has a powerpoint primer called Local Hops: A brewing industry. Even though the presentation is barely a year old, Alberta doesn’t even make the list of hops-growing provinces. The owners of Northern Girls Hops west of Edmonton actually started […] Read more


Using your smartphone is now an option for reporting poaching or suspicious incidents.

You can now report poachers online

The 1-800 Report A Poacher hotline is the best option when immediate action is needed

Reading Time: 2 minutes You can now report suspicious hunting or fishing activity online. Until now, the only way to report poaching activity, dangerous wildlife or public land abuse was to phone the Report A Poacher hotline. There is now a Report A Poacher website to fill out a form and submit it online. The report goes to fish […] Read more

You can make a user-pay argument that feedlots should contribute to road maintenance costs but Lethbridge County’s head tax on cattle could prompt some feeders to move elsewhere, or even close down.

A taxing situation — study says there’s no easy fix to county’s cattle tax

The levy on feedlot cattle has some justification, a lot of drawbacks, and no trouble-free alternatives, says new study


Reading Time: 4 minutes Lethbridge County’s head tax is unfair for cattle feeders — but there’s no easy alternative. Those are the key takeaways from a new study that looked at both the impact of a per-cow tax, and how the county could raise badly needed funds for maintaining and repairing its roads. Read more: Lethbridge County ‘head tax’ ruled […] 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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



India’s decision to impose a 50-per-cent tax on peas surprised the Canadian pulse sector.

Out of the blue — India’s tax on peas hits growers here

India is our top customer for pulses but the pea tax and ongoing fumigation issue make for ‘a challenging situation’

Reading Time: 2 minutes India’s sudden decision to impose an immediate 50 per cent duty on pea imports has Canadian pulse officials scrambling to find answers — and figure out what comes next. “This sort of moves us beyond even where India has been before in pulse import duties… more than a decade ago we were at 10 per […] Read more

Solar watering can save stress during droughts

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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