GFM Network News

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Fraser: In ag marketing, emotions need to start trumping facts

Emotional transparency 'actually goes a long way'

Go to an agricultural event and someone will inevitably point out how bad farmers are at getting their message to consumers. As annoying as it is, those comments underscore an increasingly important theme in Canadian agriculture: communication. It used to be enough to grow and market your crops, but that has changed dramatically over the […] Read more

A rough-legged hawk finds the perfect perch, high above a stubble field near Priddis.

Christmas Bird Count set to begin

Annual citizen science project runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5

Reading Time: < 1 minute It is not uncommon for rough-legged hawks to stay north during the winter months, while most hawks migrate south. This fellow in the photo above may just end up being part of the annual Christmas Bird Count. Started in 1900, the count is North America’s longest-running citizen science project with volunteers collecting data in more […] Read more

Opinion: Why the cattle checkoff should rise

Opinion: Why the cattle checkoff should rise

Canada’s beef industry has a bright future but innovation is key and costly — and the 
current levy simply isn’t enough

Reading Time: 3 minutes As cattle producers, you and I have been helping to fund Canadian beef research since 2002 by paying checkoff every time we sell an animal. The work that’s been done with that money has benefited the industry as a whole and at the individual farm level because of the information and innovations that come as […] Read more

Lon Carlson and Lorraine Beaudin have been testing for leptin for a decade at Carlson Cattle Company, a purebred Red Angus and Gelbvieh operation they operate with their four children. From left to right, Lon, Sidney, Conor, Alison, Kolten and Lorraine.

Does the ‘appetite gene’ make for better cattle?

A genetic mutation in cattle makes gains with a little help from its friends

Reading Time: 5 minutes Somewhat controversial in the early days of cattle genetic coding, leptin — a hormone that regulates appetite in animals and humans — is making a comeback among some cattle breeders. The difference this time is its common inclusion in a broad panel of beneficial genes tested in cattle, said Stephen Moore, a leading researcher in […] Read more

wild oats

Herbicide-resistant weeds are just the symptom

Is resistance the problem, or is it farmers’ dependence on chemistry?

Reading Time: 3 minutes For decades, the experts have treated the growing problem of herbicide-resistant weeds as something solvable by the next new chemistry or biological breakthrough. But now more are stepping back and acknowledging it as a symptom of a much bigger issue in modern agriculture. In fact, one of the world’s leading experts in managing herbicide resistance […] Read more

On-farm research can pay big dividends but “no data is better than bad data,” says Farming Smarter’s 
Ken Coles.  Photo: Jennifer Blair

On-farm research done right can save producers big bucks

It takes time and effort, but doing research on your farm means you’re 
‘not just flying blind’ when buying costly inputs

Reading Time: 3 minutes There really wasn’t much scientific about Kevin Auch’s first foray into on-farm research almost 30 years ago. “It was basically a visual display of micros being applied by hand in a severely eroded area — there was no measured-out pounds per acre or anything like that,” said the Carmangay-area mixed grain farmer. “All it would […] Read more

Man making a presentation in front of a screen.

Anti-glyphosate crusader accuses herbicide of causing a host of ills

Don Huber is a darling of farm critics, but once again refused to offer evidence for his claim during a Lethbridge visit

Reading Time: 3 minutes Don Huber has become the darling of organic farming fans and notorious among farmers and scientists for his opposition to glyphosate and genetically engineered crops. The retired plant pathologist from Purdue University, who has a long and distinguished CV, laid out some of the science — and his personal beliefs — for stance for attendees […] Read more