GFM Network News



Jim and Karen Taphorn hoped their son would take over their Kansas farm. He tried but plunging grain prices forced him out and the Taphorns decided to retire and sell their equipment at an auction in February.

Trade war and sagging prices push out U.S. farmers

A decade ago, young people were flocking back to the farm — but now they, and their parents, are leaving

A decade ago, young people were flocking back to the farm — but now they, and their parents, are leaving

Shuffling across his frozen fields, farmer Jim Taphorn hunched his shoulders against the wind and squinted at the auctioneer standing next to his tractors. After a fifth harvest with low grain prices, made worse last fall by the U.S.-China trade war, the 68-year-old and his family were calling it quits. Farming also was taking a physical toll […] Read more


This illustration shows how CRISPR-Cas9 technology could be used to genomically edit a species of the streptococcus bacterium. The Cas9 nuclease protein (in blue) uses a guide RNA sequence (purple) to cut DNA (green) at a complementary site.

Where are the Canadian genome-editing startups?

Looser regulations give the U.S. an edge in GE product development, but Canadians are working on gene editing, too

Genome editing has made some major strides in the past year. Minnesota-based Calyxt struck a deal with a processor to make oil from its GE soybeans, in which the genes responsible for trans fats have been ‘turned off.’ And SU Canola (a sulfonyurea herbicide-resistant variety) was given its Canadian commercial release a year ago by […] Read more

Is it time to shift the power from agricultural pricing based on USDA data to Canadian data?

Data is too important to be left in the hands of others

Canada relies on the U.S for critical agricultural data, and that leaves us extraordinarily vulnerable

Vulnerability is a word that I have taken to heart a lot in the past few years. We are vulnerable when we change, or seek change; vulnerable when we are left open to volatile weather or markets; and in agriculture, we are extraordinarily vulnerable when we are without data. The partial shutdown of the U.S. […] Read more


Cover crops can get cattle back onto cropland — where they belong, according to one soil health specialist.

Cover crops ‘essential’ to in-field grazing

Producers need to more closely mimic nature to avoid long-term soil health issues, says USDA conservationist

Got cows? On your cropland? Jay Fuhrer certainly hopes so. The soil health specialist believes cropland and large ruminants are a natural fit. He advocates turning animals out of the barn and onto the land whenever possible. “Soils, plants, and animals evolved together,” he said at the recent Dairy Farmers of Manitoba conference. “And we […] Read more

Trump leaning toward Georgia ex-governor to lead USDA

Washington | Reuters — Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is U.S. Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s leading candidate to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a senior Trump transition team official said on Monday. Perdue, a Democrat-turned-Republican who founded a grain and fertilizer business, served on Trump’s agricultural advisory committee during his presidential campaign. The official […] Read more


R-CALF alleges USDA's $1-per-head checkoff is being

R-CALF’s USDA lawsuit takes aim at Canadian beef

Protectionist ranchers’ group says checkoffs promote ‘less safe and less wholesome’ imported beef

A group of cattle ranchers is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture, claiming their checkoff dollars are being used to promote Canadian and other imported beef. The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America — best known as R-CALF — also claims imported beef is “less safe and less wholesome.” But the lawsuit filed […] Read more

USDA sees bumper corn, soy crops despite floods

Washington | Reuters –– U.S. corn and soybean harvests were pegged above expectations this year as strong yields in areas west of the Mississippi River will make up for problems caused by excessive rains in eastern production states, the government said Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast the 2015-16 soybean harvest at 3.916 billion […] Read more


U.S. ag secretary orders update of agency’s animal welfare research strategy

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed agency staff to create and deliver an updated animal welfare strategy plan within 60 days, according to an internal email reviewed by Reuters. The emailed memo from Chavonda Jacobs-Young, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, was sent to all Animal […] Read more

Iowa company develops vaccine for PEDv

Harrisvaccines working with USDA to obtain a conditional licence

An Iowa animal pharmaceutical company has shipped about 770,000 doses of a new vaccine that treats a deadly swine virus first detected in U.S. herds this year and has spread to 20 states, a company official said in an interview. Harrisvaccines, based in Ames, Iowa, developed the vaccine called “iPED” in August to fight porcine […] Read more