GFM Network News


U of A gets more funding from grains foundation

U of A gets more funding from grains foundation

Reading Time: < 1 minute The University of Alberta is getting a research plot seeder and combine for its wheat-breeding program thanks to a $289,000 grant from the Western Grains Research Foundation. The program focuses on development of hard red (CWRS) and high-yield (CPS) spring wheat varieties, and also conducts research into genetics of disease resistance, nitrogen-use efficiency in wheat, […] Read more

Pork genomics project gets $1 million

Pork genomics project gets $1 million

Reading Time: < 1 minute University of Alberta professor, Michael Dyck has been awarded a $1-million grant for a project that will use genomics to select pigs with improved disease resilience. The funding, which comes from Genome Canada, will build on the work the professor of animal biotechnology has done with funding from Genome Alberta and is being supported by […] Read more


Cow-calf producers wanted for survey

Survey open until March 13

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta cow-calf producers are being asked to take a survey on the challenges they face. The survey is part of a study by the University of Alberta with participation from Alberta Farm Animal Care. “Producer mental health was a consideration as we know that it is closely related to animal welfare,” AFAC said in a […] Read more

This map, created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, shows the dominant agricultural systems around the world. (The dark-green areas are forests and the grey is desert.)

The complicated calculus of climate change

While Canadian farmers may see a longer growing season, there may be more pests and less rain

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farming and food production will be changed as a result of climate change — but the how is a complicated question. “Agriculture is a unique sector,” University of B.C. Professor Navin Ramankutty said earlier this month during this year’s edition of the Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Alberta. “Agriculture is a […] Read more


Alberta farm groups propose new research model

Alberta farm groups propose new research model

A ‘white paper’ by crop and livestock groups calls for a new way of doing things

Reading Time: 2 minutes The provincial government should “play a role” but needs to work closely with the ag sector to develop a new research funding model, say Alberta farm groups. “Both Agriculture Minister (Devin) Dreeshen and Premier (Jason) Kenney have been vocal about the need to put research back in the hands of producers,” Alberta Wheat and Alberta […] Read more

Are you willing to share animal traits info?

Are you willing to share animal traits info?

Reading Time: < 1 minute Cow-calf producers in Alberta are being asked to take a survey aimed at improving the productivity of the industry. Researchers at the University of Alberta are conducting the survey on the willingness of commercial cow-calf producers to accept compensation for sharing their animal traits information and the willingness of breeding associations to pay to obtain […] Read more


Meteorites feel heavy, will attract a fridge magnet, and have a dark “fusion crust” that is often chipped to reveal the rock beneath.

It came from outer space, but now resides near Camrose

Researchers are trying to find a chunk of an asteroid that likely landed in a farmer’s field near the town

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s not every day that researchers come to your field to look for space rocks. But that’s what happened to Camrose producer Rod Ross, after a meteor flew across the sky towards his farm on the last evening in August. “We had a rock that was about 50 kilograms, that might have been about the […] Read more

A 2017 study maps out predictions for changes to the “water footprint” of rain-fed barley grown in agricultural Alberta. (Science of the Total Environment, March 2018)

University’s ‘Beefier Barley’ billboard binned

A billboard about Alberta barley’s prospects under climate change in the University of Alberta’s ‘Truth Matters’ promotion — a series of ads meant to spark discussion about its researchers’ work — has been winnowed out of the campaign. Jacqui Tam, the Edmonton-based U of A’s vice-president for university relations, announced Sunday it would withdraw the […] Read more


Ward Middleton, an organic grain and oilseed farmer from Morinville, was one of the farmers who joined the participatory plant-breeding trials, selecting wheat grown on his farm for breeding.

Hands-on plant breeding: Farmers help select new plant lines

Since 2011, organic farmers from across Canada have been making their own breeding selections

Reading Time: 4 minutes You might call it DIY cereal breeding. Since 2011, plant-breeding researchers have collaborated with organic farmers in a breeding program in which the producers select lines from trials on their own farms. Normally, a breeder goes through a plot, and selects the best spikes, heads or plants according to their breeding goals. “The participatory plant-breeding […] Read more

Marleny Saldaña, an associate professor of food and bioengineering processing at the University of Alberta, is part of a team that has created a cling wrap made from canola.

From farm to fridge? Making cling wrap from canola straw

University of Alberta researchers have found a way to make a food wrap that’s biodegradable

Reading Time: 3 minutes As people try to reduce their use of plastic products, there is a need for items created from environmentally friendly products. Researchers at the University of Alberta may have come up with part of the solution — cling wrap made from canola straw. The product is the only one of its kind in the world, […] Read more