GFM Network News


U of A student chosen for Youth Ag Summit

Reading Time: < 1 minute Amanda Hardman from Stony Plain is one of two Canadians chosen to participate in the global Youth Ag Summit, although this year’s event will be a virtual affair.  More than 2,000 youth from almost 100 countries applied for the January event, “a community of global young leaders championing sustainable agriculture and food security” by submitting […] Read more

Since 2013, the University of Alberta’s wheat-breeding program has developed 14 new wheat varieties for western Canadian farmers.

Renowned U of A wheat-breeding program hanging on — for now

It’s now cranking out new varieties but government cuts threaten program’s revival, says top breeder

Reading Time: 3 minutes Further cuts to post-secondary institutions could lead to the “canola-ization” of wheat breeding. And that’s not a good thing, says one of the country’s top wheat breeders. “I think farmers would say the canola experience is a mistake — letting private enterprise take it over,” said University of Alberta professor, Dean Spaner. “Effectively, they’re breeding […] Read more


Drawing on big databases and using AI to ‘scrape’ the internet produces info that ranchers can use to make better decisions faster, says David Wishart, an expert in both computing and biological sciences. The U of A professor is helping to develop an app that will put that treasure trove of info on a producer’s computer or smartphone in an easy-to-use form.

Would you like a supercomputer with your cattle herd?

Big Data: Armchair Rancher will harness the power of big data and AI, and give Alberta producers ‘a leg up’

Reading Time: 3 minutes The ‘ancestry.com’ of the cattle industry is in development — and the app could give Alberta ranchers a leg up on the rest of the industry. Livestock Gentec, in collaboration with Alberta Innovates and the University of Alberta’s David Wishart, is creating an app that will help ranchers make better and faster decisions on the […] Read more



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