GFM Network News


Smoke from wildfires can definitely delay plant growth but the precise effect on crops and pastures is largely unknown because very little research has been done.

Impact of smoke on crops is more than a little hazy

Field crops are impacted but the science is scarce and the subject is very complex, say experts

After watching smoke choke the skies over their fields for three years running, producers in Alberta are increasingly asking what effect it’s all having on their crops. But unfortunately, little research has been done on the phenomenon. “It is so plant and environment specific,” said Jeremy Boychyn, research extension agronomist with Alberta Barley and Alberta […] Read more

AgriRecovery offered for B.C. wildfire costs

British Columbia ranchers and farmers who lost pasture or cropland or had to move livestock out of the path of wildfires this year may be eligible for AgriRecovery funding. The federal and B.C. governments on Thursday announced a new AgriRecovery program worth up to $5 million to help defray “extraordinary costs incurred” due to wildfires […] Read more


Latest Alberta wildfire info available at one website

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a dedicated website with news and information on wildfires. The Alberta Wildfire website has a Wildfire Status map that is updated throughout the day and provides an overall look at the current wildfire situation across the province. The map also includes links to updates from the province’s 10 forest areas. […] Read more

Grass fires are becoming more common and farmers need to recognize the threat, says a wildfire expert at the University of Alberta.

Climate change equals more grass fires, says expert

Farmers should be aware of this danger and take steps to reduce the risk

This year’s spate of wildfires across the western Prairies were not an anomaly, but rather a “glimpse into the future” for Alberta farmers. “In Canada, our area burned has doubled since the 1970s, and I — and a number of others — attribute this to climate change,” said Mike Flannigan, a professor with the department […] Read more


Communities rally around producers in wildfires’ wake

Ranchers, farmers and rural residents who suffered losses, injuries and more in recent wildfires in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan are seeing support from neighbours and beyond. Alongside a number of online campaigns launched in support of affected farmers and families, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association on Monday launched a wildfire relief fund to help […] Read more

Alberta rancher, advocate James Hargrave, 34

A leader in southern Alberta’s cattle ranching community died in a vehicle crash while helping fight wildfires along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border on Tuesday night. Cypress County officials have identified the firefighter as James Hargrave, 34, a volunteer with the fire station at Walsh, Alta., about 50 km east of Medicine Hat. Alberta’s Agriculture Minister Oneil […] Read more


This year’s wildfire season in B.C. was the worst on record and put emergency response systems — including premises ID — to the test.

Premises ID helped reduce livestock death toll during B.C. wildfires

B.C. struggled to get ranches registered but producers now realize how valuable 
traceability is, says cattlemen’s association

If you want to know the true value of the premises identification system, look no further than our neighbours to the west. “Up until this point, premises ID has been sold to us on the basis of animal health and tracking so that if there’s a disease outbreak, we have the contacts in place to […] Read more

AgriRecovery in place for farms in B.C. wildfire zones

Farmers and ranchers whose operations were hit or evacuated during British Columbia’s particularly destructive wildfire season can expect up to $20 million in AgriRecovery funds toward repair, rebuilding and livestock feeding costs. The federal and B.C. governments on Tuesday laid out more details for the 60-40 cost-shared program, which was announced in principle in mid-August. […] Read more


Options weighed for AgriRecovery in B.C. fire zones

Officials in British Columbia are now gauging what sorts of damages and expenses can be covered through an AgriRecovery plan for ranchers and farmers affected by wildfires. The federal and B.C. governments announced Wednesday they’re “working together to quickly assess the extraordinary costs farmers are incurring and what additional assistance may be required to recover […] Read more

BCCA connecting ranchers, haulers in wildfire areas

Livestock producers needing to move animals out of wildfire zones in British Columbia’s Interior are being asked to contact the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. The BCCA, on its website, said it’s helping to co-ordinate haulers with producers who need to evacuate livestock. “With closures of highways and evacuation orders, permits are needed to re-enter evacuated areas […] Read more