GFM Network News


U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack as Biden’s ag secretary

Pandemic leaves USDA 'a lot of work to do'

Reuters — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, returning the former Iowa governor to the job he held under ex-President Barack Obama. The 100-member Senate approved Vilsack 92-7. He needed a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled chamber to be confirmed. As secretary of the sprawling department, Vilsack […] Read more

Budget could include new BRM program, ag labour plan

Proposal for 'AgriResilience' program goes to Freeland

A new pre-budget report from the House of Commons’ finance committee is recommending several measures directly related to agriculture — including sought-after tweaks to AgriStability and creation of an entirely new business risk management program. The multipartisan committee heard testimony and received submissions from more than 800 groups and individuals. Mostly-virtual meetings took place in […] Read more



Nutrien beats profit expectation on strong potash sales

Reuters — Canadian fertilizer maker Nutrien posted fourth-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates on Wednesday as potash demand rose amid rising crop prices, sending its U.S.-listed shares up in extended trade. Fertilizer producers have benefited from high U.S. crop exports, including record-large corn sales to China. With crop prices touching multi-year highs, farmers are poised to […] Read more


Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala makes history as new head of WTO

Geneva-based body leaderless for six months; Trump paralyzed some of WTO's functions

Geneva/Washington | Reuters — Three months after the Trump administration rejected her, former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received unanimous backing on Monday to become the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organization. A self-declared “doer” with a track record of taking on seemingly intractable problems, Okonjo-Iweala will have her work […] Read more

High fertilizer prices likely to climb more

MarketsFarm — Expect fertilizer prices to resume increasing, despite having fallen back recently. Prices began their sharp rise around the middle of December and beginning of January. “They will go higher as demand goes up at seeding time,” Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm Pro in Winnipeg said. Jubinville reported urea prices have jumped $100 per tonne […] Read more


Federated Co-op buying into ag retailer Blair’s

Central, southeastern Saskatchewan sites to go into new joint venture

The ag retail arm of the Saskatchewan-based Blair’s Family of Companies is set to go into a joint venture with one of Canada’s biggest co-operatives. Blair’s and Federated Co-operatives (FCL) announced last week they’ve reached an agreement to set up a joint venture which, pending regulatory approvals, will own and operate the seven Blair’s ag […] Read more



Facing green push on farm, fertilizer makers look to sea for growth

Winnipeg/Oslo | Reuters — Two of the world’s biggest fertilizer producers, CF Industries and Yara International, are seeking to cash in on the green energy transition by reconfiguring ammonia plants in the U.S. and Norway to produce clean energy to power ships. The consumption of oil for transportation is one of the top contributors to […] Read more

Alberta’s Lakeland to offer ag tech degree

College to launch first-in-Canada program in September

East-central Alberta’s Lakeland College is set to offer what’s billed as Canada’s first degree program in agriculture technology, as a two-year post-credential program, starting in September. The program, announced Wednesday, will consist of full-time studies at Lakeland’s campus at Vermilion, about 180 km east of Edmonton, plus “experiential learning practicums” off campus, en route to […] Read more