GFM Network News


Ag industry a potential ‘bright spot,’ post-pandemic

Agriculture could lead economic rebuild, ATB official says

Alberta’s ag sector will be key in rebuilding the province’s economy once the pandemic is over, says the director of research for economics at ATB Financial. “Overall, I think one of the bright spots in a really dark economic situation in the province is our agriculture and agri-food sector,” Rob Roach said. “It’s still producing. […] Read more

Safety protocols in place for farmers’ grain deliveries

Grain moving as normal, but farmers need to practice social distancing when delivering to elevators

Grain deliveries to country elevators should continue without any disruptions, the executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association says. “All of the members of the Western Grain Elevator Association are doing everything in their power to keep the grain supply chain functioning” during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Wade Sobkowich said Tuesday. “That means we’ll […] Read more


No delays expected in fertilizer distribution

National fertilizer association doesn't expect any disruptions to deliveries

Should farmers expect delays to fertilizer deliveries heading into spring seeding? “Not if we can help it,” Fertilizer Canada CEO Garth Whyte said Thursday.”We’ve weathered all the rail system disruptions that we had over the last six months, and now, with COVID-19, we’re doing OK. “We’ve put contingency plans in at our manufacturing plants, at […] Read more

No Prairie farm fuel shortages expected in pandemic

Continuity plans in place to keep fuel moving

Prairie farmers shouldn’t see a disruption to their farm fuel distribution as a result of COVID-19 safety measures. “Our members are committed to minimizing disruptions to the Canadian fuel supply as a result of the pandemic response,” Canadian Fuels Association spokesperson Jason Vaillant said in an email. “Our members are working tirelessly to maintain operations […] Read more


Conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada are concerned about the pandemic's effect on beef producers and the long-term implications for the wildlife habitat those producers protect.

Cattle versus climate: Where’s the beef?

Livestock production’s environmental impact is complicated but if done right,
 it’s good for the planet, says author

It’s become accepted wisdom that cattle production is worse for the environment than gas-guzzling SUVs — but it’s not true. “We’re told over and over again that cattle are bad for the environment and, therefore, everybody should eat less beef,” said Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. “We’re […] Read more

Ask the right questions of your management consultant

Farmers can go online and get 10 different quotes for the same model of tractor — but that’s not so with hiring a farm business management consultant. “Farmers get frustrated when they look on the soft side of business — the management or consulting side — because they don’t know if they’re getting fair value,”[...]
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Native species are the Steady Eddies of forages — resilient and consistently able to contribute to performance even during 
extreme-weather years.

Native forages offer resilience against Mother Nature

Long-lived native forages complement tame forages nicely — but they have their own merits that make them more competitive than their tame counterparts

Native forages are making a comeback with cattle feeders who are looking for a way to work with — not against — Mother Nature. “Native species complement tame forages,” said federal research scientist Alan Iwaasa. “When used with tame species, native species have merit and can be used quite effectively if you have the land[...]
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Quarantined ranches don’t have the facilities to feed the hundreds of calves they expected to sell in the fall, so Alberta Beef Producers is trying to get permission to use — and then find — feedlots willing to take them.

Compensation promised for ranches under TB quarantine

Ottawa promises financial help while Alberta Beef Producers trying to arrange for feedlots to take in calves

Beleaguered ranchers with quarantined herds are getting some relief as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has approved a beef industry plan to allow calves to be sent to feedlots. “We’re working with the CFIA on the conditions and requirements,” said Rich Smith, executive director of Alberta Beef Producers. “Obviously, it would be hard to get[...]
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