GFM Network News


Rafael Otfinowski conducting research at Grasslands National Park.  Photo: Supplied by University of Winnipeg

The struggle to restore native prairie

Though grassland reclamation can take decades and has many challenges, efforts are underway to renew native prairie ecosystems

On the Northern Great Plains, it’s estimated that one acre of native grass is lost every minute. Though recently there has been increased awareness about this ecosystem being the world’s most endangered, pressures to convert this irreplaceable landscape remain strong. “Unfortunately, there’s always this push and pull between different land uses and intensification of agriculture […] Read more

(Solidcolours/iStock/Getty Images)

BAT looks beyond tobacco to Canadian marijuana

Lucky Strike cigarette maker buys into Moncton's Organigram

Reuters — British American Tobacco (BAT) said Thursday it will buy a nearly 20 per cent stake in New Brunswick-based cannabis producer Organigram for about 126 million pounds (C$221.3 million) as it seeks to expand beyond its main tobacco business. Organigram, headquartered at Moncton, grows cannabis and makes cannabis-derived products in the Canadian market, where […] Read more


Angela Bedard-Haughn, shown here delivering a TEDx Talk in Saskatoon in September 2019, becomes the University of Saskatchewan’s new dean of agriculture in August. (Video screengrab from Ted.com)

New dean of agriculture named for U of S

Soil science prof Angela Bedard-Haughn takes over Aug. 15

One of Western Canada’s major post-secondary ag institutions will get a new hand at the wheel this summer. The University of Saskatchewan announced Wednesday it has named soil science professor Angela Bedard-Haughn as the dean for its College of Agriculture and Bioresources for a five-year term starting Aug. 15. Raised on a family farm in […] Read more

Universities can adapt to COVID-19, UCVM dean says

As administrators and faculty modify the system, dean calls for renewed public focus on food production and distribution

As COVID-19 pushes universities to change the way they teach, carry out research and conduct clinical work, the dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary is confident that they can adapt. The academic system “from coast to coast is very intact,” Dr. Baljit Singh said. “We will continue to develop new technologies. We […] Read more


Wheat leaf rust. (James Kolmer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Digital supercluster backs precision fungicide development

Project aims at wheat leaf rust, reducing pesticide load

A West Coast ag tech company in the crop pest control business is setting its sights on wheat leaf rust, with support from one of Canada’s five research superclusters — but not the cluster you might expect. Out of the five federally-supported superclusters launched in early 2018, Protein Industries Canada has been most closely linked […] Read more

(Syngenta.ca)

Syngenta to halt Canadian cereal development operations

Seed and ag chem giant Syngenta plans to wrap up a decade of cereal seed research and development work in Canada by the end of the year. The company announced Wednesday it will discontinue its Canadian cereal seed research and development program effective at the end of calendar 2019, affecting five Syngenta Canada staff positions. […] Read more


Intestinal lesions caused by Johne's disease.

Johne’s disease: Cheap to buy, costly to live with

“Biosecurity” often conjures up images of poultry or hog operations with truckers-report-at-the-gate signs, shower-in-and-out rules and workers dressed in hazmat suits. The point of biosecurity practices is obviously to reduce the risk that disease-causing microbes will enter or spread within high-health status herds or flocks. It is much harder to implement high levels of bio­security […] Read more



Artist’s rendition of the planned Richardson Innovation Centre in Winnipeg. (Graphic courtesy Richardson International)

Richardson to take food innovation downtown

Canadian grain and agrifood firm Richardson International plans to marshal its food research and product development crews in a new downtown Winnipeg space. The privately-held, Winnipeg-based company announced Wednesday it will put up over $30 million to build what it calls the Richardson Innovation Centre, a four-story, 62,000-square foot facility to go up a block […] Read more

University of Guelph president Dr. Franco Vaccarino (right) and Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal sign a new research partnership agreement, with Guelph-area MPP Liz Sandals. (John Greig photo)

Ontario, U of Guelph renew ag research partnership

Up to $713 million in agriculture research will be funded at the University of Guelph over the next 10 years through a renewal of the university’s agreement with the provincial ag ministry. The new agreement has been updated to manage digital data and is aimed to provide a base from which to leverage more research […] Read more