GFM Network News

Gravelle put on 17,000 km a month shipping to Alberta processors. More irrigation, he says, would mean local processing.

“Let’s make some food”

Canada has enormous potential to increase irrigation in Saskatchewan. So why is so little happening?

Using only 20 per cent of the available supply, there is enough water running through Saskatchewan’s Gardiner Dam at Lake Diefenbaker to irrigate half a million acres. The potential for farm diversification and value-added processing would add billions to the national agriculture economy and cement Canada’s role in feeding a hungry world. And the other […] Read more

For veg grower Dan Erlandson, the Prairies plus water add up to opportunity.

Getting fresh in Saskatchewan

The farmers in Prairie Fresh Food Corporation are transforming the world’s breadbasket (at least a part of it) into their own salad bowl by getting as business minded as grain growers

The famous and predictable vista of Saskatchewan includes tracts of yellow canola, fields of wheat bending to the endless wind, and more recently, the deep leafy green of soybeans. But irrigation pivots, rows of cucumbers, beans and corn? Not so much. Still, despite its small population and few urban centres of size, Saskatchewan folk are demanding more locally grown and fresh produce. And local […] Read more

Reading Atwood

When author Margaret Atwood gets invited to tour western ranchland, some farmers see her as a lifesaver, others as a crackpot. From there, the plot thickens.   “Ranchers have been given a Cinderella plot,” Margaret Atwood tells us. “The wicked stepmother says, ‘Sure, you can go to the party, but first you must complete these impossible tasks.'” […] Read more


Henry Mintzberg may be Canada’s most famous business thinker, but his thinking about farming sounds at first very unbusiness-like. Farmers, he believes, will do a better job of managing if they not only see their farm as a business but also embrace the lifestyle that comes with it. In fact, much of what Mintzberg preaches […] Read more

Help wanted

It used to be mainly the East’s hort sector. Now, red tape over foreign workers is causing red ink for farmers in the very heart of the country, like Saskatchewan’s Mark Knox

Mark Knox is a beekeeper. He and his wife Janice have been keeping bees and harvesting honey for over 25 years now in Saskatchewan, where bees are serious business. The Knoxes are serious too. With 3,500 hives, the Knoxes are among the 10 largest operations in the province. They run that business northeast of Nipawin, […] Read more

Farm credit

While it looks like free money, it takes discipline and lots of record-keeping to get the new carbon credits. Still, if there’s a cheque, and it’s got some zeroes…

With more farmers on the prowl to create new revenue streams, this might be the right time to take a look at an invisible commodity that farmers create simply by doing what they’re already doing.

Alberta has only 10 per cent of Canada’s population, but 40 per cent of our national carbon emissions. With those statistics in mind it isn’t surprising that in 2007 Alberta was the first province to introduce greenhouse gas legislation targeting utilities and other regulated companies known as large final emitters. These businesses can comply with […] Read more

What Is It Young People Want Anyway?

As questions go, this isn t exactly new. What do young people want? Every generation has wondered at the behaviour of their young, and every age has questioned the wisdom of its children s long-term goals. Granted, it doesn t help that the question sometimes gets asked with sarcasm in the voice and a raised […] Read more


Their parents can probably be forgiven for assuming that a farmer growing five acres of strawberries in southern Ontario can t possibly have anything to teach a young farmer breaking into large-scale production on the Prairies. Even Christie Young, executive director with Ontario s FarmStart, describes her ideas about small-scale, new farmers as unique. But […] Read more

All Together Now

We aren t alone. All around the world, farmers are searching for ways to succeed in a business environment that s more intense than anything we ve ever seen. Yes, margins have been tight before, but now markets are just more volatile, input costs are soaring and the price of land is rising beyond belief. […] Read more

Something About The Weather

“Upon closer inspection, recent temperature trends strongly suggest that Saskatchewan is not getting much hotter, but rather ‘less cold’: there has been a larger increase in daily minimum temperatures (as opposed to maximum) and the largest warming has occurred during winter and early spring, resulting in a longer frost-free period and more growing degree days.” […] Read more