GFM Network News


What if the party’s over?

Maybe these strategies will keep more of us from repeating the tragic ’80s

Reading Time: 9 minutes What is a grain farmer to do? Encouraged by both record-high crop prices and production over the past few years, you bought more land and upgraded your combine. With record-low interest rates, these were shrewd business decisions that pencilled out. They made sense, right? Except now crop prices are flat, and those responsible for input […] Read more

Kris Mayerle offers top wages, shared-cost benefits, an upcoming pension plan… and respect.

Farming. It’s more than a job

Human Resources: When a young employee left their farm to look for a job that could become a career, Kris Mayerle asked, ‘Why can’t that be here?’

Reading Time: 4 minutes At the edge of the boreal forest in northeast Saskatchewan, the Mayerle family hires 13 full and seasonal employees for their 21,000-acre farm, seed processing plant and custom harvesting business. One of their employees is in his 43rd year with the company, another is going on 18 years, and many others have been there more […] Read more


“
We found a huge jump in efficiency in terms of grain loss and quality of sample.”
— David Nagel, 
Mossbank, Sask.

Connecting the dots

Farmers like Mossbank, Sask.’s David Nagel are linking equipment technology and agronomy

Reading Time: 7 minutes Not too many of us consider the particular skills we’re using as we navigate a smart phone, or tablet, or gaming device. We figure them out by simply playing around on them. The platforms today are user friendly, easy to navigate, and chock full of data and applications that may or may not be helpful […] Read more

Where science and politics meet

Massive irrigation projects are likely in Sask.'s future

Reading Time: 4 minutes In 1967, the Gardiner Dam on Saskatchewan’s Lake Diefenbaker was built with the potential to irrigate half a million acres. Today only 110,000 acres are irrigated and only two percent of available water is used. Study after study has indicated a huge boon for agriculture, industry and employment if the irrigation potential were to be […] Read more


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?

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 9 minutes 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

Management

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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.


Reading Time: 9 minutes 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