GFM Network News


The best advice one University of Lethbridge professor can give farmers when it comes to accounting for unpredictable weather is to be flexible.

How farmers can adapt to the new weather abnormal

The stable weather patterns of the ’80s and ’90s are gone, so we ask three climate scientists how to farm when the weather is unreliable

Reading Time: 6 minutes For many western Canadian farmers this is the fourth consecutive year with harvest progress seriously stymied by weather issues. Fall rains and snows have resulted in significant loss of crop quality and/or an increased reliance on costly drying of crops in each of those years. For some farmers, inclement weather has even resulted in crops […] Read more

Pundits have been pushing Alberta’s western separation narrative as a solution to the economic doldrums caused by low commodity prices.

Is western separation a real possibility? The cost of Alberta secession

Why is it farmers will tour countless variety plots and study mounds of test data to find a one or two per cent yield advantage, yet are willing to bet the farm on key structural changes based on nothing more than political slogans?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Case in point: Once again western separation has become a hot topic. Many readers will argue this shouldn’t be taken seriously; it’s just coffee-shop talk. But is it? In February an Angus Reid Institute poll showed 50 per cent of Albertans would support secession from Canada. Since then Premier Jason Kenney on multiple occasions has […] Read more


Knowing why you are a farmer is especially important given the changes that are occurring in agriculture today.

Why I farm

The message is essentially your mission statement

Reading Time: 5 minutes The primary role of a farm manager is to find the best solution to the myriad questions and problems encountered each and every day. Farmers regularly fret over questions like: What will the markets do? Should I buy, contract, or sell today? Has a pest reached threshold levels, and is a pesticide application justifiable economically? […] Read more

Today, food branding often focuses on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD).

Oh FUD!

This new anti-farm marketing strategy makes even farmers feel like swearing. But here’s a better way to fight back

Reading Time: 6 minutes The food industry used to market food products on the basis of nutrition, quality and value. Companies spoke of the care farmers took to provide the healthiest, safest, best food in the world. Oh, how times have changed. Today, food branding often focuses on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). The nutritional label is overshadowed by […] Read more


My 11 steps to making better decisions

What does making a documentary in India have to do with farm management decision-making? As it turns out, a lot

Reading Time: 6 minutes Are the decisions you make based on solid information and knowledge, or are they based on bias and emotions? This is a critical question everyone needs to ask because the basis on which decisions are made ultimately determines the quality of the decisions. In the run up to New Year’s, I realized that 2019 marks […] Read more

The Farmers Business Network revolution

FBN says it is going to revolutionize agriculture, making farmers way more competitive. The service is off to a good start

Reading Time: 6 minutes As farmers, we may be on the verge of a transformational change in the way farmers conduct business and manage their operations all because of the Silicon Valley start-up: “Farmers Business Network.” History is littered with farmer and peasant uprisings. Because of the disorganization of these farmer rebellions and quick suppression by governing elites, most […] Read more


When processors began investing in overseas pineapple production, the writing was on the wall for Hawaii’s island industry.

Is Hawaii the canary in the cornfield?

There is a lesson for us to learn from the island paradise, so get ready for some uncomfortable reading

Reading Time: 7 minutes Since 2012, U.S. grain prices have trended down significantly. Canadian farmers have been somewhat shielded from the price drop by a corresponding slump in the Canadian dollar. However, current prices combined with last year’s weather-related yield and quality losses are resulting in negative margins for many producers. Coffee shop analysts are quick to assign blame […] Read more

Last year, Statistics Canada revealed Canadian farm debt exceeds a record $100 billion dollars.

Borrowing our way to prosperity

Is it healthy for Canada’s farmers to have more debt than 130 of the world’s national governments?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Farmers and the ag industry love to set records. They drool over variety yields, bushels per acre, acres per hour, rates of gain, and any other metric that might portray them as more productive, efficient or simply better than their competitors. Yet barely a word was mentioned last spring when Statistics Canada revealed Canadian farm […] Read more


As a producer, are you getting enough feedback from the consumers of your grains? If not, you need to ask why.

Time to take control

When it comes to the future of Canada’s grains sector, no one is steering the ship. We can’t let that continue

Reading Time: 6 minutes In September, I challenged farmers to think about how Canada’s agricultural production should be branded. I questioned how consumers and foreign buyers view the commodities we produce. And most importantly, I wanted every farmer to ask themselves if production practices they use add or diminish that brand. That column upset some farmers. Readers felt my […] Read more

All of the gains farmers have made in no-till are likely in jeopardy if their access to glyphosate is eliminated.

A new attack on glyphosate

Earlier this fall, some food companies were calling for a ban on glyphosate

Reading Time: 8 minutes Already by October 1, 2018, over 200 products sold under 17 different brand names were displaying the Glyphosate Residue Free symbol on their packaging. And another 50 brands representing hundreds more products are in the process of securing Glyphosate Residue Free certification. Farmers can expect increasing backlash over their use of glyphosate because of this […] Read more