GFM Network News


Canada isn’t alone in this drought year. Hot, dry conditions have hit both U.S. and Russian wheat production and heavy rains in some European wheat-producing countries have driven down quality.

Make the best of a bad year with astute grain marketing

Soaring wheat prices could go higher still, but get advice and be nimble, say market watchers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Drought conditions across Western Canada and elsewhere have driven wheat yields down — and wheat prices up. “I’m having trouble remembering any time in history where we have seen prices for fall delivery ahead of harvest this high,” said Mike Jubinville, senior market analyst with MarketsFarm. “It’s not the all-time record high for […] Read more

Since 2013, the University of Alberta’s wheat-breeding program has developed 14 new wheat varieties for western Canadian farmers.

Renowned U of A wheat-breeding program hanging on — for now

It’s now releasing new varieties but government cuts threaten program’s revival, says top breeder

Reading Time: 3 minutes Further cuts to post-secondary institutions could lead to the “canola-ization” of wheat breeding. And that’s not a good thing, says one of the country’s top wheat breeders. “I think farmers would say the canola experience is a mistake — letting private enterprise take it over,” said University of Alberta professor, Dean Spaner. “Effectively, they’re breeding […] Read more


On-farm slaughter licences diversify the food system, put more money in the pockets of producers, and have strong support from many consumers, says Blake Hall of Prairie Gold Pastured Meats (seen here) and Ian Griebel of Redtail Farms.

Demand for on-farm slaughter licences soars after rule change

Consumers, and the pandemic, have been key factors with more than 170 licences issued

Reading Time: 5 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Demand for on-farm slaughter licences in Alberta has exploded since last summer when a rule change allowed consumers to buy individual animals and have them processed on the farm. “The day that the regulation changed, my phone just blew up, and it was largely our customers calling because they were so thrilled,” […] Read more

Seeding ultra early can produce good or better yield, says Graham Collier, a PhD candidate in agronomy at the University of Alberta.

Strong wheat yields possible in ultra-early seeding system

Study finds producers in some parts of the province may be able to seed their wheat as early as mid-February

Reading Time: 6 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Graham Collier’s grandfather used to time his seeding by the frogs. Once the frogs started singing in the spring, he knew the ground was thawed and it was time to get out into the field. Now, Collier is working on a less esoteric but still uncommon way to time wheat seeding — […] Read more


A canola field near Pincher Creek, Alta. (Laughingmango/E+/Getty Images)

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

Agriculture could lead economic rebuild, ATB official says

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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

(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Safety protocols in place for farmers’ grain deliveries

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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


(Alexey Rezvykh/iStock/Getty Images)

No delays expected in fertilizer distribution

National fertilizer association doesn't expect any disruptions to deliveries

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

(Dave Bedard photo)

No Prairie farm fuel shortages expected in pandemic

Continuity plans in place to keep fuel moving

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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


combine harvesting at night

Iron backlog gone as equipment makers rightsize

It’s taken a few years, but dealers have finally whittled down inventories

Reading Time: 3 minutes Two years ago, you couldn’t drive past an equipment dealership without noticing the rows upon rows of machines — carry-over of anticipated demand that never came. “In 2013 and 2014, everybody was firing on all cylinders,” said Leah Olson, president of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada. “With our record harvests, there was a fundamental shift […] Read more

Ask the right questions of your management consultant

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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