GFM Network News


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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

COVID-19 shifts bull buyers online

As auction marts move to curb the disease's spread, technology is connecting buyers and sellers

Reading Time: 3 minutes As bull sale season stretches into the spring, online sales are helping the industry cut COVID-19 risks while facilitating commerce. The Livestock Market Association of Canada (LMAC) last week held an emergency meeting on how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, and decided to follow Health Canada’s lead on limiting crowd size and encouraging social […] Read more


Ian McNichol (left) and Dwight Odelein (right) pose at the edge of Grid 640.

Drowning in rain

How do you shed water in wet years yet conserve water in dry? Farmers in this small Saskatchewan watershed wrestle with the kinds of issues that may soon engulf the country

Reading Time: 11 minutes In the farmyard that once belonged to Nick Schmidt, lake water now laps towards his grain bins, outbuildings and corrals. A vintage car sits in water nearly up to its bumper. Looking at the scene, Dwight Odelein, a local farmer and nephew of Schmidt, recalls that 20 years ago, the water was five or six […] Read more

John Cote and Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote of Black Fox Farm and Distillery.

Spirited farming

The ongoing evolution of this Saskatchewan farm proves just how big and worthwhile the opportunities can be for today’s agriculture

Reading Time: 10 minutes It’s an idyllic late summer day at Black Fox Farm and Distillery just south of Saskatoon. Standing on top of the hill that overlooks the distillery, you notice that some of the leaves are just starting to turn. The flower and fruit fields are on the hill’s plateau. The flowers are still in bloom — […] Read more


With a key farm investor, Pickard says InfraReady doesn’t need to make a lot of noise. Instead, their focus is on knowing the job, and on execution.

New business

InfraReady’s success, crafted by entrepreneur Mark Pickard, reveals what it takes to grow an idea into a corporate success in today’s ag and food sector

Reading Time: 7 minutes InfraReady Products occupies a modest grey building in Saskatoon’s industrial area, across the street from Maple Leaf Foods. Inside is a business that produces over 250 food products for companies from around the world. On a late August day, a delegation of Mexican business people has stopped at InfraReady for lunch. The menu features food […] Read more

There are risks of an employer being found liable if a stoned employee is involved in an accident. But there’s more uncertainty than clarity about it

High on farmwork

With marijuana decriminalization, what if you suspect one of your farm employees might be high at work? Or… what if they’re driving your equipment high, and you don’t even realize it?

Reading Time: 8 minutes It isn’t an easy question. How can you make sure all employees are fit for work and that they can do the job without endangering their health (or the health of others) without violating their rights or ending up in court? With recreational cannabis legalization in the parliamentary pipeline, employers in all sectors will be […] Read more


Six steps to help prevent clubroot in canola

Back in 2013, John Guelly discovered some dead canola plants with ominous-looking root galls at his Westlock-area farm. But even though clubroot was already known to be in his area, he hadn’t seen it himself, and he wasn’t sure what it looked like. People were secretive about the disease, he told farmers, agronomists and other[...]
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Consider canola crop’s potential yield before spraying

Reading Time: 3 minutes As July approaches and crop canopies close, sclerotinia will be on the minds of many canola growers. But will it pay to spray? Fungicide applications are more likely to be profitable when the canola hits 30-40 bushels per acre, said Colleen Redlick, senior technical development specialist at BASF. Justine Cornelsen, agronomy specialist with the Canola[...]
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I’m using my family farmer instinct to see what is worth pursuing,” explains research manager Lana Shaw.

Crowd research

Is this crowdfunded program a sign of the way farmers will have to go to get the research that governments are slow to pay for?

Reading Time: 5 minutes It was a cold, mid-April morning near Redvers in the south-east corner of a decidedly un-spring-like Saskatchewan, and the flat fields all around us were still blanketed in white. Between the snow and the clouds, you could hardly tell where the sky ended and the earth began. I had arranged to meet research manager Lana[...]
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Is there a tipping point on intercropping?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers’ current interest in intercropping has caught some off guard. On November 29, 2017, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture ran an intercropping workshop in Regina. Workshop organizers expected about 40 people. But 140 people showed up, including several from Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan. Sask Ag ran a second intercropping workshop in January, and another 200[...]
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