GFM Network News


Only 49 per cent of the study’s surveyed producers were committed to lifelong learning.

Is the class half full or half empty?

Just under half of Canada’s farmers are committed to lifelong learning. Here’s how it makes a difference

“When the human mind is stretched, it never returns to its original size — similar to most new underpants.” That’s a quote from the International Farm Management Congress in Scotland last year, and it’s one that Farm Management Canada (FMC) executive director Heather Watson uses to stress the enduring impact of continuous lifelong learning. “The […] Read more

Farming still remains a lifestyle, but now it's a lifestyle built on a business mindset.

How we market today

Smart young Millennials are bringing an incredible new level of intelligence and energy to commodity marketing on a growing number of Canada’s farms. But not on all

It’s obvious that today’s farmers have upped their financial management game, working with professionals including accountants and lawyers to build on and execute plans that are miles more sophisticated than ever before. But when it comes to marketing, are our farmers as good at roping in top advice? It depends on the farm, of course, […] Read more


Some farms continue to struggle with market success while others make substantial gains.

That ugly bottom third

Are farms still selling two-thirds of their crops at the worst market prices?

At the very least, the old chestnut that farmers sell two-thirds of their crops is the bottom third of the market does stick in the memory. But is it accurate? Um… maybe. There isn’t much hard proof either way, and as for anecdotal evidence, it seems to depend on who you talk to, which may […] Read more

Truckers appreciate improved grain storage areas and equipment, and more room to manoeuvre Super-Bs.

The view from the driver’s seat

The grain storage and transportation system depends more than ever on truckers. Here’s how that looks from their side of the windshield

Discussions about Prairie grain transportation efficiency tend to focus on railways, railways — and railways. Often lost in the century-plus-old feud between farmers and the railroads is the connection between them — the truckers. The system can’t get along without them, and they’ve become even more important due to elevator and branch line closures. We […] Read more


The falling number test requires laboratory-like conditions, and is usually only done at selected central locations when there is a general concern about sprout damage.

Better than meets the eye?

Canada’s quality-control system still has a lot of support, but some are calling for grades to be determined by machines, not the human eye

Is that No. 2 CWRS just as good for milling and baking as a No. 1? Or does that No. 1 CWRS have some quality damage that can’t be seen with the naked eye, making it no better than a No. 2? The answer could be yes in both cases, sometimes, in cases that might […] Read more

AAC Connect (left) offers moderate resistance to fusarium, making it attractive for the eastern Prairies. CDC Bow (right) has good standability, but its susceptibility to fusarium makes it more of a candidate for the western Prairies.

Maltsters keen on promising new barley varieties

The recommended malting list for 2018 contains varieties with better agronomics than Copeland and Metcalfe

For a change, it’s not just farmers who are eagerly greeting new malting barley varieties. Maltsters, too, are singing the praises of emerging varieties intended to replace the big two. The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre’s 2018-19 list of recommended malting barley varieties emphasizes growing demand for AAC Synergy, plus two new varieties, AAC Connect […] Read more


Major elevator companies have rarely if ever defaulted on payment, but it’s worth remembering that even they don’t guarantee beyond 90 days.

Making sure you get paid

Recent changes to the marketing system have prompted the entrance of new players, so it’s worth a refresher on who guarantees payment for grain, and for how long

Grain producers protect the investment they’ve planted, fertilized, watched grow, harvested and taken the pains to safely store, but it’s the Canada Grain Act that’s supposed to ensure financial protection from buyers that go bust or act unscrupulously. Farmers have never had to worry about payment from the large elevator companies which have historically dominated […] Read more

It’s been a good few years in the bin business

Crops have been getting larger, but the elevator system has gone in the other direction, forcing farmers to add more of their own storage

Prairie farmers can’t seem to get enough on-farm storage, and the trend is likely to continue but with ever-growing bin sizes. As farms grow, so too do their storage needs, says Lyle Muyres, vice-president, marketing for CORR Grain Systems Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census of Agriculture confirms operations are getting larger, with producers increasing their farm […] Read more


When the wheat board monopoly ended, so did clearance associations reporting how much grain was being loaded to which vessels arriving or waiting at the West Coast and Thunder Bay.

Open market, but not-so-open information

Five years post-CWB, farmers are still waiting for information that puts them on a more even position with the companies buying their grain

The characters in the play “Waiting for Godot” and Prairie grain market transparency apparently have something in common — waiting for something that never arrives. It’s been five years since the end of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly, when one of the goals was to expose Prairie wheat and barley growers to the mechanisms of […] Read more

The sustainability conundrum

In the Western world at least, there’s a big demand for ‘sustainably sourced’ products. What that means, or receiving a premium for them, is another matter

The food giants want it on their labels, and in the annual reports and other information they send to their investors. PepsiCo, Walmart, General Mills, McDonald’s, Unilever, Sara Lee and Nestlé are among those citing the years 2020 or 2025 as targets for achieving their goals of buying “sustainably sourced” products. But what does that […] Read more