GFM Network News


A weak Canadian dollar is beneficial overall to Canadian farmers as they export the majority of their agricultural products.

Black swans

What will it take to knock Canada’s farmland market out of its holding pattern?

Canadian dollar “Excluding an extraordinary shock to production or commodity prices, a significant increase in the value of the Canadian dollar would have the biggest impact on the supply of farmland available for sale,” says Saskatchewan realtor Tim Hammond. A weak Canadian dollar is beneficial overall to Canadian farmers as they export the majority of […] Read more

Rolling prairie landscape. Central Alberta, Canada.

Less of the same

Realtors report farm sales are slowing and that prices are stabilizing, which may be best for everyone

Barring major shocks to the agriculture sector, the outlook is for continued strong farmland values and tight farmland availability in Canada for the foreseeable future. “By and large, we see a very healthy, very robust farmland market out there, and it seems to be continuing,” says Tom Eisenhauer, president and CEO of Toronto-based Bonnefield, Canada’s […] Read more


All three provinces require that farm machinery be covered by a one-year warranty from the date of first use, and that replacement parts be available for 10 years after purchase.

If you’re not happy with your purchase

All three Prairie provinces have protection for farm equipment purchasers, but the provisions differ

If you’ve taken parts or equipment home but they’re not working as promised, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta all have farm implement acts providing for the dealer to repair or replace them. But while the three provinces have some similar protections, they also differ significantly. All deal with the sale, lease and lease-purchase of farm equipment […] Read more

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