GFM Network News


Blockchain pilot project of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) and Grain Discovery, which involved soybeans bred at the University of Guelph, produced by Szentimrey Seeds, grown at Minten Farms, stored at Beechwood Agri Services, processed at Ying Ying Soy Food in Mississauga, and distributed by FreshSpoke to retail stores.

Real blockchain payoffs

Sure, a lot of what you hear about blockchain technology is hype. But there are also very real pathways to higher net returns

Reading Time: 10 minutes By now, we’ve all heard about the new kid on the ag tech block, known as blockchain. But we’re far from understanding what the use of blockchain is going to mean at the farm level. What benefits will it provide? Will its chain-of-custody and traceability for identity-preserved (IP) crops, including seed, keep Canada competitive? Is […] Read more

It’s been a great advantage to our business already,” says Laura Holtmann. Better employees, better retention… it all adds up.

Crafting a new human resources plan for your farm

Don’t wait any longer. An HR management plan to protect the long-term success of your farm business could be worth working on now. Here’s why

Reading Time: 10 minutes Agriculture is changing. Innovation abounds. More new technology and better automation arrive every year. So it’s worse than ironic that our biggest shortfall is people power. But there it is. Without the right people, can our farms even hope to adopt the technological marvels that are supposed to propel them into the future? Mechanization is […] Read more


Each Prairie province has a website with information on completing an Environmental Farm Plan.

Why Environmental Farm Plans aren’t just for livestock farmers

All three Prairie provinces offer to cost-share programs for producers who have completed an Environmental Farm Plan and adopt beneficial management practices

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Environmental Farm Plan isn’t just for livestock producers, especially as the pressure increases on crop growers to demonstrate their sustainable-cropping practices to the food industry. But before we look at how the EFP is playing an important role in regional and global sustainable-sourcing initiatives, let’s look at what cost-sharing projects related to crops are […] Read more

The McGrath family at Round Rock Ranching has a cow-calf and backgrounding operation with over 4,800 acres.

AgriProfit$ helping beef up Alberta’s farm sector

An on-farm look at Alberta’s program for harnessing multi-year farm business analysis

Reading Time: 8 minutes There’s one word that gets used by the farmers Country Guide interviewed after taking part in Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s free AgriProfit$ farm business management research program. It’s “invaluable.” Sean and Tanya McGrath at Vermilion have participated in AgriProfit$ for 10 years; John Mochniuk at Wildwood has participated for 20. But before we hear their […] Read more


“Better is better before bigger is better,” says agricultural economics professor David Kohl. In other words, focus on operational efficiency before expansion.

Boost the survival odds of your farm

Farm finance expert David Kohl reflects on what farms — both small and large — must do for success in the 2020s and beyond

Reading Time: 6 minutes We all know the basics of health: Get exercise, watch our weight, don’t smoke. But for better health success over the long term, we know we can go further. We should get regular checkups, eat more vegetables, nurture our personal relationships, maintain good sleeping habits and more. Similarly, we know the basics of farm business […] Read more

Five ways to up your grain marketing

You know the basics of grain marketing and you have scored some solid wins. Now you’re looking for achievable ways to grow your confidence in your marketing and to improve your overall pricing percentage. Country Guide approached some of Canada’s leading experts for guidance about how you can best chart your course to the next[...]
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How realistic is it to assess the savings for every new tool or practice on the farm?

How much will that new farm technology really pay?

New tech can work wonders, but is your economic analysis a bankable guide to how it will perform on your farm?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Like everything else in farming, it’s getting more complicated to decide which technologies to invest in for the farm. Actually, make that “much more complicated.” An effective technology strategy is a key success factor, says Purdue University professor Michael Langemeier, “Early adopters of technology often reap above-average profits.” Plus, says Langemeier, it can keep them[...]
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Jordan Dahmer and Tom Teichroeb.

The power of mentorship in agriculture

Mentorship is emerging as agriculture’s key strategy for keeping Canada a world-class place to farm. What could be in it for you?

Reading Time: 8 minutes To be at the top of their game in the 2020s, today’s young and mid-career farmers must excel at growing crops and raising livestock. That’s hard enough, given all the new technologies that neither they nor their parents have ever seen. And that’s just a start. To secure their futures in a world with a[...]
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Processing plants are being built across the country to convert farm crops into bioproducts for essentially every sector.

The booming bioeconomy — Part 2

In part one of this feature, we introduced the bioeconomy and how Canada is working to become a world leader. In part two we look at specific sector developments from coast to coast — there are lots of them!

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s a surprise to most of us. What’s the hottest bioeconomy subsector on the planet? Replacements for plastic. Worldwide demand for biodegradable products is urgent and it’s growing, especially to replace single-use plastic items like straws, utensils, cup lids and plastic bags. The race is on. France banned plastic cups in 2016, and Queen Elizabeth[...]
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Much of the interest in the bioeconomy can be attributed to an increased desire around the world for natural and sustainable products.

The booming bioeconomy

In Part One of this Country Guide look at opportunities in the new bioeconomy, Treena Hein investigates the global picture — and how Canadians can get a piece of the action

Reading Time: 8 minutes Farmers have been hearing about the bioeconomy, and when we learn about new uses for hemp stalks or wheat straw or corn starch, our ears perk up. After all, diversification and new opportunities mean increased sector stability and growth. What many Canadian farmers may not realize, however, is the sheer scale of the bioeconomy in[...]
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