GFM Network News


Many agricultural technology companies say the information they collect is the property of the farmer, but they don’t have transparent explanations as to what that actually means.

Our data road map

Is the ADT initiative in the U.S. the right way to put Canada’s farmers in control of their data too?

Canada is awash in agricultural data that’s not being used to its full potential by farmers, researchers, or the government. Now, work has begun to try and improve that situation. “There’s a lot of information that exists electronically, but we need to give farmers control of their data so they can use it and flow […] Read more

The real surprise in AGCO’s unveiling of the new IDEAL combine was the name it was wearing when it made its North American debut.

The new AGCO strategy

The company gets serious about launching FENDT as its high-tech brand in North America

When I received my invitation from AGCO to attend a media event earlier this summer, I was told there would be a surprise. It was, said the company’s PR agent, to be the unveiling of the new IDEAL combine. Hardly a surprise, I muttered to myself. AGCO had debuted the IDEAL in Germany last November, […] 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 […] Read more

Canada’s claim of being the world’s premium agricultural producer is questionable in the minds of many consumers.

Canada’s agricultural brand has fizzled

Canada used to be known as the top producer of the world’s best food. Now, if we’re lucky, we’re considered second-rate

As you sit in the cab of your combine, swather or truck this harvest season, a point to ponder is how Canadian agriculture will be remembered by the next generation. I think back to my grandfather’s farming days when Canada was considered part of the “bread basket of the world.” Grain buyers depended on the […] Read more


When farmers deviate from their plan, it can often end badly, says one professor of agricultural economics.

Benchmark your marketing

How good are you at marketing? Or maybe more to the point, how bad are you?

Does it necessarily mean you’re poor at marketing if you aren’t actively engaged in daily trading? What if you have never done a paper trade, or if you haven’t ever locked in a private contract with a processer? Does that mean you’re a bad farmer? Obviously, the answer is no. It doesn’t have to mean […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: The way we think about markets

As new crops of young farmers help fill their families’ bins this year, will it be agronomic skill that decides if they succeed, or the farm’s asset strength? Or will it be marketing?

All of us complain about our memories, I’m told. None of us complain about our common sense. At least, I think that’s how it goes. We aren’t always as humble as experience tells us we should be about our mental judgments or our mental aptitudes, and for good reason. We can sound awfully good when […] Read more


It is as viable as any other type of production,” she says, and for Rachel Hebert, here with husband Tyler and children Avery and William, added benefits come with a secure, branded business and loyalty-based links to their customers.

Strategically grass-fed

In the heart of Alberta feedlot country, this farm secures its future in value-add

The story of Trail’s End Beef reads like the script for a reality television show. First, there’s a female protagonist — city-raised, private-school educated, a show jumper with an MA in history, a book author. She’s tall, lanky, blonde, engaging, a go-getter. Vegetarian. Then, there’s the male lead, also tall, also lanky. Raised on a […] Read more

It cost him his ’67 Cougar, and it wasn’t the only time he’d get burned, but Dennis Pashovitz feels his farm emerged stronger for the lesson.

Taking on the market

Options, futures or forward contracts? Two farmers search for sustainable income

Options, futures or forward contracts? Two farmers search for sustainable income Dennis Pashovitz calls it his ’67 Cougar moment. It was the late 1990s and the grain farmer at Arelee, an hour west of Saskatoon, needed cash to open a trading account. The only way to learn about marketing, he was convinced, was to play […] 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

The ‘succession effect’

Setting transition as a goal for your farm can spur growth and profitability, until about three-quarters of the way through

All farmers, no matter where they farm in the world, share certain characteristics. They are all born worriers, and they all have lots to worry about — weather, crop prices, markets. And on top of the day-to-day production issues, and the management challenges involved in running today’s complex farm operations, farmers also have a lot […] Read more