GFM Network News


Last year, Statistics Canada revealed Canadian farm debt exceeds a record $100 billion dollars.

Borrowing our way to prosperity

Is it healthy for Canada’s farmers to have more debt than 130 of the world’s national governments?

Farmers and the ag industry love to set records. They drool over variety yields, bushels per acre, acres per hour, rates of gain, and any other metric that might portray them as more productive, efficient or simply better than their competitors. Yet barely a word was mentioned last spring when Statistics Canada revealed Canadian farm […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Our greatest risk

The defining events of 2018 may have been the things that didn’t happen, like ripping up NAFTA or pulling the plug on ethanol supports. That’s not how it’s going to be in 2019

Our January 2019 issue of Country Guide, like our issues all through 2018, is full of good news. Has there ever been a time when farmers have felt so capable of withstanding weather and marketplace shocks that would have had them spinning in other decades? And has there ever been a time when farmers have […] Read more


As a producer, are you getting enough feedback from the consumers of your grains? If not, you need to ask why.

Time to take control

When it comes to the future of Canada’s grains sector, no one is steering the ship. We can’t let that continue

In September, I challenged farmers to think about how Canada’s agricultural production should be branded. I questioned how consumers and foreign buyers view the commodities we produce. And most importantly, I wanted every farmer to ask themselves if production practices they use add or diminish that brand. That column upset some farmers. Readers felt my […] Read more

Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Be it resolved…

We’re heading into another meeting season, and here’s a topic that’s actually worth making a resolution out of and standing up to move. Clearly, there won’t be progress if you don’t

Obviously, you don’t have to get very far away from the farm to lose sight of the fact that the real energy that’s driving agriculture isn’t some GMO breakthrough, or some new chemical innovation or even some amazingly brilliant bit of electronic engineering. Nor is it the price of grain, or the value of the […] Read more


All of the gains farmers have made in no-till are likely in jeopardy if their access to glyphosate is eliminated.

A new attack on glyphosate

Earlier this fall, some food companies were calling for a ban on glyphosate

Already by October 1, 2018, over 200 products sold under 17 different brand names were displaying the Glyphosate Residue Free symbol on their packaging. And another 50 brands representing hundreds more products are in the process of securing Glyphosate Residue Free certification. Farmers can expect increasing backlash over their use of glyphosate because of this […] Read more



Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: In 2018, we know what really works

Who thinks of financial management when we have those road-trip discussions about which innovations should get how much credit for making today’s agriculture so great?

If it was a scientific technology that was adding as much capability to today’s farms as effective financial management, we’d all be quick to sing it’s praises. We’d also have a pretty clear sense of how much value it was adding to the farm. It’s an interesting exercise to think about it in terms of […] Read more

The right recipe for success? Talking with someone who knows your business and the businesses you are in, but is at arm’s-length from the emotion.

Opinion: Winning with help from a mentor

The editor at Country Guide asked, “After meeting someone who could be a potential mentor, what makes a farmer pursue a full mentorship? When do they make the decision, and why? What is the impact of the relationship for themselves and their business? How do we relate this to leadership?” I didn’t have the answers […] 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

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


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