GFM Network News


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

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


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

This is not an ideal time to question if the insurance policy you bought covers flooding in your home.

My mistakes

I’ll bet I’m not the only farmer to make these costly insurance mistakes. I’m finally learning my lessons. Are you?

Most magazine articles describe how things should be done. Experts talk about best practices and strategies. We read about the winners and their successes. Yet the most important lessons I have learned came not as a result of emulating what others have done right but rather recognizing and avoiding mistakes I have previously made. Winston […] Read more


Approximately one-third of all the corn grown in the world is planted to GMO varieties.

The benefits of GMO corn

There will always be differing viewpoints and opposing scientific studies, but looking at all of the peer reviewed studies offers a balanced consensus on the benefits and risks

It was in 1996 that genetically modified (GMO) crops were first grown commercially, yet the debate still rages over their safety and toxicology as well as over their environmental and agronomic impact. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a supporter or an opponent, you’ve got a stack of scientific studies you can point […] Read more

The covers of Australia’s and Canada’s wheat brochures both use an image of a combine harvesting, but that’s where the similarities end.

Out-competed

Again, the Australians are showing us how we’d market our crops if we had our act together

Is the Canadian grains sector being out-marketed globally? This is a question that has nagged me since February 16, the date the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre released new information brochures for Australian wheat, barley, oats, canola and pulses. “These publications are aimed at international purchasers of Australian grain,” the association (AEGIC) said in its […] Read more


Advisor vs. adviser

Are you sure you should trust the person who is advising you on your financial future?

Life, business and farming are all becoming increasingly complicated. As a result, individuals in every walk of life, including farmers, are turning to advisers for help. The public has an expectation that these advisers are highly trained, that they are experts in their field, and that they will work in the best interests of the […] Read more

Opinion: Winners and losers

We should take a much harder look at those yield contests

The following is my opinion. Enough said. This started out as a column that was going to extol the farming abilities of some of the winners of canola growing contests. But as I talked with farmers about how they achieved their amazingly high yields, it became clear to me the highest yield isn’t really the […] Read more


The new consumer value

While farmers take pride in producing high-quality crops at affordable prices, consumers have moved on

In my previous article I suggested that farmers need some fresh thinking about the value they are producing for the consumer. Unfortunately, the majority of North American farmers still value their production only on the basis of quality and price, whereas research shows that only about half of consumers now base their food purchasing decisions […] Read more

Re-think the basics

An investment broker who cold-called me last month was more than a bit miffed by the time we hung up. Here’s why

During his sales pitch, the investment broker on the phone asked me what the value of land was where I farm. I told him I didn’t know. He sounded peeved and he questioned how as a farmer I could not know the cost of land in my area. I replied that he had not asked […] Read more