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



Is it time to rethink your farm debt?

Debt has soared with farm income. For most farms, that’s good. But what about yours?

Over the past decade, the consensus among Canada’s ag economists has been clear. Yes, farmers have accumulated more debt than ever. But the debt load is manageable. There’s no looming crisis. Now, however, with the prospect of a series of modest interest rate hikes, can we still be so complacent? First, let’s look at the[...]
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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[...]
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Spouses are realizing that farm operations require a much more structured business planning approach.

Between spouses

Formalizing the informal partnership

Joint ownership between spouses has been a long-standing fixture in the farming community, with each holding equal influence when it comes to making key business decisions. It is widely acknowledged and recognized that spouses are key influencers in business decisions. They have always stood front and centre in financial negotiations, are equal participants in professional[...]
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Seven summer financial bottlenecks

In biz-speak, a bottleneck is a point of congestion that causes delays or inefficiencies, leading to higher costs. It’s a perfect metaphor for farm finances at a time of year when the bottle we’d rather be thinking about might have something cold in it, with us sitting on a dock. Yet summer is a too-good-to-miss[...]
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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[...]
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It’s called FarmWorks

This innovative investment fund is creating a new model for getting financial help into the hands of farmers who can make a difference

One of the highest tides in the world enters Jennifer and Kevin Graham’s front yard twice a day. Their 30-acre farm near the seaside village of Kingsport, N.S., runs down to the Minas Basin, an inlet of the Bay of Fundy. This area, like the entire stretch of the Annapolis Valley, is peppered with farms[...]
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Managing your foreign exchange risks

Are you ready to deal with volatile currency values and their potential impact on your net income?

Canada is now the fifth-largest exporter of agricultural and agri-food products in the world. As an export-focused industry, Canadian farmers are regularly exposed to the often-volatile currency exchange market. And while exchange rates have always moved, the fact that we are now so closely linked to a global economy has heightened our exposure to the[...]
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Growing your mid-sized farm

Mid-winter is a great time to review the financial tools that help you make the best decisions

Often when we talk about growing a business, the assumption is that the way to do it is by growing in size. In agriculture, that could be farming more land, increasing the number of livestock, buying more quota, among others. One of my favourite mantras is that “better is better before bigger is better.” In[...]
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