GFM Network News


June bugs are an important food source for many other insects.

Comment: June bugs. The ‘crouton of the sky’

Widely thought a pest, these creatures deserve a second look

Many people grit their teeth in anticipation of the arrival of June bugs. You might already have had your first run-in with one. Perhaps you heard one clumsily bounce off your window? Maybe you saw one loop around the porch light? Possibly, you felt one tangle its six sticky legs into your hair? June bugs,

“Maybe we don’t want a system that requires $300 million of money going into charitable food banks in order to be resilient to the next shock.” – Evan Fraser.

Comment: Is food ok?

Widely diverging views on the pandemic’s impact on food supply are a pickle for the casual observer. What lessons can we learn?

It’s a jarring read on a morning scroll through Twitter: “Plant all the food you can… we’re headed this season and next several into some massively different circumstances for food availability.” Around Manitoba, early-planted crops are sprouting. In grocery stores, prices feel a little higher but the shelves are full. Is doom really coming, as

The final idea, invest in new, independent local packers, is rock-solid but it also depends on heavy involvement by government for fast, effective implementation, a two-step that Congress rarely executes well.

Comment: Ag groups make a united, hollow call on meatpackers to play nice

Too many cattle producer divisions are easy for packers to exploit

On May 17, six farm groups joined voices to call on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Congress, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure a “more financially sustainable situation for cattle feeders and cow-calf producers.” That’s make-nice farm talk for “Meatpackers are skinning cattlemen so badly now that we six, not-usually-friendly groups ask

Living in the shadow of COVID for so long, restaurants offer the perfect escape for when Canadians feel safer to go out again.

Comment: Incentivizing the cautious

Getting customers back into restaurants will be no small challenge in the wake of a pandemic

As we inch towards a more normalized economy, the focus will now be on how we can make people feel more comfortable about going out and about again. Our economy needs it, our foodservice industry desperately needs it, but it is not going to be easy. In a recent survey, conducted in mid-May by the

In a recent post-election report, the NDP says it failed to fully deal with changes in the agriculture sector and the challenges facing rural communities.

Comment: NDP will need to do more to win favour in rural ridings

After attending enough political conventions, they all start blurring together a bit. Some memories stand out, though. One is being at a Saskatchewan NDP convention in Saskatoon (2016, I think) and seeing a rural member talking about agricultural policy. In the member’s mind, there wasn’t much of any agricultural policy in the Saskatchewan NDP’s playbook


On the left, a traditional beef hamburger. On the right, its plant-based twin. What vegetable proteins and more plant-based products have brought is more protein plurality.

Comment: Not all proteins are created equal

Beef is in the crosshairs, but it can be a very important part of agricultural sustainability

Protein wars have taken a back seat to the pandemic since March 2020. Most of the attention was obviously given to the virus, variants, vaccines and how to keep safe. Makes sense. But since we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, proteins appear to be back in the spotlight. Recently the

Comment: Education centralization bad for rural Manitoba

Without a school, businesses begin to close and towns and villages disappear

As farmers and rural Manitobans, we should all be concerned about the centralization of power proposed as part of the Education Modernization Act. Bill 64 will centralize provincial control over education by eliminating 37 democratically elected school boards and replacing them with a single provincial education authority. This education authority will be appointed by the

Mice can cause significant damage to on-farm grain storage, with contamination of grain with mouse droppings even leading to rejection by grain distributors and exporters.

Comment: ‘No one ever forgets living through a mouse plague’

The dystopia facing Australian rural communities, explained by an expert

Imagine constantly living with mice. Every time you open a cupboard to get linen, clothes or food, mice have been or are still there. When you go to sleep they run across your bed and, in the morning, your first job is to empty traps filled with dead mice. And the stench of dead mice


Animal care in modern hog production does not stop at codes of practice and regulatory enforcement. There is also verification.

Comment: Agriculture, the environment, and animal care

Pork producers have stringent care standards and deserve protection from intruders

Legislation brought forward by the provincial government has sparked debate about agriculture in Manitoba. The Animal Diseases Amendment Act has drawn comments about environmental impact and animal care. In the past, farmers produced a little of everything. A few animals, a bit of grain, produced with minimal inputs. Some nostalgically view this bygone era as

Comment: Tiny nanotechnologies are poised to have a huge impact on agriculture

Comment: Tiny nanotechnologies are poised to have a huge impact on agriculture

Tiny particles are going to be part of a big wave in the future of farming

Science is about big ideas that change the world. But sometimes, big impacts come from the tiniest of objects. Nanotechnology might sound like science fiction, but it represents technologies that have been developed for decades. Nanotechnological approaches have found real-world applications in a wide range of areas, from composite materials in textiles to agriculture. Agriculture