GFM Network News


Dutch to cull mink at farms hit by COVID-19 outbreak

Order follows mink-to-human virus transmissions

Amsterdam | Reuters — The Dutch government on Wednesday ordered mink culled at nine farms where animals have been infected with the coronavirus, fearing they could form a reservoir of disease infecting humans after the country’s current outbreak has passed. “Clearing the infected farms is in the interest of both human health and animal health,”

More ‘murder hornets’ found in B.C., Washington

Findings suggest some were able to overwinter

Reuters/Staff — Officials in British Columbia and Washington state have confirmed new sightings of the Asian giant hornet, dubbed the “murder hornet,” indicating the invasive, predatory insect survived the winter in the Vancouver area and U.S. Pacific Northwest. The stinging hornet, whose queens can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches in length, could potentially pose


“I’m hurting not having my help,” says the chair of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association.

Vegetable, honey producers still waiting on workers

Less than half of international workers expected for the season have arrived, province says

Despite efforts to bring in international workers, vegetable growers and beekeepers are still severely understaffed, according to provincial numbers. “I’m hurting not having my help,” said Mark Friesen, chair of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association. Friesen’s Canadian employee is living abroad and hasn’t been able to get back into the country, he said. As of May 11, according to numbers


New Brunswick to lift ban on temporary foreign workers

Damage 'already been done' for farmers, NFU-NB says

New Brunswick plans to end its ban on the entry of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) next week as the province moves to the “yellow” level in its COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan. The ban, announced April 28, will end effective May 29, Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday in an announcement some farmers say comes too late


Editorial: Meat packing concentration leads to problems

When Canadians flocked to their grocery stores to stock up for the pandemic lockdown, most weren’t filling their carts with plant-based proteins. It was the meat counters that cleared out along with the toilet paper shelves, baking ingredients, and with other basics considered necessities. While more Canadians have been experimenting with these plant-based proteins, most

Laid-off foreign workers may get conditional clearance for other jobs

Workers allowed to start new jobs while permits are processed

Approved temporary foreign workers (TFWs) whose jobs disappeared before they could begin work in Canada this spring can now get much quicker approval to start at other workplaces, including farms, where the workers are needed. The federal government said Tuesday it will, effective “immediately,” temporarily waive its rule requiring a TFW to receive federal approval

Ann Patman with “Woodward.”

It’s an alpacademic!

Faces of Ag: This Manitoba transplant’s cute and curious critters are making housebound folks smile

A little brown alpaca named Benny caused quite the stir when he and owner Ann Patman took a stroll in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village earlier in April. People waved, and cars stopped to stare. “They couldn’t believe what they were looking at,” said Patman. Folks kept their distance, though. A select few donned rubber gloves to


‘Murder hornet’ findings worry agriculture officials

Invasive pest known to decapitate honeybees, take over hives

Reuters — The Asian giant hornet — an invasive, predatory insect dubbed the “murder hornet” — has been seen in the Vancouver area and may pose a threat to the beekeeping industry and potentially to people if it establishes there, a U.S. official said Monday. The stinging Vespa mandarinia can grow as large as 2-1/2

Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector

"We have to have less hogs somehow"

Chicago | Reuters — With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant