GFM Network News


Comment: No one ever loves the umpire

As a founder of the rules-based postwar consensus, the U.S. should be leading not pouting

While the coronavirus pandemic was hammering global trade earlier this year, the various bureaucracies devoted to trade barely skipped a beat before returning to their usual grind. For example, the U.S. and the United Kingdom (U.K.) just began talks on a bilateral trade pact prior to the U.K.’s Oct. 31 “Brexit” from the European Union

Laughter is no longer the best medicine

What’s old is periodically new on the well-worn ag policy treadmill

One reason — there were others — for my departure from farm magazine writing was laughter. Let me explain. In the early-1980s, the world, like now, was headed to hell in a hurry and agriculture was leading the parade. Interest rates were a crushing 14 per cent, farmland prices were on their way to plunging


“We still don’t know what this pandemic will cost, but we do know it’s trillions,” says one rancher. “The next one will cost us even more — maybe everything.”

Comment: Don’t chain me down

Food chains are too unreliable, the coronavirus reveals

For over a month now, nearly anyone who can lift a fork has asked what the “new normal” in agriculture will be. Six weeks later, we now have a pretty good idea that ag’s new normal will look like ag’s old normal. That should give everyone deep concern. If no food supply chain is strong

Comment: We have to start somewhere

Another huge farm bailout is needed due to COVID-19

Before we take the next unsteady step into a very different future, let’s make sure it’s not a step off the plank. How? We can start with disciplined decision-making: Use proven facts, lean on practical experience, and focus on what is safe and smart. That latter part is especially important because if you farm or

2020 U.S. farm income prospects in the aftermath of COVID-19 are dismal.

Comment: Prepare for the worst, pray for the best

One thing is certain, the pain from COVID-19 will be very real

Despite overwhelming evidence from literally every corner of the world, a farmer friend recently related to me that three rural acquaintances had assured him that “this whole virus thing is just a big hoax to bring down Trump.” If so, there’s now 100,000-plus graves, more than a half-million hospital patients, and trillions of dollars of


Comment: ‘Behold the fowls of the air… ’

We can plan all we want but luck will weigh in too

My father wasn’t a stoic. Instead, his temperament was one of acceptance. He simply accepted the fact that he wasn’t in complete control of most things on the farm. Sure, he was boss over everything in sight: hundreds of acres, 100 dairy cows, five farmhand sons, three hired men, and his unpredictable, iron-bending Uncle Honey.

Comment: February was a paradox. March delivered a pandemic

Coronavirus is taking the spring out of spring

February is a paradox. Leap year or not, it’s the shortest month of the year yet it always feels like the longest month of winter. Then March appears with its light, colour, and hope. That’s what is needed this March as political leaders, markets, and the world economy tumble into a virus-choked mudhole. Worse, this

An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19.

Comment: The end of coronavirus is nowhere in sight

COVID-19's economic impact is hitting hard

In just one, unwelcome week, the coronavirus drained US$3.6 trillion from the U.S. stock market, clipped Apple shareholders for US$220 billion, and sent millions of Americans to stores to buy every face mask, surgical glove, and gallon of bleach they could get their now-sanitized hands on. It’s what we do; we panic first and ask


Due to one of his mother’s home remedies, this author of the Farm & Food File possibly wore more bacon as a child than he ate.

Comment: Homesick? Try Mom or Grandma’s cure-all

Frequently the cures were worse than the illnesses

The onset of a deep chest cold recently pushed me to wander the aisles of the drugstore for any cure that might halt the hacking. Three days and three placebos later, my hack weakened to a wheeze. Time, and the lovely Catherine’s chicken soup, did the trick. Had I been on the southern Illinois dairy

Facing a cliff of seeing 86 per cent of their farms’ total profit vanishing upon leaving the European Union, why exactly did U.K. farmers heavily favour Brexit?

Comment: Brexit, Boris, and boxing in U.K. farmers

When U.K. farmers voted heavily for Brexit it was an act of either faith or foolishness

Events, like stars, can at times align just enough for you to glimpse your destiny. If you’re lucky, that sneak peek is the critical break you need for success; if you’re unlucky, the starry view spins off into the universe unseen. Farmers in the United Kingdom got that peek after the June 2016 vote that