GFM Network News


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


Estimates show about 14 per cent of the 2019 U.S. corn and soybean crops will be unsold when the 2020 harvest begins.

Comment: What we know about corn and soy estimates

This year could shape up to be at least as challenging as 2019 was

The best way to begin a new year is to start with what we know. For example, we know the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) December World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate shows that about 14 per cent of the 2019 U.S. corn and soybean crops will be unsold when the 2020 harvest begins next

As the White House openly panders to its rural voters, China, wall or no wall, continues to play the long game.

Comment: U.S. trade policy hits the Great Wall

China plays the long game; United States keeps getting played

Several years ago, when Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman was asked to choose which rising Asian nation, China or India, he’d bet the farm on, Friedman didn’t hesitate to pick India. The reason, he explained, was that while both nations were on an expressway to the future, India, the world’s largest democracy, had an open

Comment: Walking in the shadow of hope

The first obvious sign of the season-long flood is a perfectly level, three-foot-high ring of dried mud on the machine shed’s siding. Nature put it there and, in time, will likely wash it away. Across the road, 100 feet behind a noticeably tilting mailbox, stands the empty, sagging farmhouse of my youth. It sports no


One group predicts that 371 million acres of U.S. farm- and ranchland will change hands in the next 15 years, roughly translating to four out of every 10 acres.

Comment: Agriculture’s coming heart transplant

A lot of farmland is expected to change hands in the coming years

If government and private estimates are accurate, hundreds of millions of North American farm acres will have new owners in the next 15 years. For example, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) survey takers and record keepers, predicts that 100 million acres of today’s farmland will be sold by its current

Comment: A good tradesperson leaves a lasting legacy

In the early-morning fog the other day, I heard a claw hammer’s tap, tap, bam, bam, bam, boom drive a nail into its place for who knows how many years. A moment later, another six, clear, sharp notes cut through the fog and another nail was set for, maybe, a century or more. There were