GFM Network News


American farmers and ranchers are losing out as the USDA pegs the cost of its country’s multiple trade actions against it at about US$12 billion.

Comment: Another war to end all wars

No one knows when — or even if — the ongoing and looming trade wars will end

This year marked 100 years since the end of the First World War, which U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called “the war to end all wars.” Wilson saw himself as a historic peacemaker; instead he became an ironic phrasemaker. The Great War never brought an end to war, or even an end to that war. The

Comment: Reading the facts at hand — or in your palm

If you ignore bad news because you don’t want to hear it, it’s at your peril

Years ago, an enterprising neighbour operated a palm reading business from her home with just a secretary, fax machine, and telephone. Her business model was simple: After clients faxed their photocopied handprint and sent some form of payment (rumour had it, it was $20), our neighbour telephoned them with the results of the “reading.” While


Crop irrigation in the U.S. withdraws 118 billion gals. of water daily while its livestock sector uses an additional two billion gals. a day.

Comment: Brother, can you spare a cup of water?

Agriculture is a very thirsty industry and that could spell trouble

Humanity depends on three critical threes: Without oxygen, most humans will die within three minutes; without water, life expectancy is three days; without food, we’ve got three weeks. Few here give three seconds of thought of any of these life-ensuring elements because, here, food is safe and plentiful, air quality laws are in place and

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media next to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue during a roundtable discussion with farmers at the White House in Washington, U.S. April 25, 2017.

Comment: Sonny warned ’em — twice, in fact

Trump can’t claim he wasn’t forewarned about agriculture trade calamity

It’s Thanksgiving week recently here in the U.S., so let’s be generous: The White House trade policy, marked by its heavy use of import tariffs and presidential tweets, continues to confound economists and trading partners alike. A more accurate, less generous view of President Donald J. Trump’s trade policy would declare it an unhinged mess

The biggest wave in the recent U.S. midterm elections was neither blue or red – it was green, as in “greenbacks.”

Comment: House GOP could claim Farm Bill victory despite electoral defeat

Outgoing congressional representatives may deliver President Trump 
with a legislative victory before they head for the door


A week before American voters decided whether the midterm elections would deliver a red wave or a blue wave, OpenSecrets.org, the non-partisan group that tracks money in politics, made a spot-on prediction: the biggest wave on Nov. 6 would be green. Think greenbacks, that is, because this year’s political candidates, OpenSecrets estimated, would spend US$5.2


Comment: The road to perdition always leads south

U.S. farmers are stuck between a rock and a hard place due to Trump’s trade wars


If war is hell, then trade wars must be a purgatorial stop along the way. For proof, just look where Election Day 2018 finds American farmers. Faced with ample production, stale commodity prices, and the lowest forecasted national farm income since 2002, U.S. farmers are now waiting for a winter of government “tariff mitigation” payments

Comment: Our garden’s last stand

There was no food waste on the rural farm of my youth

In the unseasonable heat of mid-September, the yard’s many black walnut trees began shedding their heavy fruit. Now, a month on, the stately trees are bare of nuts and most of their leaves weeks earlier than any year I can remember. Does that suggest an early winter? A long one? Time will tell. All I

Congress, the White House, and most commodity groups are positioning U.S. agriculture to repeat a colossal Farm Bill failure.

Comment: Tell me if you’ve heard this before

Because agriculture policy-makers can’t remember history, farmers may be doomed to repeat it

Truisms don’t need to be completely true to be a truism. For example, “If you live long enough, you’ll see everything” doesn’t mean you will see everything if you live a long life. You may see a great deal, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll see “everything.” Simone de Beauvoir, a French novelist and existentialist, turned


Comment: September slips away — and so do political solutions

The clock is ticking on several U.S. policy decisions that could have global implications

There are never enough days in September for farmers, ranchers, and pennant-chasing baseball teams. Every day, whether spent in a combine, pasture or batter’s box, brings change to what’s real today and what’s possible tomorrow. And it happens fast; September days don’t pass, they evaporate. The U.S. Congress, however, seems not to notice days, months

The carrot, the stick, and U.S. farmers

Trade turmoil has the White House picking winners and losers in the U.S. farm sector

The Trump administration’s good cop/bad cop approach to U.S. trade policy was on full display Aug. 27 when President Donald J. Trump, the bad cop that day, announced a very incomplete NAFTA trade deal — fuelled by his heavy use of tariffs — that pointedly excluded Canada. That day’s good cop was U.S. Secretary of