GFM Network News


Don Flaten.

The head of his class

Don Flaten became one of Western Canada’s first agronomists — and he’s been training them ever since

When Don Flaten looks back over his career, one of the standout memories was a doubt-ridden walk across the parking lot at the University of Manitoba in 1995 as he transitioned from administrative duties to teaching. “I didn’t cross that parking lot with a lot of confidence that day. I really wondered if it would

Railways were able to overcome a bad start to the shipping year after capacity opened up due to the COVID slowdown.

COVID surprise comes to grain movement in 2020

How the pandemic helped Canada set a grain shipping record and what’s to come

When it comes to the grain transportation file in 2020, it was a story of extremes. Record western Canadian grain shipments in the 2019-20 crop year ending July 31, belies poor rail performance, much of it beyond their control, during the first six months of that period. “When we were in week 28 (Feb. 9-15,


Doug Chorney is the Canadian Grain Commission’s new chief commissioner. He was appointed assistant chief commissioner in 2017 and had been acting chief since June.

Praise for Canadian Grain Commission staff during pandemic

Doug Chorney used his family history to underscore the importance of hope in these tough times

Hope is a powerful state of mind, important now as ever. That’s the message Doug Chorney delivered to Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) staff in a speech Dec. 17. At the time he was the CGC’s acting chief commissioner; Dec. 21 he was appointed chief. “In 1903 my grandfather came to Canada from Poland as a

Canola samples tested by the Canadian Grain Commission suggested overwintered canola from last year can still be processed into 
good-quality oil.

Overwintered canola can still have value, but process it quickly

Grain commission released the results of a study it did on canola seeded in 2019 and harvested this spring

Some of the unharvested canola that overwintered in 2019-20 was worth harvesting and processing based on research led by Véronique Barthet, the program manager for oilseeds with the Canadian Grain Commission’s (CGC) Grain Research Laboratory. “Grain handlers and processors had concerns about free fatty acid levels in overwintered canola crops,” Barthet said in a CGC

Thunder Bay has seen a surge in Manitoba grain shipments this season, and is set for its best year since 1997.

Thunder Bay — Manitoba’s grain port?

The Lakehead port is handling near-record grain shipments with nine million tonnes moving this season

Manitoba’s grain port is having a stellar shipping season… and we’re not talking about Churchill. Port of Thunder Bay CEO Tim Heney has taken to calling Thunder Bay “Manitoba’s port” because this year most of the grain it handled came from here. “Seventy-four per cent of the seaway’s grain exports are originated now in Manitoba


Doug Chorney (left) is the Canadian Grain Commission's new chief commissioner. He was appointed assistant chief commission in 2017 and had being acting chief since June. KAP general manager Patty Rosher (right) was appointed assistant chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission Dec. 21, 2020.

CGC’s Doug Chorney promoted to chief, Patty Rosher appointed assistant chief commissioner

In addition to its regular work, the grain commissioner and grain act are under review

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has a new chief and assistant chief commissioner. Doug Chorney, the CGC’s acting chief commissioner, has been promoted to chief and Patty Rosher, general manager of the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) since March 2019, is the new assistant chief commissioner. Both appointments were announced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude

The great grain transportation turnaround

From bad to best, Western Canada’s grain-handling and transportation system has made huge improvements in the last 25 years

Twenty-five years ago critics claimed Western Canada had one of the worst grain-handling and transportation systems in the developed world. Yet today it’s among the best, says Canada’s grain monitor Mark Hemmes. Far from perfect, and still vulnerable to costly disruptions, including right now, the system from farm gate to terminal spout has been revamped

Despite earlier shipping records, grain shipping backlog builds

Canada’s railways continued to break grain movement records earlier this crop year. But as welcome as improved rail service has been, those records need to be put into context, says Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA). For starters grain production has been steadily increasing so setting shipping records has to


To discourage carbon emissions and mitigate climate change, the federal government is increasing the carbon tax to $170 a tonne over the next decade.

KAP pushes back on federal carbon tax increase

Farm equipment fuel is exempt from tax, but not grain drying or barn heating

The Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) is calling on federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau to “support farmers and stand up to her government’s recently announced carbon tax increase.” “Putting in place an exemption for fuel used for drying grain and heating and cooling barns, just like the one in place for greenhouses, is a start,” KAP

We really want to cement KAP as the farm policy leader. We want to bring the policy discourse up a notch.” – Patty Rosher, KAP

KAP closer to completing new strategic plan

Details will be presented at the AGM, but there’s a proposal for a ‘grassroots committee’ to explore membership fees and district consolidation

Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) is putting the finishing touches to a new strategic plan. “We really want to cement KAP as the farm policy leader,” Patty Rosher, KAP’s general manager told its online district meeting Nov. 27. “We want to bring the policy discourse up a notch. We need to think about the long-term financial