GFM Network News


Come together?

Seed sector ponders forming a unified voice, but some worry farmers won’t be heard

A meeting set for this summer in Winnipeg could be the scene of a historic vote to reorganize the Canadian seed industry. Seed Synergy, a plan to unite Canada’s five main seed-related organizations, could be put to a vote in July at the Canadian Seed Growers Association’s (CSGA) 116th annual meeting. It would see five

“We’re very diverse in Manitoba. The specialty crop sector is growing so I think our acres (of pedigreed seed) are going to be pretty solid.” – Andrew Ayre, MSGA

Manitoba loses pedigreed seed acres crown

Edged out by Alberta, Manitoba should rebound in 2020 if soybean plantings come roaring back

Manitoba’s long-held title as Canada’s top pedigreed seed producer ended in 2019. After seven consecutive years in top spot Alberta edged Manitoba out by just 8,468 acres, figures in the Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association’s (MSGA) 2019 annual report show. Alberta seeded 349,411 acres of pedigreed seed last year versus Manitoba’s 340,942 acres, putting it in


ILTA Grain’s insolvency has resulted in a record payout to farmers and a new precedent to how they’re treated when they’re owed money.

Canadian Grain Commission pays ILTA farmers $11.1 million

It’s a record payout through the Canadian Grain Commission’s farmer-security program

After six months of intense work the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has wrapped up its biggest claim for a compensation case in history. Two hundred and twenty-two ‘eligible’ farmers will get all they were owed — $11.1 million — following ILTA Grain going into creditor protection last summer. Cheques were issued Jan. 6. That’s the

(CGC video screengrab via YouTube)

Year in Review: Expect CGC to be under policy microscope in 2020

KAP doesn't want farmer protections or grain quality undermined

Expect more discussion about the Canadian Grain Commission’s (CGC) role and the Canada Grain Act in 2020. That could lead to legislative changes with implications for farmers, grain companies and Canada’s grain customers. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada started reviewing the CGC and the grain act last March. “Ultimately our goal is to have a set

A mature wheat crop in southern Saskatchewan, on Sept. 2, 2018.

Year in review: Cereal royalty discussions expected to resume soon

Seed industry had hoped issue would be settled by now

Prairie farmers will be talking about cereal royalties again this year. When public discussions on collecting more royalties from farmers to help fund new cereal varieties started in November 2018 the federal government targeted the spring of 2019 to report on farmer feedback on the seed industry’s two proposed options. But farmer opposition to both


Many Manitoba farmers felt the pain of a hard season.

Manitoba farmers challenged by 2019 crop

The worst part was the ‘harvest from hell’, which for some still isn’t over

Too dry, too wet and then it snowed. Lots. That sums up Manitoba’s 2019 growing season, culminating with the “harvest from hell,” which for some farmers won’t end until spring. “I have often said it’s not a good sign when you’re harvesting and they’re playing Christmas carols on the radio,” Minto farmer and Keystone Agricultural

Manitoba gathering data to press case for exempting grain drying from federal carbon tax

The Manitoba government is gathering data to make the case for exempting grain drying fuels from the federal government’s carbon tax. “So we’ll get the numbers together and then to (federal agriculture) Minister (Marie-Claude) Bibeau and we’ll continue to lobby on behalf of our ag producers,” Manitoba’s Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pederson said

Even as North America’s new trade deal clears a major hurdle, the WTO faces an existential crisis.

Farmers caught in WTO crossfire

The U.S. is letting the global trade bloc wither on the vine, while it fights economic wars

As the World Trade Organization faces a crisis that renders it impotent and potentially on the verge of dissolving, Manitoba farmers are facing more trade uncertainty than ever. “We’re really in unchartered territory here,” University of Manitoba agricultural economist Ryan Cardwell said in an interview Dec. 12, while attending a trade meeting in Washington, D.C.


Does the U.S. want to reform the WTO or remove it?

The current U.S. administration has strong preference for bilateral negotiations

The shutdown of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body Dec. 10 came as no surprise. What’s more opaque is the United States’ end game — WTO reform or removal? “Under the current administration it’s both,” said University of Manitoba agricultural economist Ryan Cardwell. “Prior to the current U.S. administration the objective was more to

CP Rail says closer collaboration with shippers helps it manage the challenging winter season while moving more grain than ever before.

CP Rail sets back-to-back grain-shipping records

That’s good news because there’s an above-normal amount of grain to move 
despite harvest delays

CP Rail moved a record amount of grain in November, beating its previous record set in October. Meanwhile, CN Rail is gearing up its grain shipping after an eight-day strike resulted in delivering just 2,015 of the 5,409 cars elevator companies ordered for week 16 (Nov. 17 to 23) of the current crop year. The