GFM Network News

Opinion: It’s not really a ‘Farm’ Bill

You might think that U.S. Treasury officials would have cringed last month when the president and Congress signed off on a Farm Bill with a total cost of US$867 billion. That’s 155 times more than President Trump’s US$5.6-billion request for the border wall, which shut down parts of the U.S. government. In fact, they probably

Doggerel — 30th anniversary edition

The holiday is over, with all its big meals epicurious You know what that means: it’s time to get serious And start the new year with a bit of reflection On how the past year went in an agricultural direction Then look ahead to advise which crops to be seeding And give you one or

Editorial: The Trump discount

If you follow markets, especially if you grow soybeans, you’ll know about the price debacle resulting from President Trump’s decision to start a trade war with China. In retaliation for his duty on manufactured goods, China slapped a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. soybeans. That’s caused U.S. futures to plummet to a 10-year low

Editorial: We had it in the ’70s

Some readers may remember the Western Grain Stabilization Administration (WGSA), a Prairie grain support program that ran from 1976 to 1989. Farmers could contribute up two per cent of net grain sales, matched two to one by the federal government. It was a pretty good deal, so most farmers participated. The payout mechanism was simple

Editorial: Who needs convincing?

Maybe it’s just a guilty pleasure or maybe you can justify it by saying it’s good mental exercise, but one way or another I confess — I watch “Jeopardy.” One of the benefits of being semi-retired is that you can be home to watch it at 4:30. Considering the U.S. drug commercials (with their terrifying

Editorial: Ultimate inside information

One day in my previous life as director of information for the Canadian Wheat Board, a Chinese delegation was in Winnipeg to negotiate a wheat purchase. By that time, Chinese negotiations were down to a few days rather than the few weeks they had taken in the 1960s and 1970s, but there was still a

Editorial: No fake news here

The tree is now down, the fruit cake all eaten So it’s time for our annual New Year’s greetin’ On the past year’s news we offer reflection And give a glimpse of the future direction Plus offer valuable free farming advice On what to grow, and when to sell at top price For a while

Editorial: Rotation, rotation and rotation

In the early 1980s, the wheat board developed an idea called the Market Assurance Plan (MAP). That was back when there were perennial transport bottlenecks and the whole crop could sometimes not move by the end of the crop year. Even if it could move in total, it could be feast or famine for supply

Editorial: Appoint a farmer to the Senate

On one hand it’s tempting to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” because the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee certainly isn’t broke. Reading transcripts of meetings of the House of Commons Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee can be a bit of a chore, as members often engage in partisan politics. That’s not only a

Editorial: Less water, more grass

A few hundred thousand here, a few million there. Manitoba’s PC government is rightly or wrongly getting plenty of attention for its trimming of the health-care and education systems. But it’s time for this government to start saving some real money. The Red River Basin Commission recently held meetings to mark the 20th anniversary of the