GFM Network News

Some Predictions More Useful Than Others

Recently, I was treated to a presentation by yet another expert who believes the world’s climate is going to hell in a hand basket. The message for agriculture is adapt, adapt, adapt. The long-term trend, say most of the experts, is undeniably warming temperatures. While the science isn’t as sure, many experts are betting the

Harvesting The Silver Linings

There are many reasons to be disappointed this harvest. But you can also find silver linings. Every farm faces a different set of circumstances. Here are some of my highlights and lowlights. Like many southern Saskatchewan farmers, I’m still combining lentils. Whenever you’re still harvesting lentils at the end of September, it isn’t good news.

How Governments Can Help

The difficult, abnormally wet growing season is being capped with a harvest from hell. If governments are interested in lending some support, here’s an idea that has merit. This concept has been suggested by a number of farm groups. The way the fall is going, the idea is now especially relevant. Why not provide a

Crop Quality A Weather Casualty – for Sep. 16, 2010

Hurricane Earl received a lot of news attention as it slammed into the Maritime provinces. Not to minimize the power outages and the damage from fallen trees, but the wet weather in Saskatchewan last week is probably causing a lot greater dollar damage than what Earl inflicted. While it isn’t an impressive photo opportunity like

StatsCan Needs To Get It Right – for Sep. 9, 2010

It’s rare to find a grain farmer with anything good to say about Statistics Canada. At best, the field crop production reports are viewed as a waste of time and money. At worst, the reports are viewed as a government plot to manipulate grain prices. For each of its reports, StatsCan surveys a pile of

Strained Relations Over Land Rents – for Aug. 26, 2010

With millions of acres unseeded this year, some unusual strains have been placed upon the relationship between landowners and renters. Most Saskatchewan grain farms are a combination of owned land and rented land. Rented acres are a big percentage of the overall land base. Some renters with unseeded land are asking for a break on

Maintaining Trade Is Ongoing Battle – for Aug. 5, 2010

As everyone knows, agriculture is at the mercy of the weather. Agriculture is also at the mercy of trade disruptions. Saskatchewan is the world’s largest exporter of canaryseed and a trade issue has emerged with Mexico, our largest customer. Mexican officials have been complaining about the level of wild buckwheat seeds within canaryseed shipments. Back

Advice For Young Farmers – for Jul. 29, 2010

The opinion is of ten expressed that young people don’t want to farm. That isn’t really the case. Farming appeals to a lot of young people, but they usually don’t have the capital available to start even a modest operation or else they’ve examined the financial returns and aren’t willing to accept the risk. “There

Farm Aid Highly Political

Why should governments top up crop insurance coverage in a year where there’s a widespread disaster when they wouldn’t likely have the same response if the problem was regional? Amazingly, last week’s annual meeting of federal and provincial agriculture ministers concluded with a detailed program announcement for flooded Prairie farmland. Rarely do governments act so

Carbon Credit Market In Doubt

With almost no fanfare, Saskatchewan has passed a new greenhouse gas bill that should theoretically provide a mechanism for farmers to be paid for carbon credits. However, the devil will be in the details and the regulations for the bill have yet to be established. Observers worry that when the dust clears, farmers will not