GFM Network News


An Alberta Agriculture and Forestry employee samples a creek to help determine if BMPs are improving water quality.

New tool for managing nutrient run-off

Free downloadable tool for assessing phosphorus run-off risk and creating a 
customized mitigation plan will be available this spring

As more and more farmers, politicians and laypeople are coming to understand, nutrient run-off from farm fields into waterways is a very big deal. When not managed properly, nutrients from fertilizer and manure make their way into creeks, lakes, dugouts, and other water bodies. But a new tool to help mitigate phosphorus run-off risk will

A scaling back of federal oversight means producers should be wary of new fertilizer products that come with big promises.

It’s buyer beware when purchasing crop fertilizer: don’t pay $12 per acre for ‘foo-foo dust’

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency no longer tests fertilizers for efficacy 
and quality, so it’s buyer beware

A “streamlining” of federal oversight of crop fertilizers has opened the door to deceptive marketing claims and forced product testing on to farmers. “There have always been con men trying to sell you things with dubious claims. It’s just maybe easier for them now,” said Harry Brook, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural


Forages and grasslands are not just about cattle and hay, they also provide a major environmental benefit for all Canadians.  
top and above photo: Canadian Forage and Grassland Association

The fight for the future of forages

There has been a dramatic drop in forage research, but it’s not just because producers could make more money growing canola

What’s Canada largest crop? The usual answer is “wheat,” which in 2012 was seeded on about 20 million acres. But that year, cultivated forages made up 33 million acres, and more than 36 million acres were in native or unimproved pastures and rangeland. Yet farmers who manage grasslands and forage fields say their industry is

A game of tag — which RFID system is better?

The race is on to create an approved and industry-implementable version of ultra-high-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) livestock ear tags. Though there could be big money in it for the winner, design challenges and political roadblocks stand in the way. Compared to older technology, UHF is 2,000 times faster and easier to read, can

Farmers now have the ability to conduct their own cutting-edge ag research

Conducting your own field-based studies can show exactly how a specific 
agronomic practice will perform in a particular field

Farmers need to step up and get involved in a new era of research, and it needs to be on farm, field scale, farmer driven, and collaborative, says Ty Faechner, executive director of the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta. “I don’t think traditional research will ever go away,” Faechner told attendees at the


Canadian-EU Beef Exports Become More Economic

Canadian beef may soon have easier access to European Union (EU) markets, thanks to upcoming revisions to the production and processing protocol that governs Europe s imports of Canadian beef. These changes would be very significant, says Mark Klassen, director of technical services for the Canadian Cattlemen s Association, who has been working with industry

High-tech ear tags to be put to the test

High-tech livestock ear tags are a step closer to reality in Alberta, thanks to a recent big dollar commitment towards a trial of Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tags. The end-to-end test will track animals through all parts of the beef production cycle, from the producer’s field, through auction markets, feedlots and to the processor. The



Agency In The Forefront Of High-Tech Changes

Livestock inspection in Alberta is going high tech. The move from handwritten brand log books to a system relying on leading-edge databases and high-tech livestock-movement tools is being pushed by Livestock Identification Services Ltd. (LIS), the non-profit organization in charge of livestock inspection in Alberta. The goal is to optimize costs, improve the “tool kit”

A Primer On UHF And RFID Tag Readers

EAR TAG RULES: Required for all cattle, sheep, and bison leaving the herd of origin in Canada. The national livestock identification program is administered by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION (RFID) TAGS: Several low-frequency RFID tags are approved for use in Canada; all operate