GFM Network News


Infrared inspections look to curb barn fires

Farmers now have access to infrared inspections through the Manitoba Farm Safety Program

The barn fire that killed over 3,500 pigs near New Bothwell in June has led to a new program to prevent similar blazes. The Manitoba Farm Safety Program introduced infrared barn inspections Sept. 12. Inspectors use infrared cameras to map temperature and tag hot spots that might ignite, such as faulty wiring inside walls. Electrical

Manitoba’s pork producers say building code changes recognize what barns are, rather than treating them as factories occupied by humans.

Barn building code changes under fire after blaze

Hog Watch Manitoba is concerned that proposed building code changes will decrease fire safety; 
the province and pork industry don’t agree

Manitoba Pork is standing by the province’s proposed building code changes, even as advocacy group Hog Watch Manitoba argues they might increase the risk of hog barn fires. In January 2017, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced plans to repeal the Farm Building Code and instead roll farm structures into the provincial building code. The changes


HogWatch calls for safer barns

A watchdog group says a recent barn fire illustrates the need for safer barns. Approximately 3,500 hogs died June 8 when fire engulfed two barns last week near New Bothwell. Hespeler Hog Farms was also one of the operations affected by an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) earlier this spring. HogWatch Manitoba says the

Retired East St. Paul businessman John Ness builds replica barns and children’s toy barns as a hobby. The octagonal barn is a replica of a rare eight-sided barn still standing near Bethany, Manitoba.

Whimsical replicas bring out the kid in all of us, says hobby builder

East St. Paul retiree John Ness’s interest in tiny barn replicas began with a toy barn he built for his grandson

You don’t need to be a farmer to appreciate a well-built barn. Just ask retired East St. Paul businessman John Ness, or the curious visitors drawn to his replicas on display at farm toy shows. Ness’s display includes tiny toy barns kids love to play with, and replicas that the bigger ‘kids’ who flock to

Run the numbers before deciding on how to store hay

Run the numbers before deciding on how to store hay Covering good hay can pay, study shows There are many alternatives for protecting a hay harvest, from full-on storage sheds with walls and doors to tarps and dangling weights. Leaving round bales outside in rows side by side or “mushroom style” results in spoilage losses


Letter to a young farmer…

The farm is old and needs a lot of work, you say. I hope you realize that 50 years from now your son will likely say the very same as he views your own weathered dreams, because farms, like people, never reach perfection. Yet every generation has a vision all its own, but sometimes in

New use for old granary

Grain storage on the Prairies is undergoing rapid change — no more wooden box granaries, just huge, metal silos. In consequence there are a lot of empty old-style granaries farmers are simply disposing of for firewood or burning on site and burying the nails. I converted two of them into huts — one bunkhouse and

Animal stress affects meat quality

Quality pork depends on a lot of factors, among them is how pigs are transported to the slaughterhouse. Yolande Seddon and other researchers at the Prairie Swine Centre have been investigating the causes of swine stress during transportation and notes the Prairies have some particular transportation challenges to overcome. “We know there are very challenging


What Goes Around, Comes Around

A half-century ago or more the good old days according to some folks many farms had windmills. Before the electrification of the Prairies in the 1950s and 60s, a windmill was a relatively inexpensive and very efficient way to pump water from deep water wells found on many Prairie farms. Some farms also used a

Bin Sensors

POINT LEVEL PROBES Probes are inserted through bin walls and sensors to detect fill levels in a bin, tank, silo or other container. Display units outside the bins allow you to read the fill level from the outside, and the stainless steel probes come in a variety of lengths up to 68 inches (or up