GFM Network News


Robb Fraley is the executive vice-president and chief technology officer for Monsanto Co.

Explosion of innovation coming to the farm

The chief technology officer for Monsanto Co. says the interface between data and biology will be a powerful tool

There is an explosion of innovation coming to the farm as a new age of sensors and satellite imagery intersects with the world’s oldest industry, the executive vice-president and chief technology office for Monsanto Co. says. Robb Fraley, who was in Calgary recently to address the GrowCanada Conference, said in an interview that although agriculture

Organization in Canada, China, sign memorandum

Canola Council of Canada touts benefits of canola oil and meal during trade mission to China

The Canola Council of Canada is celebrating a new memorandum of understanding after wrapping up a trade mission to China. Speaking from Beijing, canola council president Jim Everson emphasized the importance of the Chinese market for Canadian canola producers and processors. “We are just at the end of what we think is a very successful


Processed meat products are particularly hard to test for adulteration.

Rapid detection of meat fraud

Spanish researchers say a new biosensor can give test results within an hour


In recent years meat fraud has been a growing problem. Unscrupulous sellers have been caught adulturating beef with cheaper horsemeat and swapping chicken for turkey in sausages labelled 100 per cent turkey. Now researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid say they’ve developed an electrochemical biosensor that can quickly detect a DNA fragment unique to

Princess Anne says she’d plant GMO crops on her own land if she were legally allowed to.

U.K. royals’ sibling rivalry on GMOs?

Princess Anne made the approving comments about GMO crops during a BBC radio interview

Britain’s Princess Anne may have sparked some royal sibling rivalry after saying genetically modified crops had real benefits to offer, putting her at odds with her older brother Charles who says they would be an environmental disaster. In an interview with BBC radio, Anne said she would grow GMO crops on her farming estates, adding

This flowering plant, Arabidopsis thalania or Thale cress, defends against invaders by recognizing and attacking foreign RNAs that it distinguishes by its lack of tail.

Plants can tell friend from foe

It’s no tall tale — this plant senses the lack of a tail on hostile RNA and attacks

University of Tokyo researchers are telling what might seem a tall tale — or should that be tail? They’ve published a study in the journal Nature Plants which says plants can tell if they’re being attacked by detecting whether or not the RNA in question has a threaded bead-like structure at the end. This ‘tail’


Changing the discussion on genetic engineering

A genetic engineering researcher who is married to an organic farmer is trying to bridge the gap between consumers and science

The evolution of genetic engineering will continue, with more diverse options, giving scientists more flexibility to breed crops better for farmers and human nutrition. But farmers and researchers will continue to have to explain the technology to consumers focused on the genetic level, said Pamela Ronald. Ronald, a genetic engineering researcher at the University of

Quinoa, seen growing wild here in Peru at an altitude of 3,800 metres, is an example of one crop that could be better domesticated with modern technology.

Planned mutations can increase crop options

The most common food crops benefited from natural mutations and modern technology could aid this process

There are more than 300,000 plant species in existence, but just three — rice, wheat and corn — account for almost all of the plant matter consumed by humans. In no small part that’s because natural mutations arose making these crops the easiest to harvest. But with gene editing technology like CRISPR, researchers suggest we

Research on getting the bitter taste out of flax oil caused researcher Martin Reaney to discover something new.

Bioproduct innovators adding unique value to agriculture seed stocks

Flax is one crop that’s been receiving plenty of attention from this Ontario-based effort

Researchers and entrepreneurs are delving deeper into the natural properties of crops, as seed stocks for everything from construction resins and boards and panels for buildings and cars to concentrate health foods. Many of those projects are being funded by the BioProducts AgSci Cluster, brought together as part of BioIndustrial Innovation Canada with funding from


Opinion: United voice needed for industry challenges

Gord Gilmour’s recent editorial (‘Butt out,’ Jan. 12, 2017) about the reaction of farmers and others in the industry — me included — to the recent Bothwell Cheese decision to apply the Non-GMO Project Verified label on some of its product lines encouraged me to reflect more deeply on my views. There are nuggets I

‘You’re wrong’ is the wrong message

Trying to dictate what products consumers should get or what 
food companies should supply them is surely a losing tactic


When most of us hear the words, “Have I got a great deal for you!” we grab our wallets because experience suggests any forthcoming deal won’t be great. Similarly, when someone says, “Here’s the straight talk,” our baloney meters redline because we know the coming talk will be about as straight as a hound’s hind