GFM Network News


Comment: Global economy hit by severest shock since 1930s

Fast policy response necessary to reduce impact of secondary rounds

Reuters – Recessions often start with a small drop in activity which then progressively deepens over subsequent months as the second- and higher-round effects on the economy start to occur. But the current business cycle downturn looks very different. In terms of its scale and sudden onset, there is no parallel since the end of



The U.S. continues to put pressure on Canada regarding supply management, particularly around the country’s dairy industry.

Ritz optimistic for TPP

Canada says it has put offers on the TPP table, while the U.S. continues to disagree

Canada’s agriculture minister says Canada won’t negotiate in public when it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposed wide-ranging free trade agreement among a group of Pacific Rim countries. Responding to questions at an unrelated event in Winnipeg last week, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz said Canada has put forward strong proposals regarding

One of many crops near Roseisle, Man. hit by severe hail June 27.

MASC explains why sometimes it defers hail claims

Assessing loss is easier when the crop is still young or has set seed and harder in between those two stages

As this summer’s hail claims roll in, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s assessment practices are being questioned by farmers who say the agency is too slow to cut a cheque. (MASC) says its spot loss hail insurance program is similar to what private hail insurance companies offer. But at least one Manitoba farmer disputes that

Canada needs a different tact in international trade

Instead of defending supply management it needs to attack competitors’ subsidies

Supply management polarizes opinions: defend the status quo or dismantle the system. Unfortunately, this masks important strategic choices with implications for the dairy industry and, by extension, Canada’s agri-food sector as a whole. Canada’s internal debate keeps the country on a defensive footing. It is time to get offensive by focusing on other countries’ agricultural


Surprisingly few ‘busy bees’ make global crops grow

Conservation of wild pollinators can’t be based on economics alone

A major international study published in Nature Communications, suggests that only two per cent of wild bee species pollinate 80 per cent of bee-pollinated crops worldwide. The study is one of the largest on bee pollination to date. While agricultural development and pesticides have been shown to produce sharp declines in many wild bee populations,

Farmers’ market vendors need to give customers more ways to pay

Customers buy more if they can use their credit cards

Farmers’ markets wanting to increase purchases by customers should consider accepting more than just cash or cheques as payment, according to Washington State University researchers. “Customers are willing to buy more if they have other payment options,” said Karina Gallardo, a WSU associate professor and extension specialist in the School of Economic Sciences. “They may

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper (l) and Finance Minister Joe Oliver walk to the House of Commons to deliver the federal budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 21, 2015.

Farm and food goodies in federal budget well received

Farmers will get an increased capital gains exemption when they sell the farm

Farm groups are welcoming federal budget provisions that offer long-sought-after increases in the capital gains exemption on farm sales, the manufacturing equipment depreciation allowance and trade expansion programs. Increasing the capital gains exemption to $1 million from $813,000 has been on the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s wish list for years. Implementing it immediately will “have


Editorial: Farmland — always a good buy?

Keep renting, or buy that land now before it gets even more expensive? Alberta farm management adviser Merle Good provided some perspective on that for an attentive crowd at Ag Days last week. So far, it’s been a truism that farmland is a good investment. That’s not to say it is always the right investment

Chuck Penner

Investors lulled by high prices

Ending stocks of corn are likely to begin to drop downwards next year

They’re phrases that have gotten a lot of use over the last few months. Analysts and experts are increasingly describing changes in commodity prices for wheat and corn as a “paradigm shift” or the arrival of a “new price paradigm.” But Chuck Penner, founder of LeftField Commodity Research said producers should be cognizant that high