GFM Network News


A new photo cell could generate electricity for greenhouse operators without harming crop production.

New solar panels grab light from above and below

Potential solution towards balance between crop growth and electricity generation capabilities

Electricity is a major expense for Canadian greenhouse growers. At the same time, large greenhouse facilities offer potential to produce renewable solar energy — but the challenge to date has been how to do that without impacting the growth and productivity of the crop inside. A potential solution from Ontario solar panel manufacturer Heliene is

Manitoba farmers say grain drying costs are significant and the carbon tax is adding insult to injury.

According to ag-minister Bibeau, carbon tax on grain drying insignificant

"It comes back to competitiveness and what makes sense and it seems in this industry and in this country right now we are just shooting ourselves in the foot..." – Warren McCutcheon

“Frustration.” That’s the word Bill Campbell and Warren McCutcheon both independently used to describe their reaction to federal agriculture minister Marie Claude Bibeau saying the carbon tax collected from farmers’ drying grain is so small an exemption isn’t warranted. “It’s frustrating when she asks for the data (on grain drying costs) and she won’t be


EU plans to halve pesticide use, expand organic farming

Brussels | Reuters — The European Commission said on Wednesday it planned to increase organic farming and cut agricultural chemical use to protect the environment, proposals welcomed by green groups but which farmers said would make them less flexible. Agriculture is a contributor to climate change – producing around 10 per cent of EU greenhouse

Weather school: How Earth manages its energy input

How land and water are arranged on Earth greatly affect its weather

In our last weather class, we were looking at Earth’s greenhouse effect and how it keeps the planet warm enough for life as we know it to exist. That was a part of our general look at Earth’s energy balance. With that in mind, this week’s lesson looks at the difference between land and water and how they “manage” the

Flooding along the Rat River near La Rochelle.

‘Cautiously optimistic’ about flood prospect for Manitoba

Seasonally average weather should head off the worst of flooding along the Red River

Flooding along the Red River remains on track to hit at or below 2006 levels. “Everything is, at the present time, under control,” said Ralph Groening, reeve of the RM of Morris. Groening said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll see a relatively insignificant flood. At the end of March, the province’s flood outlook predicted that with average weather conditions,


Weather school: Why does it get warm?

A greenhouse is an inexact metaphor for how Earth absorbs and emits energy

Last time in weather school we looked at how heat moves around by examining conduction, convection, advection and latent heat transfer. This week in our weather lesson we’ll start to explore the Earth’s energy balance, or what’s often referred to as our energy budget. Before we can dive into that topic, however, we must first

Brian (left) and Andy Sterling say the native prairie restoration along the Jackson Creek was a longtime family dream.

Native prairie restoration becomes a family dream brought to life

Tilston-area farmers partner with watershed district to boost habitat and productivity

Elgar Sterling always wondered what a portion of his farm, along the Jackson Creek, must have looked like before it met the plow. The late Tilston-area farmer often wondered aloud about that prospect, son Brian Sterling recollects. “My dad would often say, “I wonder what this land looked like when it was raw prairie?” said

Steve Mackenzie-Grieve pulls harvested wheat from a grain bin at the Yukon Grain Farm near Whitehorse February 19, 2020.

Wheat in Whitehorse: How climate change could open a new frontier

Will the Great White North become the Great Green North?

After failing to grow wheat in Canada’s subarctic Yukon territory 15 years ago, farmer Steve Mackenzie-Grieve gave it another shot in 2017. Thanks to longer summers, he has reaped three straight harvests. This spring he plans to sow canola on his family’s 450-acre farm near Whitehorse, a city not much farther from the North Pole


Weather school: Conduction, convection and latent heat

It takes lots of heat to evaporate water, so it releases lots of heat when it condenses

This is one of those months where the end of the month and my deadline just don’t match up. With the volatile temperatures we’ve seen during March, I just couldn’t try to do a monthly weather roundup with five days still left in the month. So, the weather roundup and the look ahead will have

If Earthshine increases, then Earth is reflecting more of the sun’s energy and as a result, the Earth should cool, and vice versa.

Weather school: Reflecting on albedo

Longer-range spring weather forecasts aren’t all in lockstep just yet

With COVID-19 forcing students to take a break from going to school, it doesn’t mean that they’re not supposed to still do schoolwork — so while I’m prepping online material for my students, I think it’s only fair we continue with my online weather course. This issue we’re going to continue our look at the