GFM Network News


Beware of Kazakhs wanting to buy seed, agency says

Seed growers and farmers alike are being warned such sales breach breeders' rights rules

Western Canadian seed growers, seed retailers and commercial farmers are being urged not to sell seed to Kazakhs or their agents because it breaches plant breeders’ rights rules. “The basic fact is no Canadian breeder has given permission for their genetics to go to Kazakhstan,” Lorne Hadley, executive director of the Canadian Plant Technology Agency,

Farmer and activist Percy Schmeiser, 89

Thorn in Monsanto's side also the subject of a new major film

Funeral services are to be held and livestreamed Saturday for Prairie farmer, businessman and activist Percy Schmeiser, best known for his ultimately unsuccessful court battles with the company behind Roundup Ready canola. Schmeiser, who farmed at Bruno, Sask., about 90 km east of Saskatoon, died Tuesday at age 89. According to Saskatchewan media, he had


What’s your cattle’s genotype?

How genetic information can assist beef production decisions

Genomics can be tricky. But in today’s marketplace, cattle producers need to do all they can to maintain their competitive edge, and this can be one of the keys. Fortunately, there are people out there like Steven James, director of research development at Quantum Genetix, whose job it is to simplify these matters for farmers.

Letters: Gene editing offers widespread benefits

Regarding the column “Gene editing a risk communication fiasco in the making,” Manitoba Co-operator, July 22, 2020. Sylvain Charlebois is right: our industry did a poor job of communicating to the public about GMOs. As a result, misinformation about the safety and benefits of the technology continue to persist almost 25 years later despite the

Beef Breeds Council becomes arm of CCA

Cattle genetics body now a division of Canadian Cattlemen's Association

The market development group representing Canada’s beef cattle seedstock sector has formally merged into the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). The association on Friday announced the Canadian Beef Breeds Council (CBBC) has officially joined the Beef Cattle Research Council and Canfax among the divisions of the CCA. The move follows a cost-benefit review by an advisory


Supercluster backing canola protein production

The federally-backed research and development “supercluster” set up to boost Canada’s protein industries is funding work to wring more and better proteins out of canola seed. In Saskatoon on Wednesday, federal Industry Minister Navdeep Bains announced the Protein Industries Canada (PIC) supercluster has approved a new $27.6 million project to breed high-protein canola hybrids for

Chinese geneticists have mapped the subgenome in wheat that was contributed by einkorn wheat, seen here.

Genetic road map

Chinese researchers have just added significantly to what 
we know about the wheat genome

Few crops are more important and more genetically complex than bread wheat. It feeds more than a third of the human population and is adaptable to a wide range of climates. It’s also a complex ‘hexaploid’ that contains three subgenomes (dubbed A, B and D) from parent plants, making its genetic package larger, more complex

No matter the type of plant breeding used over the last 10,000 years, the goal has always been the same – genetic improvement.

Opinion: Clarifying ‘What’s in a name?’

Science has always led the way in agriculture, and continues to do so today. Yet advances in plant breeding are being met with skepticism, fear and vehement opposition by many consumers. Perhaps we aren’t listening closely enough to their concerns. Because we understand the science, we assumed they would too. We’ve failed in telling our


Flowering plants are the largest, most important and newest type of plants.

How flowers won

Flowering plants conquered the world, 
now scientists think they know why

It’s a problem that puzzled even geneticist Charles Darwin so much he called it the “abominable mystery” — how did flowering plants take over the world? They’re relative newcomers, yet they dominate most landscapes, are incredibly diverse, form the basis of our food system and drive the animal diversity we see all around us. A

A new and more complete barley genome may set the stage for new and better varieties.

Barley genome fully mapped

German researchers, leading an international consortium, 
say they’ve given us the best picture yet of the barley genome

Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, a German research centre, have published the closest look yet at the barley genome. They recently published their findings in the journal Nature and lead author Heidrum Gundlach says they hope the new and more detailed barley genome will help develop varieties resistant to pathogens and tolerant of climate fluctuations.