GFM Network News


The 100th meridian west (solid line) has long been considered the divide between the relatively moist eastern United States, and the more arid West. Climate change may already have started shifting the divide eastward 
(dotted line).

Where the Great Plains began?

The 100th meridian may not mark the start of the Prairies much longer

It’s always been a point of pride in Manitoba that the Prairies begin here, at the 100th meridian. That north-south line cleaves North America in two from Mexico to Manitoba, as first noted in 1978 by explorer John Wesley Powell, who called it the boundary between the humid East and the arid West. Now scientists

The new Escarpment Habitat Protection Program is seeking landowners along the Manitoba Escarpment between the border and Riding Mountain National Park to voluntarily preserve their property, or parts of it, in its natural state in return for a one-time payment or tax receipt. The following participated in the program’s announcement July 8 at Alexander Ridge Park on the escarpment west of Miami, Man.: Tatiana Moroz (l), Manitoba Forestry Association, Kristen Malec, Manitoba Forestry Association, Tim Sopuck, CEO, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, Murray Seymour, chair, Pembina Valley Conservation District, Candice Bergen, MP Portage Lisgar and minister of state for social development, Roy Wood, chair, La Salle Redboine Conservation District, Justin Reid, manager, La Salle Redboine Conservation District and Cliff Greenfield, manager Pembina Valley Conservation District.

VIDEO: New voluntary program to protect Manitoba Escarpment

Participating landowners can still pasture livestock, produce hay, cut firewood and hunt, 
but they can’t burn, break or drain the land

A new voluntary program will offer financial incentives to encourage landowners to protect and restore the Manitoba Escarpment’s natural cover in perpetuity. The goal is not only to conserve flora and fauna providing esthetic benefits, but improve downstream water quality and reduce flooding and costly damage to infrastructure, Cliff Greenfield, manager of the Pembina Valley


Dry soil a concern for some on the Prairies

Dry soil conditions heading into winter could cause problems next spring. “There are some concerns with pasture recovery and just starting up the season next year,” said Trevor Hadwen, agro-climate specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “In terms of native pasture, the dry fall doesn’t allow the recharge of the soil moisture, which doesn’t allow

Prairie dog families know how to get along

If the relatives have left, then it’s time for you to leave too — if you are a prairie dog, that is. A study published in Science by behavioural ecologist John Hoogland of the University of Maryland says for most animals, individuals leave a territory to avoid competition with nearby relatives, such as mother or

A swinging bridge with more lives than a cat

The Souris suspension bridge has graced the picturesque riverside community of Souris, Man. for the past 109 years. At 178 metres (582 feet) in length, it was once considered to be the longest suspension bridge in the British Commonwealth, and until recently it retained the title of “Canada’s longest historic suspension bridge.” Constructed in 1904


OUR HISTORY: September 1954

CCo-operator> editor Quincy Martinson decided to be a little more colourful than usual with prose describing the Dominion Bureau of Statistics crop estimate for Sept. 1954. Our main Sept. 23 headline was “Cosmopolitan home despoiled by vandals,” referring to more than 200 million bushels of wheat that had been robbed from the Prairies that year.

OUR HISTORY: February 11, 1982

Our Feb. 11, 1982 issue reported on Transport Minister Jean-Luc Pepin’s announcement that a process would be established to eliminate the 85-year-old Crowsnest Pass rate agreement. The railways would receive commercial rates and farmers would be compensated by a federal subsidy. University of Manitoba economist Dr. Clay Gilson was appointed to head a negotiating process

Frost touches the Prairies

winnipeg / reuters / Temperatures dipped slightly below freezing on parts of the Canadian Prairies May 24 overnight, but damage to newly emerged crops looked to be minor, an agricultural meteorologist said. A few regions dipped slightly below freezing for several hours overnight, including parts of southern Alberta, southern and central Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba,


New inventions draw the crowds

The history of agricultural innovation in Western Canada is replete with inventions that came from the mind of a farmer and were built, initially, in his back shop. Some of those inventions are now in use on farms across the Prairies and beyond. And some of them were launched in Brandon at the Inventor’s Showcase,

Dry winter a worry for cattle, winter wheat

Canada’s western farm belt is the driest it has been in five years, raising concerns for cattle and winter cereals. Large pockets of the Prairie provinces have received less than 40 per cent of normal precipitation during the past three months, according to federal Agriculture Department maps. “We have a lot of winter ahead of