GFM Network News

Derek Johnson, minister of municipal relations, speaks during a meeting of the standing committee on social and economic development on April 19.  photos: SCREENSHOT/KAP

Bill 37 a step closer to law, despite municipal leaders’ concerns

Changes to planning laws sorely needed to keep Manitoba competitive, developers say

A law that will allow developers to go over municipalities’ heads if land-use applications are rejected is one step closer to reality after it passed the committee stage on April 19. Bill 37, the Planning Amendment and City of Winnipeg Charter Amendment Act, would give the Municipal Board (a provincially appointed tribunal) jurisdiction to hear

Tighter regulations take effect for B.C. farmland reserve

Tighter regulations take effect for B.C. farmland reserve

Local governments' expanded role to take effect this fall

New regulations governing how — or if — changes can be made to land’s status within British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) are now in force, but local governments get more prep time for their expanded role. The province on Thursday announced amendments to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Act — having received royal assent

(Former) Editor’s Take: Cover crop funding decision unfair to cattle producers

High-tech agriculture has been hogging all the attention lately. Mainstream media run stories starting with “It isn’t Old Macdonald’s farm anymore,” describing drones, satellites and tractor cabs fitted with computer screens. Farm media regularly feature stories on the latest precision agriculture innovations and how farmers can figure out how to use all that computer data

Standing corn may be a viable way for Manitoba producers to extend their grazing season, but there are a few things 
to watch for.

Standing corn an option for extended beef grazing

An extended grazing season may be cheaper with standing corn, but there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind

If a cow is grazing, you don’t have to feed it. It’s a deceptively simple statement, and the basis for many cattle producers looking at extended grazing to cut costs. Farmers have looked at bale grazing, forage stockpiling and swath grazing, among others; but another grazing system has caught the interest of some beef producers,


Ontario to add local weight to land use appeal process

Ontario’s Municipal Board (OMB), which handles appeals of land use planning decisions across the province, is set to be replaced with a new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. The provincial government announced Tuesday it will introduce legislation “in the coming weeks” to replace the Ontario Municipal Board with the new tribunal, “mandated to give greater weight

Research at the University of Alberta looks to identify how land use and grazing impact soil carbon levels.

Study shows grassland environmental contributions

The University of Alberta in partnership with Alberta Environment and Parks has undertaken 
a number of studies looking at the impacts of land use and grazing on soil carbon levels

Grasslands punch above their weight when it comes to carbon sequestration. That’s the conclusion of a researcher who started his career on an Alberta-wide study of how land use affects that province’s carbon pool. Daniel Hewins, now an assistant professor at Rhode Island College in Providence, R.I., says grasslands can and do store an enormous

Michael Thiele (r), grazing club co-ordinator with the Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association spoke on the importance of organic matter in pasture soil at a recent grazing workshop.

Tired pasture? The solution is in the soil

To create a healthy pasture, grazing expert says to start with ground cover, 
plant a diverse mix and avoid disturbing the soil

To get more pasture growth above ground, start by looking below the surface, says Michael Thiele, grazing club co-ordinator for the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA). “Nutrient levels in the soils across Canada have been greatly depleted since conventional agriculture began and the same nutrient depletion can be seen in the foods we are

( via Flickr)

U.S. EPA launches probe into benefits of biofuels program

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s in-house investigators have launched a review of the environmental benefits stemming from the country’s decade-old program requiring the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline. The investigation, to be conducted by the Inspector General for EPA, will examine whether the agency has complied with reporting requirements and

Crop residue burning authorizations begin Aug. 1

Crop residue burning authorizations begin Aug. 1

Failure to follow the regulations could result in fines of up to $50,000

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) reminds producers who choose to burn crop residue that authorization is required between Aug. 1 and Nov. 15. Authorizations are issued daily by 11 a.m. based on weather, moisture and favourable smoke dispersion conditions.  Night burning is banned year-round. Producers may also require a burning permit, if located