GFM Network News


A detailed look at Prairie heat and rainfall

It has been hot and dry across much of the region, but there’s variation within that trend

There have been more and more news stories coming out about the hot and dry conditions across the Prairies so far this summer, especially across Alberta and Saskatchewan. I figured we should take a little time to look at what has been happening weather-wise across the agricultural Prairies to see just what’s been going on.

The rangeland and pasture health assessment tool aims to help land users and producers determine potential plant community composition, forage production, stocking rates and the impacts of management practices on ecological functions.

Creating a better process for assessing pasture

Stakeholders from across the industry are currently working together to develop 
a Manitoba-focused rangeland and pasture health assessment

Following in the footsteps of our Prairie neighbours, Manitoba is working towards developing a customized rangeland and pasture health assessment. “The project is born out of similar initiatives that started in the United States, Alberta and then Saskatchewan. They have developed these tools for assessing rangeland health, looking at various indicators like bare soil, litter


Northern Quinoa aiming for 100,000 acres

Quinoa growers wanted — with the right location and right rotation

Get ready to see more quinoa waving in the Prairie breeze. Saskatchewan-based Northern Quinoa Corp. is preparing to increase its acres nearly twentyfold over the next three years. The company has about 5,250 acres of the ancient grain under contract this summer, but it would like to see 100,000 acres across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

This is a compelling story that will engage the public, says chair of the ag subcommittee Mike McAndless (front), pictured here with (l to r) Rob Tisdale, St. Andrews Society of Winnipeg president, and Prairie Public Television director Bob Dambach who co-directed the four-part documentary with Winnipeg filmmaker George Siamandas.

Ag documentary on Red River Selkirk settlers released

2012 celebrations of the bicentenary of the Red River Selkirk settlers inspired the documentary’s creation

A four-part documentary made for Prairie Public Television that spans the beginning of farming in Manitoba to present day and looks to what the future holds premiered in Winnipeg last week. “Built on Agriculture” is the culmination of more than three years’ work to produce a compelling and engaging television series telling a story of

AAFC official says private companies needed to fill wheat research gap

There’s a multimillion-dollar wheat research funding gap in Canada that the private sector needs to fill, says Stephen Morgan Jones, director general of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Prairie/Boreal Ecozone. It will require stronger plant breeders’ rights rules and partnerships with publicly funded researchers, he told the Grain Industry Symposium Nov. 20 organized by the


The value of trees

On bitterly cold and blustery winter days on the farm, there wasn’t much by way of trees to block our view of those fiery red sunsets framed by sundogs over the drifting snow. It’s a view I am glad I experienced. But as beautiful as it was, it’s not a view I miss. We grew

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

Rethinking the possibilities of trees

The view from Northern Blossom Farms

In this third letter from Northern Blossom Farms, Gary Martens 
discusses ways to keep trees on the landscape.

In my first letter I advocated integrating livestock and crops for the synergistic benefits of both components to the farming system. In the next letter, I discussed my crop rotation which includes perennials but is still based mainly on annual crops. In this letter, I want to propose the integration of trees as a beneficial


Alliance seeks improved wheat photosynthesis, nutrient use

Alliance seeks improved wheat photosynthesis, nutrient use The Canadian Wheat Alliance wants to boost wheat yields by developing new varieties with increased tolerance to drought, heat, cold and diseases such as fusarium head blight and rust. “By working in an integrated fashion and bringing in additional collaborators and contributors, the alliance is striving to ensure

Where is AAFC’s wheat-breeding program headed?

After closing Winnipeg’s Cereal Research Centre, the federal government has
invested $85 million in a new wheat research program in Saskatoon

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has led Canadian wheat breeding for more than 100 years, but recent actions by the federal government have some wondering about its future role. A year ago, Ottawa announced it will close AAFC’s venerable Cereal Research Centre on the University of Manitoba’s Winnipeg campus because it would cost too much