GFM Network News


Sam Thorpe of Spade and Plow stands in front of a field of harvested artichoke plants at his family’s farm in San Martin, California, June 3, 2019.

In the heart of the U.S. high tech sector, farmers fight for land

In wealthy Silicon Valley, a $500-million plan to save threatened farmland

Thomson Reuters Foundation – With a swipe of his harvesting knife, Sam Thorpe frees a handful of spinach from its roots in the soil. “In the winter it’s so sweet it’s like candy,” he says, examining the small yield in his palm. For the past four years, Thorpe and his family have built a reputation

B.C. Greens seek limits on foreign ownership of farmland

The party holding the balance of power in British Columbia’s legislature wants to curb foreign ownership of farmland in the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Green Party leader Andrew Weaver on Thursday introduced the Property Law Amendment Act as a private member’s bill, which he said “would prohibit foreign entities from purchasing ALR land over


Bryan Nichols, chair of Emerson-Franklin Heritage Holdings Inc. (r) and some of the 12 members of its committee are very excited about Dominion City becoming the first place in Manitoba to build an Abbeyfield House for local seniors. Also pictured are Dave and Bev Kirkpatrick (l to r) and Bev Berrington. Construction now well underway is expected to be complete and the new house ready for residents by autumn 2016.

House rising in Dominion City a new concept for seniors’ housing in small towns

This small southeastern Manitoba village is building the first Abbeyfield House in Manitoba. 
The alternative housing model for seniors is now found across North America and Europe

A new 6,000-sq.-foot bungalow-style home under construction in Dominion City sounds like a very big house, but it’s being built to show how smaller homes for an aging population can be just the right fit for rural communities. The scaled-up, multi-family house later this year will become home to a mix of couples and individuals

Brace for more commodity volatility due to China

China’s real estate bubble is deflating as the economy slows

When someone asks where commodity prices are headed, they’re really asking: what’s the outlook for China? Last year, China consumed more coal than the rest of the world combined and imported 70 per cent of the world’s seaborne iron ore. In 2012, China accounted for half of the global growth in oil demand. It’s a

Aaron Holliday and his wife, Leanne and daughter, Brooklyn, run a 250-head operation half a mile from the proposed residential subdivision.

Cattle producers seek protection from residential neighbours

Manitoba municipality ignores its own bylaw in the 
endeavour to develop rural residential property

Area livestock operators say they fear being squeezed out by a proposed residential development their municipality has approved based on false information and in contravention of local bylaws. Residents opposed to the project say the developer behind a proposed 96-acre housing development east of Carberry failed to disclose in his rezoning application that there are


Editorial: Captive grain, and captive farmers?

COFCO likley to create waves for the future of grain pricing

Those who follow livestock markets will know the term “captive cattle” — feedlot cattle owned by the large packers, and which they can use to maintain supply and/or take the pressure off rising open-market prices. In the past that’s led to some U.S. government intervention, such as mandatory reporting of purchases and prices. Recent developments

NFU recommendations to protect farmland, tackle farm debt

1. Enact laws to restrict farmland ownership to individuals who live in the province the land is in and the same for incorporated farming operations, including co-operatives. 2. Provincial governments should monitor farmland ownership and report changes annually and also consider legislating the maximum amount of farmland an individual or incorporated family farm can own.

Land values may have peaked

Land prices could fall, but the only thing that really matters is if you can afford 
to make payments on what you’ve already bought

For years land prices and rents have only been doing one thing — climbing. But with the drop in commodity prices and changing markets, it seems that prices may have peaked. “I think we’re at the top of the cycle,” said Merle Good, a former tax specialist from Alberta Agriculture, and a speaker at Ag


Editorial: Farmland — always a good buy?

Keep renting, or buy that land now before it gets even more expensive? Alberta farm management adviser Merle Good provided some perspective on that for an attentive crowd at Ag Days last week. So far, it’s been a truism that farmland is a good investment. That’s not to say it is always the right investment

Shoal Lake: Flooded landowners slam province’s buyout tactics

Shoal Lakes farmers say they weren’t allowed to examine or make 
a copy of their assessment and pressured to take it or leave it

The paperwork is spread across the kitchen of the new home Brian McCulley purchased after flooding forced him off his land near the shore of West Shoal Lake — including a scorned buyout offer from the province. “It wasn’t fair market value and I didn’t consider what was on that piece of paper to be