GFM Network News


The strength and resilience of Canadian agriculture and our food supply chain is a result of science and research.

Comment: Is science back in style?

There have been some unexpected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these is the new celebrity status of our chief medical health officers. A lot of people who just a few short months ago never even knew every province had a chief medical health officer are now hanging on to every word. Does this mean science and respected authority

Fraser: In ag marketing, emotions need to start trumping facts

Emotional transparency 'actually goes a long way'

Go to an agricultural event and someone will inevitably point out how bad farmers are at getting their message to consumers. As annoying as it is, those comments underscore an increasingly important theme in Canadian agriculture: communication. It used to be enough to grow and market your crops, but that has changed dramatically over the


Non-scientists can have a powerful role in advancing scientific research 
at the farm level.

Citizens and scientists

Laypeople can help drive and expand agriculture research

An international team of researchers has published a paper highlighting the potential of citizen science to address pressing research challenges in agriculture and food systems. One key to capitalizing on such efforts, the researchers find, may be to build stronger ties between citizen science and agricultural extension efforts. “We define citizen science as research in

This unassuming vine from Australia has given soybean yields a boost, researchers say.   PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Wild vine boosts soybean yield

Researchers were looking for resistance genes and found a yield boost too

A distant relative to soybean that’s native to Australia could soon lead to a big jump in soybean yields. The perennial vine, known as woolly glycine, or scientifically as Glycine tomentella, is a genetic resource that was part of a new study from researchers at the University of Illinois. “We saw yield increases of 3.5

Opinion: The anti-science of ‘sound science’

For more than 20 years, farm and ranch groups, Congress, and Big Agbiz have used the phrase “sound science” like a sharp shovel to bury or undermine agricultural policy. Ask them to define “sound science,” however, and you’ll get no clear explanation. That’s because “sound science” is a political weapon, not a branch of knowledge.


Leila Dehabadi puts corn at the centre of new, more efficient technology for separating water from ethanol.

Water out of wine

New University of Saskatchewan chemistry research could 
pave the way for cheaper gas and booze

A University of Saskatch­ewan PhD chemistry student has devised a new and more energy-efficient way to separate water from ethanol. Leila Dehabadi is using starch-based materials such as corn, and can extract the water without using additional energy to isolate the ethanol, which could reduce the cost of biofuels. “Compared to distillation, this new approach

U.S. researchers hope canola plants will show how plants react to early drought stress.

Researchers eye canola for drought insight

Looking at the plants’ day and night cycles is shedding light on 
how plants respond to moisture stress

Your canola crop could hold the key to understanding how plants react to drought stress. That’s according to researchers at Dartmouth University who are looking at how early drought stress affects brassica rapa. The research, recently published in the journal eLife, looks at the full day and night cycle of the plants to see how

Bagasse, as the leftover crushed stalks of sugar cane are known, may some day be converted to biofuels due to research into plant cell walls.

Cell wall secrets could unlock plant potential

U.K. researchers say figuring this puzzle out could improve hunt for traits

We’ve gone a long way in recent years unlocking the genetic potential of plants — but mainly the focus has been on seeds and fruits. Now researchers from Britain’s University of York and Quadram Institute say they’re unlocking the genetic secrets of plant cell walls, which could help improve the quality of some plant-based foods.


Science gets profile, few details, in budget

Any attention paid to research is good for agriculture, says 
the CEO of the Agriculture Institute of Canada

The recent federal budget gives science and research more attention than usual — but details on new funding remain to be decided on, says Serge Buy, CEO of the Agriculture Institute of Canada. The budget did allocate $80 million over five years to replace the Centre for Plant Health in Sidney, B.C. with a new

An employee of an agricultural trader displays grains of maize in Montbert, France, October 7, 2016.

Scientists develop ‘Trojan Horse’ molecule to fight crop fungus linked to cancer

The issue affects the developing world most, as wealthier nations typically screen for the toxins infections produce

Scientists said Mar. 10 they had developed a new method to neutralize a dangerous fungal toxin affecting crops that can lead to cancer, childhood stunting and other health threats. Researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) said they had created a genetically modified maize plant that is edible even when infected with a mould that