GFM Network News


Supply chain working but canola groups have concerns

Federal field trials need to continue and growers need protective equipment, they say

There have been no issues so far with supplies of inputs and parts, transportation or oilseed processing during the pandemic, canola industry officials report. “We’ve been really focused on making sure farmers have access to inputs and resources to get the 2020 crop in the ground,” Canola Council of Canada president Jim Everson said during […] Read more

Third major Alberta beef plant confirms COVID-19 cases

JBS in Brooks is the latest with infected workers, but will continue operations

UPDATED, April 17 — Cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed at three of Alberta’s major beef packing plants. Three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Wednesday at the JBS beef packing plant in Brooks, said Tom Hesse, Local 401 president with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada. JBS Canada spokesman Cameron Bruett confirmed some […] Read more


Foreign workers starting to arrive, livestock group says

About 2,000 have recently arrived, several thousand more here soon, feeders say

About 2,000 foreign workers have arrived in Canada in recent weeks and more should be here soon, an official with the National Cattle Feeders Association says. “There are about 4,000 more that are expected to arrive shortly, so the process is starting to work,” Janice Tranberg, the association’s president and CEO, said during a telephone […] Read more

Cattle producers press for lower price insurance premiums

WLPIP is needed, but unused because premiums too expensive, CCA says

The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program is not functioning properly due to very high premiums and needs to be quickly revamped, says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “We’re having unprecedented volatility for markets. Having tools in place for farmers and ranchers has never been more important,” executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft said during a telephone town hall […] Read more


Plummeting french fry sales have potato growers re-evaluating

Restaurant closures slash demand, though 'chip sales have been great'

French fry sales are down across North America as tens of thousands of restaurants have closed during COVID-19, meaning the potato industry has to adapt quickly. Companies that turn potatoes into french fries, wedges and hash browns are slowing down, because there isn’t enough space to store all the frozen product. In Alberta and Manitoba, […] Read more

Beef demand soars as consumers ‘aggressively’ stock up

Surge in sales accompanied by a jump in people looking online for recipes

Canada’s beef demand has been strong during the pandemic. “Unlike previous disease outbreak issues, COVID-19 has not been about food safety or consumer confidence or issues with food products,” Canada Beef president Michael Young said during a recent online town hall. “Beef demand at retail is up 50 to 70 per cent. Consumers have aggressively […] Read more


Canada’s pork sector up to speed, aware of challenges

Processing plants enhancing biosecurity; producers being urged to watch their stress levels

They’re adding protective plexiglass shields, bringing in trailers to separate groups of workers, and boosting communication on biosecurity. It’s all part of an ongoing effort to ensure pork processing plants aren’t disrupted by COVID-19. “I’m very impressed by our packers, and for the workers for coming to work every day and being there and realizing […] Read more

Lots of flour to go around, millers’ association says

System is 'doing extremely well' and should have no problem keeping up with demand, CNMA's Gordon Harrison says

The grain supply chain is working as it should during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the president of the Canadian National Millers Association. “From the milling industry vantage point, the movement of grain from farm to the producer to the elevator systems to mills is doing extremely well,” Gordon Harrison said Tuesday. “The grain supply chain […] Read more


Beef sector mobilizes against supply disruptions

Keeping border open, meeting demand for beef are top priorities

Teams of livestock and government officials are quickly creating plans and policies to keep the sector functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the executive vice-president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “Our primary objective obviously is to insure there is stable beef production and trade that can continue under the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dennis […] Read more

Ahead of any emergency, plan for the worst

Disaster planning is not a pleasant task but it's vital that producers have a plan, expert says

Identify your resources and review your plan, says an expert in emergency planning for livestock. The COVID-19 pandemic is a very different type of emergency, said Rebecca Husted, a teacher of technical large animal emergency rescue. “Most disasters like fires and floods have people moving around, but in COVID-19, people are not supposed to move […] Read more