GFM Network News

When you sell straw or hay off your farm, have you ever considered the fate of the nutrients contained in the hay or straw?

Selling nutrients: the last straw

Practical Research: How to degrade productive cropland by selling the nutrients after the harvest season

Sandy soil areas are not uncommon on the Canadian Prairies, especially west and north of Edmonton, my home area. It made me wince when I saw endless lines of wheat straw bales on countless sandy fields this fall. Technically speaking, straw should never be sold on any kind of cropland unless there is a very […] Read more

Sacramento-based Origin Materials in March started working with bottled-water firms Nestle Waters and Danone on development of plastic bottles made from biomass feedstocks. (

Bioprocessor coming to Sarnia

Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has invested in California bio-based products company Origin Materials. Origin Materials will be building its first commercial-scale demonstration facility in Sarnia, Ont. by late next year. It will be using bio-based feedstocks such as crops and biomass to make new polymers, surfactants and carbon blacks, which are used as fillers and […] Read more

Canada invests in Canadian biomass and composites industries

Federal and provincial governments are investing up to $2.9 million to the Composites Innovation Centre Manitoba for two initiatives. The funds will go towards the development of quality standards and measurement techniques for Canadian biomass, and research into overcoming technology barriers to the adoption of natural fibres in the composites industry, a news release says. […] Read more

AAFC's Dr. Abdelali Hannoufa says identifying a genetic regulator in alfalfa could lead to more drought-tolerant varieties.

Drought-tolerant alfalfa studied

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers have discovered a gene in alfalfa that could help to make the crop more drought resistant. A team of researchers, led by Dr. Abdelali Hannoufa at AAFC’s London Research and Development Centre in Ontario, working in collaboration with industry partner, Forage Genetics International in the United States, discovered the […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

U.S. EPA finalizes 2016 renewables target at 18.1B gallons

New York | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants energy companies to blend 18.1 billion gallons (68.5 billion litres) of biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply next year, more than in a proposal laid out in May, it said in announcing final rules on renewables use for 2014-16 on Monday. The EPA’s long-awaited […] Read more

Biomass pellets burn in a boiler furnace chamber. Nova Scotia’s COMFIT program offered 17.5 cents/kWh for electricity generated from local-level biomass plants. (Matt Myers photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

N.S. halts local-level biomass, wind power plan

Nova Scotia is ending its feed-in tariff program that pays local-level groups to generate power from biomass, wind and other renewable sources. Energy Minister Michel Samson said Thursday a provincial review of the community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program shows it’s “at a point where the program could begin to have a negative impact on power […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Farm business tax credits on tap in Manitoba budget

Expansions and extensions for tax credits of use to Manitoba farmers and small agribusinesses were laid out Thursday in the province’s latest budget. Finance Minister Greg Dewar’s plan calls for an expansion of the province’s small business venture capital tax credit, broadening its list of eligible businesses to include “non-traditional farming” ventures, as well as […] Read more

N.S. puts feed-in-tariff program on hold

Nova Scotia will stop taking applications for its local-level renewable electricity program pending a review. The province on Thursday announced seven new approvals under its Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) program, but also that it will “pause and evaluate” the program. The pause, the province said, is meant to see that COMFIT “continues to be community-based, […] Read more