GFM Network News


Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector

"We have to have less hogs somehow"

Chicago | Reuters — With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant […] Read more

EU sets out COVID-19 support for farmers

Moves meant to stabilize markets

Brussels | Reuters — The European Commission proposed measures on Wednesday to support farmers hit by the coronavirus restrictions, including aid to store surplus dairy and meat products. Under the proposals, the Commission will grant aid for private storage of milk powder, butter and cheese as well as beef, sheep and goat meat for a […] Read more


U.S. announces coronavirus aid for farmers, food buys for poor

Direct payments, mass purchases planned

Chicago | Reuters — President Donald Trump on Friday announced a $19 billion relief program to help U.S. farmers cope with the impact of the coronavirus, including $16 billion in direct payments to producers and mass purchases of meat, dairy, vegetables and other products (all figures US$). The U.S. Agriculture Department is partnering with regional […] Read more

Trump administration aims to buy milk, meat to help farmers, Perdue says

Homeland Security to ease visa rules for ag workers

Reuters — The U.S. government plans to buy milk and meat from farmers as part of an initial US$15.5 billion effort to help them weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday. The decision comes amid rising pressure from the U.S. farm lobby for government purchases as growers and […] Read more


There are several factors to consider to figure out why dairy cattle can be up and down on dry matter intake.

Reducing variability of dry matter intake for dairy cows

Dairy Corner: Several factors, including particle size, can affect how dairy cows eat

Optimizing dry matter intake (DMI) of a well-balanced dairy cow diet should be one of the mission statements of every dairy producer. It is the key to providing enough essential nutrients that support good milk production (and its components) in feed that cows can reasonably consume every day. Unfortunately, daily DMI among a lactating cow […] Read more

Pandemic planning leads to staff cuts at Agropur

Dairy co-operative enters 'business continuity' mode

Dairy co-operative Agropur’s “business continuity” plan against the COVID-19 pandemic calls for job cuts and layoffs for about three per cent of its total workforce. Longueuil, Que.-based Agropur announced Thursday it will eliminate 60 positions and temporarily lay off another 200 employees, all from its Canadian operations. In the “unprecedented context” of COVID-19, Agropur said […] Read more


Dairy sector shuts down most visits from off-farm providers

In agriculture, dairy farms are among those most called-on by outside services

New additions to Gerrit Herrema’s dairy barn have made it easier for his family to abide by recent directions to avoid contact with milk truck drivers to reduce COVID-19’s spread. “We have boot washes and other biosecurity measures in the barn. We need to take these measures in order to minimize the damage,” said Herrema, […] Read more

Cattle inventories continue to decline, StatsCan says

Canada's hog herd also down on year

MarketsFarm — Canada’s cattle herd in 2019 continued on its generally consistent path of declining numbers, according to new data Statistics Canada released Tuesday. Aside from a few slight increases in 2012, 2013 and 2018, Canadian cattle inventories have moved lower since 2005. At 11.2 million head, the reported number of cattle on farms in […] Read more


India offers U.S. dairy, chicken access in bid for elusive trade deal

New Delhi/Washington | Reuters — India has offered to partially open up its poultry and dairy markets in a bid for a limited trade deal during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country this month, people familiar with the protracted talks say. India, the world’s largest milk-producing nation, has traditionally restricted dairy […] Read more

CFIA rethinking limits on travellers’ personal food imports

Consultation running until March

The federal government is considering changes to the amounts of food travellers can bring into Canada with them from other countries for their personal use. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Thursday announced public online consultations on the proposed new limits, which CFIA said would “better reflect the volume of foods typically moved by travellers […] Read more