GFM Network News


Ed Shaw, left and Scott Keller talk about diversification options at FarmTech in Edmonton.

Some good ol’ reminders about diversification

No crazy ideas about what to do with alfalfa and barley

I must admit I haven’t heard much about farm “diversification” in recent years. And maybe that just means everyone these days is already diversified to the max so there is no need to talk about it. I think back 15 or 20 years and there were many actively promoted diversification schemes (and some of them […] Read more

A waterhemp infestation can reduce soybean yields by 40 to 95 per cent.

War on weeds, take no prisoners

Hart Attacks: It will take money and commitment to just to hold enemy line

A recent issue of the Manitoba’s provincial farm newspaper, the Manitoba Co-operator, carried some depressing news. The province might be losing the war on herbicide resistant weeds; reports from the U.S. say despite some kind of trade deal with China, U.S. farmers figure they will need more than a $25 billion bailout in 2020 — […] Read more


U.S. and China talk trade, no mention of Canada

Hart Attacks: There’s a good chance Canada’s help could go unrewarded

Am I the only one who thinks it’s a bit odd that the U.S. is working on major new trade agreements with China, and yet there is no mention of getting China to take the strangle hold off Canadian ag exports. Maybe positive things are happening behind the scenes, but as the U.S. is about […] Read more

Nothing easy about wild boar control

Hart Attacks: They roam from B.C. to Quebec pretty much doing what they want

I won’t joke about the escalating wild boar problem in Western Canada, because there really doesn’t seem to be anything to joke about. Boy, what a gnarly problem these feral pigs have become across most of Canada and several of the U.S. states. Of all the things farmers have to worry about, who thought wild […] Read more


While the carbon tax exemption covers purple gas and diesel, so far it doesn’t cover other fuel costs such as propane and natural gas.

Agriculture: With an industry that special…

Hart Attacks: So-called belt tightening around the middle is more of a noose around the neck

Fortunately, I have a solution to how Albertan and other western Canadian farmers can handle the recently imposed federal government carbon tax — just pass this increasing operating cost onto consumers. It is that simple. Oh, wait, come to think of it that doesn’t work — farmers are the consumers, or at least have no […] Read more

A drone equipped with a camera can be used to check remote watering systems, scan fencelines or check gates.

Drones. How did we farm without them?

Hart Attacks: Drone school explained how flying cameras can change the cattle business

I know I shouldn’t be amazed by anything that has to do with new technology, but it seems I always am. I recently spent part of a day at a central Alberta drone school —primarily geared to beef producers — and came away thinking it just never ends. So there I was in a community […] Read more


Greta Thunberg, tearless onions and fond farewells

Hart Attacks: All kinds of people and messages make a difference

I’m writing this column on election day, so it is too early for me to comment if it was either a good, bad or surprising election result. I am just glad it is over. I have often thought the real winners in any federal, provincial or even municipal election are the paper companies. First they […] Read more

Stan Wales went from a 
Saskatchewan farm in the Dirty 30s, to the forestry industry, to raising seven children at Wycliffe, B.C

The silver lining of a good memorial service

Hart Attacks: A few thoughts about people who make a difference

My dad, later in life, would occasionally lament that he and mom spent too much time going to funerals — regretting too many of his neighbours and fishing buddies had died. While my Aunt Keitha, who turns 100 in November, always enjoyed a good funeral, giving her a chance to see and visit with people […] Read more


Taking the midnight train to Fairbanks

Hart Attacks: I don’t think I have to rush to pack for a ride on the first train north

While it is good news the first grain shipments in about four years are moving by rail to the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba this fall — all destined for eastern markets — it was a couple of other railway projects on the other side of the prairies with plans to ship commodities west […] Read more

Hart Attacks: What happened to the “reality check”?

Increasingly I am getting the message that the world is running from reality. Maybe it’s been happening for a half million years or so of evolution, but it seems just about every day someone is excited about something artificial being better than “real.” Take food for example. Meat and potatoes (with vegetables in season) kept […] Read more