GFM Network News

A view from outside of the kitchen along the mess tent.

Lesson 3: From tree planting to farming

When you get your own feet under you, that’s the time to pull others up

Over my last two columns relating my experience as a cook at a tree planting camp to my life as a farmer, I explored two aspects of tree planting that seem to be an opposite ends of the balance beam: the immediacy of the task at hand and the need for rest. Through my work […] Read more

When you’re a pedigreed seed grower, changes of plans can also mean extra, itchy combine clean ups.

You must take courage, farmers

Courage, and discipline, are job requirements for farmers in these risky times

This summer the world watched as “Brexit,” the United Kingdom’s historic vote to leave the European Union, unfolded. While the chattering class pondered what this meant for the British people and the European vision, a name familiar to Canadians was helping to steer the world’s fifth largest economy through tumultuous times. It isn’t the first […] Read more

Sarah Hoffman shares a picker truck, a heavy harrow and yes, even this sprayer with various neighbours.

The neighbours that spray together…

How we make sharing a crucial piece of farm equipment work on our farm

I’m not dead, I’m just married!” These were my words to Grainews editor Leeann when she wondered if I was writing another column anytime soon. That was several weeks ago. Being married and also farming in two different locations has certainly blown my hair back these last several months. The logistical challenges, not to mention […] Read more

The author as a young CB radio enthusiast.

Raised on the radio

A farm kid gets married and reflects on her life-long
place as a part of the farming community

At harvest, whatever cab I happen to find myself in is my cocoon of creature comforts. I have my beverages — both caffeinating and lubricating; my snacks for both sustenance and entertainment; a phone which connects me to the outside world by letting me talk to friends and neighbours with a few finger taps or […] Read more

How to haul your grain to the U.S.

Many farmers are looking at State-side selling opportunities. Sarah Weigum digs into the details

Here in the brave new post-single desk world I hear a lot of curious chatter from farmers thinking about hauling their own wheat and barley to the United States. Of course, Canadian pulse and oilseed producers have always been allowed to sell their production to the U.S. so this is not entirely uncharted territory. Other […] Read more

Women advancing in agriculture

Sarah Weigum’s advice for young female Grainews readers in the ag industry

In the summer of 2011 I went to a combine clinic put on by our dealership. I had returned to the farm only a few months earlier and was still finding my footing in a new-again world. There was one other woman at this clinic and I remember thinking, “I don’t want to sit by […] Read more

Soybean plants damaged by hail.

Looking at the new crop insurance initiative from AFSC

Farming’s never stress free, but this new crop insurance program could help

Alberta farmers: are your dreams of growing coriander stymied by the perils of farming without insurance coverage? Would you try your luck with fields of clover if only there was a backstop in case of a drought or grasshopper invasion? Then the new crop insurance initiative (NCII) from Alberta’s Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) is […] Read more

In 2013, Sarah Weigum combined fabas in September.

Fabas: residues and don’ts

Check your herbicide history before seeding those sensitive fabas this spring

Judging from the tweets I read and the phone calls I received during and after Saskatoon’s Crop Production Week in January, fababean fever has hit Saskatchewan much like it hit Alberta about a year ago. It’s not very often that Albertans get to give their eastern neighbours tips on producing pulses, but it seems that […] Read more

Sarah Weigum at the Japanese embassy. In Japan, Sarah learned that food safety and cost are the two most important factors to Japanese consumers.

Export sales mission to Asia

Sarah Weigum travels to Japan to learn more about international ag sales

If it hadn’t been such a rainy harvest, I may not have found myself on a flight to Tokyo last November. I can’t remember if I was waiting for a shower to dry up or the snow to melt, but one morning in early September I read an article in one of the farm papers […] Read more

Inter-generational transition can be very difficult.

A look back and a step up

When the next generation moves home to the farm, it’s a time for change and role re-evaluation

I am somewhat late for the season of “year in reviews,” so I thought I’d do one better and review, briefly, my last three years on the farm. In May 2015 it will be four years since I moved back to the farm, so I’ve been through four crop seasons. When I moved back to […] Read more