GFM Network News


U.S. pork packer Smithfield offers ultra-cold vaccine storage

COVID-19 vaccines need storage at -20 C, -70 C

Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely […] Read more

U.S. border restrictions to last a long time yet, Trudeau says

COVID would need to be 'significantly more under control'

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada will not agree to lifting a ban on non-essential travel with the United States until the coronavirus outbreak is significantly under control around the world, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. Trudeau’s comments were a clear indication that the border restrictions will last well into 2021. The two neighbours […] Read more


U.S. fuel industry frazzled as EPA misses biofuel volumes deadline

COVID-19 fallout complicates process

New York | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was set to miss a deadline Monday to announce how much renewable fuel the nation’s refiners must blend into their fuel mix next year, raising uncertainty in the fuel market and prompting one biofuel association to threaten to take the agency to court. Under federal […] Read more

China’s coronavirus testing chokes beef trade

Additional inspections, disinfections costly for importers

Beijing | Reuters — In a supermarket in downtown Beijing, refrigerator shelves normally filled with steak from around the world sit empty as tougher testing for the novel coronavirus creates supply bottlenecks and raises prices for importers. Fresh supplies of beef won’t arrive for days, a salesman at the Suning.com-owned Carrefour outlet told Reuters — […] Read more


Canada’s mink farms brace for COVID

Producers have had time to increase biosecurity efforts at the farm level

Canada’s 40 mink farms are operating under heightened biosecurity requirements after reports of COVID-19 jumping from humans to mink in Europe. Alan Herscovici, an industry spokesperson who operates the website Truthaboutfur.com, said early reports out of Denmark and other European countries gave Canadian producers some time to prepare. “These farms have always had a certain […] Read more

Atlantic bubble disintegrates as COVID-19 cases rise

Toronto | Reuters — The “bubble” pact between Canada’s four Atlantic provinces has disintegrated in the face of rising COVID-19 cases across the country, as premiers in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador announced quarantine requirements for all travelers from outside their provinces on Monday. The two provinces joined in a so-called “bubble” with […] Read more


Toban Dyck: Sanity in an oil change

The tangible elements of farming are therapeutic

The webcam on my MacBook hasn’t been working consistently, giving me a great excuse to participate in virtual meetings without having my mug on the screen. I slink back in my chair and engage in the conversation, but my eyes can wander without anyone noticing. I stare out my office window, which overlooks our farmyard […] Read more



High food prices hurting India’s poor

Inflation pain expected to persist for months yet

New Delhi | Reuters — India’s retail inflation may stay elevated for at least three more months after hitting a six-year high in October, as excess rain has damaged standing crops and seedlings, while edible oils that the country imports have become expensive. The high prices are a particular cause of concern for India’s hundreds […] Read more

P.E.I. seed potato growers backed for lost sales, costs

Pandemic compensation plan to take applications until mid-January

Seed potato growers on Prince Edward Island who lost sales this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or have had to store or throw out stock, can soon apply for provincial compensation. The provincial government on Monday announced $1.19 million for a new Seed Potato Recovery Program, for seed growers “who can demonstrate that they […] Read more