GFM Network News

Disease outlook for the 2020 crop season

What will be the big disease concern this year? Will it be tar spot in corn, or frog-eye leaf spot in soybeans? Or will growers be facing more of the same, with soybean cyst nematode and northern corn leaf blight? Forecasting diseases is iffy at best. The truth is that most disease pathogens, once they[...]

The stewardship challenge in farming

As the 2020 planting season approaches, growers, advisors, agronomists and industry stakeholders are all hoping for something better than the past two years. Does every year have to have a challenge like 2019’s difficult harvest, or 2018’s run-in with gibberella ear rot (GER) in corn? If it weren’t for the headaches imposed by weather, a[...]

2018 delivered many DON lessons for corn

There can be little doubt that 2018 will go down in the record books as the worst year in Ontario for dealing with ear mould in corn and contamination by deoxynivalenol (DON). Wet weather through silking and then again in much of October and November challenged growers getting into their fields for timely harvesting of[...]

What’s going to ‘bug’ you in 2020?

Insect pests never seem to get the respect they deserve. If they present a threat during a growing season, they move front and centre, but more often they’re a much lower concern than fertility, weeds and diseases. Some of that is thanks to today’s improved genetics and commercial varieties and hybrids that produce their hardier,[...]

Disease considerations for a late and wet spring

At the time of writing, spring moisture conditions in Eastern Canada remained to be seen, but there wasn’t much question about the Prairies — many growers would still be dealing with wet soils and late planting due to rain and snow from last fall. For example, by early October the Western Cypress Hills area of[...]

Risk versus reward in the quest for higher corn yields

Farming is known for its learning moments, and one key lesson to come out of the 2018 growing season was that the chase for higher yields doesn’t come without risks or hazards. Or, as is said with maybe equal justification, no good deed goes unpunished. The past 10 years have seen incredible growth in corn[...]

Careful grain sampling key when looking for mycotoxins

For Ontario corn growers dealing with an outbreak of deoxynivalenol (DON), 2018 was a year to forget. “It was a really major, widespread issue,” says Art Schaafsma, a professor in field crop pest management for the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus. He says the last time the industry saw widespread issues with DON was in[...]

The growing body of science for corn growers

When your parents got their start, farming was relatively uncomplicated. The farm season was pretty much divided into plowing, planting, cultivation and harvest. Weed management meant getting on top of quackgrass, Canada thistle and mustard, and soil organic matter was out-of-sight, out-of-mind. And transgenics was a word no one had ever heard. Some things make[...]

New in corn hybrids for Eastern Canada

In the history books, 2017 will go down as a tale of two extremes. In parts of Eastern Canada, there was flooding while drought in the U.S. Great Plains reached north into Canada. And in between, growing conditions were anything up to and including perfect. So what’s in the cards for 2018? Few decisions are[...]