GFM Network News


Preliminary results suggest a built-in may outperform the Australian tow-behind version of the Harrington Seed Destructor in the hillier conditions in Western Canada.

If you can’t spray ’em, crush ’em

While there’s no single solution to herbicide resistance, the Harrington Seed Destructor may be part of the toolbox

Some of the most creative insights and practical solutions for battling herbicide-resistant weed control come from Australia. It was there, in 1996, that the world’s first documented case of glyphosate resistance was found in annual ryegrass, which is Australia’s No. 1 weed problem. As of January of this year, the Australian Glyphosate Sustainability Working Group […] Read more

Organic soybeans are used in Japan for natto, a traditional fermented food often served with rice, soy sauce, mustard and bunching onion.

The power of whole farm co-design

A research project brings farmers together to share results and discuss what works and what doesn’t

Let’s say you’re a soybean producer in Manitoba. You’re growing conventional varieties and doing well — selling into a ready market, getting a decent price. Then one day in the coffee shop you overhear a guy talk about the price he’s getting for organic soybeans — pretty much double what you’re getting — and you […] Read more


Prairie flax acreage is not as high as it once was, but Canada is still the world’s largest exporter.

Improving flax one allele at a time

Rust hasn’t affected Canadian flax for more than 40 years, but new varieties must still incorporate resistance

On the surface, you’d think that a research project seeking to locate and sequence specific rust-resistance genes, then find ways to quickly identify the presence of these genes in plant breeding material is ultimately about preventing crop loss to rust. But we’re talking about flax here, so think again. Flax is a one million-acre crop […] Read more

Linda Hall is looking for the right combination of variety choice and agronomic practices to make oats more attractive to growers in central Alberta.

The Catch-22 of oat production

Tests in central Alberta yield some useful information on N rates and the effectiveness of plant growth regulators

Linda Hall has a soft spot for the humble oat, mainly because she doesn’t think it’s really all that humble. “Milling oats are a high-value crop,” Hall says. “We’re seeing companies like Richardson buying up oat milling capacity, so the markets are there if we can grow the right kind of oat.” It all depends […] Read more


Chris Neeser used a fixed-wing UAV and captured images three times during the season in two fields each of barley, canola, field peas, seed alfalfa, potatoes and spring wheat.

UAVs and crop scouting. Are they worth it?

Seven organizations supported a two-year study on whether drones can provide practical benefits to farmers

When Chris Neeser began to design a research project on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in crop scouting, he wondered if anyone would be willing to fund it. “This was different from a typical research project,” says Neeser, a research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Crop Diversification Centre, South, in Brooks. “There […] Read more

In 2016, Brûlé-Babel and her team tested 25,000 individual lines grown in single-row, one-metre-long plots. For every 75 plots there is a block of five check varieties with known resistance levels.

Row upon row of fusarium

At this ‘nursery’ at Carman, Man., researchers simulate exactly the conditions wheat farmers fear — warm, humid and loaded with fusarium spores

It’s incredibly labour intensive,” says Anita Brûlé-Babel of the FHB screening process. She should know. A professor at the University of Manitoba, Brûlé-Babel established the FHB screening nursery at the University’s Carman location back in 2001 and has managed it ever since. “It’s much more efficient to do disease screening in a nursery like this, […] Read more


Spiny annual sow thistle is now the No. 6 weed, up a full 28 spots from the last survey.

Why weed surveys matter

Regular inventories across the Prairies provide a valuable indication of emerging problems

Every decade or so since the mid-1970s, scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), with the help of many others, have co-ordinated and compiled weed surveys in each of the three Prairie provinces, counting, mapping, noting changes and marking trends. The most recent survey was conducted in 2014 and 2015 in Saskatchewan, with financial assistance […] Read more

Large tires moving at high speeds are the biggest source of air turbulence behind the sprayer. This year, PAMI is conducting further field experiments with a new 120-foot boom John Deere.

Sprayer speed a turbulent topic

As sprayers go faster, aerodynamics start to come into play. A PAMI project is evaluating if they affect spray deposition

On the surface, spraying seems straightforward. But a closer look at the multitude of factors that can influence how best to get product from the spray tank to the plant surface reveals something akin to a massive puzzle with a couple of pieces missing. One of the people trying to make that picture complete is […] Read more


Thanks to the Canadian breakthrough, weeks are being shaved off the time it takes to get the results from some Group 2 resistance tests.

WGRF research offers faster herbicide testing

WGRF-funded research offers a rapid test to determine whether your weed escapes are Group-2 herbicide resistant

You sprayed 10 days ago and yet that patch of wild oats is still thriving. So you do what farmers across the Prairies do in this situation: take a sample and send it in to the Crop Protection Lab (CPL) in Regina and wait. Depending on the problem, some answers come in just a few […] Read more

PAMI researchers placed shatter-loss collection pans throughout the fields along the width of the headers. The contents were cleaned and weighed to find out where losses were occurring.

Shatter losses in straight-cut canola

PAMI research funded by WGRF shows that the type of header makes a difference

Halfway through a study examining the role that harvest equipment plays in shatter losses when straight-cutting canola, Nathan Gregg is noticing some trends. “We saw higher losses out at the edges of headers,” says Gregg, a project manager with the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) in Humboldt, Sask. “And losses dropped off as you moved […] Read more