GFM Network News


Split-rate applications of fungicide to control fusarium and leaf diseases are no longer recommended as a half dose increases the chance of resistance.

Stay calm and spray on

A field guide to fungicide resistance management

Reading Time: 6 minutes Do you have questions about fungicide resistance? Have you ever wondered if that fungicide you used before is still working as it should? Are you worried about losing fungicide tools? Well, you’re not alone. “There have been a lot more questions about fungicide resistance in the last two years than in the last 10,” says […] Read more

Researcher Prem Pokharel found that wheat yield was higher in soil with added biochar made from manure and wood chips rather than from the untreated products.

Harnessing the power of the rhizosphere

Biochar — heat-treated organic material — can give the root zone a boost

Reading Time: 3 minutes Have you ever noticed how lush the crabgrass can get around an old firepit? It’s a small yet compelling example of the benefit that burnt wood residue can have on plant growth. But there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye in that interchange between plant, charcoal, soil and air, and Prem Pokharel […] Read more


Short rotations are partly to blame for the emergence of clubroot, which can reduce canola yield to zero.

Putting a value on crop diversity

Economists and agronomists are getting together to compare the benefits of short and long rotations

Reading Time: 3 minutes Have you ever stared at your crop plan and wished that it didn’t rely so heavily on canola? Or wheat? Or peas? Or any crop that is too often called on for cash flow at the expense of proper rotation? Agronomists have been beating the drum of crop diversity for years and farmers understand that […] Read more

The efficacy and durability of clubroot resistance depends a lot on inoculum levels in the soil.

Hope ahead for more durable clubroot resistance

A combination of two resistance genes shows promise against multiple pathotypes

Reading Time: 3 minutes Since it was first discovered in Alberta in the early 2000s, clubroot has proven a wily opponent for plant pathologists and breeders. Back then, researchers identified a handful of clubroot pathotypes, mostly minor, and one major one that was responsible for most infections and yield loss in Western Canada. Plant breeders focused on that and […] Read more


A clover cover crop stretches upward from the stubble.

Finding the value of cover crops for Western Canada

Cover crops are now standard practice farther south in the U.S., but do they have the same results on the shorter-season Prairies?

Reading Time: 3 minutes When Yvonne Lawley wrote her research proposal for a study of cover crops, she was specific about the wording of the title: Testing the cover crop hypothesis across Prairie Canada. It’s the word “hypothesis” that grabs you. What could be theoretical about cover crops? Some farmers have been using them for decades to help build […] Read more

Since the WGRF’s inception in 1981, it has helped develop hundreds of wheat and barley varieties.

Take a new look at the Western Grain Research Foundation

The organization is ready to embark on the next 40 years of funding vital crop and agronomic research to benefit western Canadian growers

Reading Time: 5 minutes When you do a job well for a long time, it can sometimes go unnoticed — people simply get used it. That’s why every once in a while it’s good to take a step back and see things with fresh eyes. Agricultural research, for instance — just gets done. New varieties come out regularly, new […] Read more


“I want farmers to better understand the land they’re working, that’s their baseline,” Angela Bedard-Haughn says. “To manage soils effectively, you have to understand them.”

The power of knowing your soil

Much of Saskatchewan’s soil has been studied at least once over the decades. A WGRF-sponsored project puts all the results in one location available to everyone

Reading Time: 4 minutes Have you ever wondered why crops don’t seem to do well on a certain bit of land and it’s not always obvious why? Angela Bedard-Haughn is here to help you figure that out. The professor of soil science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan is leading the Saskatchewan Soil […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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