GFM Network News


Opinion: Canada has many research success stories — but there should be more

If we can’t bridge the farmer-researcher gap, we’re leaving money on the table

Reading Time: 3 minutes Every year around the world, billions of dollars, euros, yen and yuan are spent on agriculture research. In Canada alone, public funding of “research in support of agriculture,” to quote the federal government, topped $557 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year. That figure may wax and wane with the budgetary vagaries of government, but it’s […] Read more

An aerial sprayer sprays fungicide on a canola field near Miami, Man., on July 11.

High disease risk sees many Manitoba canola growers spraying fungicide

A wet spring creates canola fields full of sclerotinia as flowering blooms

Reading Time: 3 minutes This season Manitoba canola growers shouldn’t be asking if they should be spraying fungicides — they should be asking themselves if there’s any possible reason they shouldn’t. Clinton Jurke, director of agronomy for the Canola Council of Canada, says it’s been a moist spring, yield looks good in much of the province and dense canopies […] Read more


Ground beetles can consume caterpillars, wireworms, maggots, ants, aphids and slugs.

Integrated Pest Management gaining credibility

More and more growers are beginning to embrace the IPM approach to insect control, and the system is beginning to bear fruit

Reading Time: 7 minutes A few years back Owen Olfert and other entomologists approached a group of growers with what might have seemed like an outrageous request — don’t spray for wheat midge. They were in the process of introducing a new parasite to knock back midge populations, but there was a problem — the critter in question was […] Read more

Researchers with AAFC in Saskatoon are working on CerealAphidBOSS, an app to predict thresholds for cereal aphids.

Crop pest scouts may gain from ‘app’lied knowledge

Insect ID is a challenge — but Prairie entomologists say there will soon be an app for that, and a whole lot more

Reading Time: 7 minutes One of the most challenging aspects of crop protection will always be the flying, crawling and chomping critters that show up every season, hoping to take a bite out of your profits. There are a lot of them, they can be hard to tell apart, and wind and weather can determine if insects arrive in […] Read more


Already, 40 per cent of Canada’s farmland is rented, and that number continues to grow. For farmers, it’s a staggering investment in a largely unregulated and unreported market.

Farmland for rent

Too often it seems you don’t hear land is up for rent until you learn someone is already renting it

Reading Time: 7 minutes It isn’t like commercial real estate, or even like housing markets where so much information is available. If you’re interested in a house, for example, your realtor can tell you what the last six houses sold for in the same neighourhood. If you want to rent office space in downtown Calgary or Toronto, finding out […] Read more

Kinze’s multi- hybrid planter allows farmers to switch between two hybrids in the field based on a prescription map.

High-tech seeding

New equipment options promise growers more and better control over this critical field operation

Reading Time: 7 minutes Over the years, few field operations have caused growers more head scratching. Seeding is the critical first step in getting a good crop, and there are many variables in play. Is the seedbed right? Are the fertilizer and seed separation acceptable? Is the seed placed evenly? Is it being sown at the right depth? As […] Read more


Spraying fungicide might not have to be a routine part of the program if better weather forecasts were available.

The fine balance of controlling crop diseases

It's a classic example of where short-term decisions can mean long-term problems

Reading Time: 7 minutes Randy Kutcher recalls that when he moved to Saskatchewan 25 years ago, farmers were using hardly any fungicide. “They were using a bit of fungicide for sclerotinia in canola, and that’s about it. Now it’s pretty much part of the program, and often crops are getting two or more applications, and it’s almost become like […] Read more

First discovered in Uganda, the Ug99 strain of rust is virulent against most most varieties and can cause losses up to 100 per cent. In 2014 AAFC scientists at Morden, Man., registered AAC Tenacious, the first wheat variety with true Ug99 resistance.

The long-term battle of fighting crop diseases

Fighting crop disease isn’t a single-season job — you’ve got to be in it for the long haul and protect and maintain the capacity to do the work

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the winter of 1820, farmers at the embryonic Red River Settlement, at what is now Winnipeg, faced disaster after their seed grain was destroyed. The colony had dabbled in wheat production for the previous few years, but with little success. It was make-or-break time for the cold-hardened and dispossessed Scotsmen who had migrated via […] Read more


North of Superior, in ‘livestock country’

A northern Ontario mill town with a proud agricultural past and lots of essentially free land isn’t quite ready to call it quits yet

Reading Time: 11 minutes Coming from the west, it’s unexpected. You pass out of the Prairies just east of Winnipeg, then drive through mile after mile of rocks, trees and water — the typical geography of the Canadian Shield. But somewhere east of Kenora, something begins to happen… small meadows start to appear, finally broadening out and breaking up […] Read more

Canada’s agricultural research deficit

Public ag research in Canada gets cut again and again, all while proof grows that science is needed more than ever

Reading Time: 9 minutes Get public research right and the results can be impressive, whether the benefit is incremental, like the new crop varieties that, year after year, edge farm productivity up, or if it’s transformative like the invention of canola or the equally ground-shifting release of early genetics that saw corn and soybeans to sweep the East and […] Read more