GFM Network News


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’

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

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


You can tell the difference now, but it will be more difficult after major changes to the quality system in 2018.

Wheat class changes see the end of KVD

Kernel visual distinguishability (KVD) ended on paper in 2008, but new changes to wheat classes mean it will also end in practice

Reading Time: 4 minutes For decades, it was “What you see is what you get” when buying Canadian wheat. Not only did new varieties have to perform well in the field and in the bakery, they had to look similar to all the other varieties in their class. That helped ensure the consistency which has been such a strong […] Read more

Lane Stockbrugger on his farm in Saskatchewan.

Sizing up the farm

Lane Stockbrugger is betting that the age of the family farm has got a long ways to go yet

Reading Time: 7 minutes It was in the wide-open spaces of Saskatchewan where the trend was perhaps most apparent a few short years ago. A one-two combination had suddenly brought a lot of new attention to farming and farmland. First, crop prices spiked, creating attractive margins for the first time in a generation. Then, predictably, farmland followed suit, as […] Read more


wheat and barley

Making change for cereal crop development

In the wake of deregulation, the cereals sector has needed to reorganize itself, and so far it seems like the major pieces have been picked up

Reading Time: 7 minutes When the Canadian Wheat Board was losing the single desk, there was no shortage of dire predictions about what the fallout might be. Even many of those in favour of an open market conceded that there were a lot of moving parts, and it was going to be necessary to proceed with caution lest very […] Read more

Is this the shape of Prairie grain? Monsanto is betting $100 million on it.

The Corn Belt moves north

Monsanto has plans to produce varieties that can be grown on half the acres in Western Canada

Reading Time: 7 minutes It might not look like it at first glance, but this nondescript boardroom in a steel building beside a busy highway in southern Manitoba is the heart of the western Canadian corn pipeline. The site near Carman is home to Monsanto’s major corn expansion project, announced just over two years ago with much fanfare and […] Read more


A high clearance sprayer on a field in a prairie landscape

Where do you cut when you have to cut costs?

As crop prices drop, growers have a new focus on cost containment. Weed control is always a big bill, so it’s only natural this gets a hard look — but taking the wrong steps could cost you money

Reading Time: 4 minutes High crop prices always make the decision to apply crop protection products relatively easy. Just a few years ago, when canola was north of $700 per tonne and wheat was sitting near $500 per tonne, the question was never “Should I spray?” it was “Why wouldn’t I spray?” After all, at those prices if you […] Read more

In Arkansas, there’s only one tool left for managing herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth — the hoe.

We need to get our herbicide resistance response right

Dealing with what's become a global problem could end up being one of Canada's key competitive advantages as a grain-exporting nation

Reading Time: 7 minutes In Australia, the problem is so bad growers are catching chaff with mechanical seed destructors or burning it in windrows in order to destroy weed seeds. In the U.S. Cotton Belt, the unthinkable has happened and crews walk through fields, hand-roguing Palmer amaranth at $150 per acre. In Europe, they’re resorting to more and more […] Read more