GFM Network News


Southern Alberta seed grower Greg Stamp in a field of KWS Daniello, a hybrid fall rye variety noted for its high resistance to ergot.

Rye sees a resurgence

New high-yielding hybrids with better ergot resistance are finding a home in the pasture and feedlot

Reading Time: 6 minutes Rye — arguably the runt of the litter among Prairie grains in recent decades — has staged something of a comeback. But this isn’t your granddaddy’s rye. Since 2016, rye’s acreage across the Prairies has been on a steady climb. Statistics Canada pegs last fall’s seedings at 352,500 acres, up from 225,000 four years ago, […] Read more

AAC Wildfire offers higher yield and other advantages, but is not recommended for the eastern Prairies due to low rust resistance.

Getting winter wheat back on track

Insurance coverage for later seeding could help reverse the acreage decline

Reading Time: 5 minutes For many years, Prairie producers have heard about the advantages of winter wheat — high yields, less disease and weed pressure and early harvest. It’s also more duck-friendly — there’s no spring tillage to disturb their nests. That’s the pitch, but in recent years farmers haven’t been buying it. Statistics Canada reports Prairie winter wheat […] Read more


Farming Smarter general manager Ken Coles operates a hail simulator designed to test the effects of “rescue products” for recovering from hail damage.

Farming Smarter to make research pay

What’s the best way to fund local research when the usual sources dry up? This research group has new ideas

Reading Time: 5 minutes By keeping its efforts limited to southern Alberta, Farming Smarter, a farmer-led applied research and extension service, is proving it can respond quickly to local crop producers’ immediate needs. “We’re focused on creating opportunities and dealing with issues that farmers themselves face,” explains general manager Ken Coles. “It’s about crop producers saying, for example, ‘We […] Read more

Researchers with AAFC say they are close to developing a perennial grain and forage rye.

Perennial cereal rye 2.0

After setbacks with an earlier program, Lethbridge researchers are making progress in developing a dual-purpose grain and forage rye

Reading Time: 5 minutes It sounds ideal like the ideal crop. It produces grain every year, has no annual seed and planting costs, provides excellent weed control and you can also use it for forage. Too good to be true? Maybe not. Efforts to develop perennial wheat continue their slow pace with commercialization pegged at around 15 years from […] Read more


PAMI research shows that simply adding more horsepower may not be sufficient to push air through deeper piles of grain.

Keeping your stored grain cool and dry

With increased storage depth comes increased risk. Are we moving enough air through today’s larger grain bins?

Reading Time: 5 minutes For anyone visiting the rural Prairies for the first time in a few years, one of the first things they might notice is that those are not their dad’s grain bins — 20,000- to 50,000-bushel bins are now a common sight. But bigger bins mean bigger challenges in managing moisture, and bigger losses if things […] Read more

AC Foremost red spring wheat at Killam, Alta. The left side represents standard agronomic management while the right side includes standard agronomic management plus 30 pounds of nitrogen per acre applied prior to stem elongation. It also includes applications of plant growth regulator, flag fungicide and head fungicide. The plot was part of a three-year project in Alberta dedicated to identifying yield-maximizing practices in wheat and barley.

Sorting out the stacks

New research in Alberta suggests big yield gains for wheat when combining some agronomic practices — especially dual fungicide applications

Reading Time: 6 minutes Farmers experiment with their agronomic practices all the time. It’s not uncommon to see them “stack” inputs, for instance by combining fertilizer, plant growth regulators (PGRs) and fungicides to see which combinations boost their yields. But until recently, there has been little in the way of small-plot research into the yield potential of stacking agronomic […] Read more


Researchers hope to release open-source tools for farmers to assess profitability using yield maps of their fields.

Does input in equal profit out?

University of Guelph researchers are working with precision ag tools to identify areas of profit, not just yield

Reading Time: 5 minutes Farming and farmland conservation sometimes seem at odds — a win for one is seen as a loss for the other. Taking land out of production for conservation is seen as a loss of productive farmland, while the ecological community sometimes views intensive ag production as a threat to long-term sustainability. But an ongoing study […] Read more

AAC Elevate has a yield advantage of about six per cent over Radiant, and agronomics are suitable across the Prairies.

Winter wheat varieties available or in the pipeline

These four varieties should make winter wheat more attractive to both farmers and customers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Higher milling quality and larger and more consistent supplies are key to expanded markets for Prairie winter wheat. Rob Graf, long-time breeder at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada — Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, says four varieties either available or in the pipeline should help meet those goals. AAC Elevate Available since last fall, AAC Elevate […] Read more


Several promising new winter wheat varieties are being evaluated at the AAFC’s Lethbridge research station.

The great western winter wheat rescue is on

Researchers and marketers are combining their efforts to revitalize a crop stuck in a multi-year decline

Reading Time: 5 minutes It can yield up to 40 per cent higher than spring wheat. It’s competitive with weeds. It helps prevent soil erosion. It spreads out the farm workload, with seeding and harvest windows different from spring crops. It’s the world’s most common type of wheat traded. And it’s duck-friendly. So what’s not to like? You’d think […] Read more

Four steps for better seeding this spring

It’s an age-old conundrum: You need to expand so you acquire more acres of land to get more return, but then the rush to get a crop in means seeding some acres too early, too late, or too fast. “There’s a lot of potential for making a mistake when it comes to seeding,” said Harry[...]
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