GFM Network News


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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“We have identified several soybean varieties with a potential of producing more than 50 bu./ac. marketable seed yields.” – Manjula Bandara, CDCS.

Growing soybeans in southern Alberta

Farmers would like the rotation option, but heat units are marginal and soybeans must compete with high-value irrigation crops

Reading Time: 7 minutes For some Prairie farmers, the question of whether to introduce soybeans into the rotation may seem like a no-brainer. They’re good nitrogen fixers and have proven a hit on rain-fed land in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where soybean acreage has increased dramatically over the past decade. But if you’re a producer in Alberta, the answer is[...]
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Laus Stiekema (middle), his son Lauran (left) and son-in-law Jaco are process-potato growers from Vauxhall, Alta., in the heart of southern Alberta’s irrigation country. Laus says they had an “average” crop this past year, missing much of the precipitation that hammered the province throughout the spring and summer.

Alberta potatoes mostly escape the deluge of 2016

A bit of luck, combined with tile drainage, helped Alberta potato growers survive the province’s wet 2016 season

Reading Time: 5 minutes For Alberta potato growers, the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons could not have been more different — hot and dry followed by cold and wet. Despite that, 2016 yields were more or less consistent with the past several years. “Our acres are flat — they have been for the past couple of years,” says Terence[...]
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Harpinder Randhawa, spring wheat and triticale breeder with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Lethbridge, stands in a field of soft white spring wheat. He is working on soft white spring varieties with improved resistance to disease and pre-harvest sprouting.

Soft white spring wheat spreads east

Ethanol drives new demand while research adapts SWSW to new regions

Reading Time: 5 minutes Until relatively recently, there were few producers outside the irrigation belt of southern Alberta who had ever heard of, much less planted, soft white spring wheat (SWSW). However, backed by 50 years of research, the wheat class is suddenly showing a new potential to be grown on more acres and in more areas, and for[...]
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