GFM Network News


The U.S. ‘No. 1 weed problem’ heads north

Other weeds are higher priority for now, but be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth

Reading Time: 4 minutes It can grow two to three inches per day and reach eight feet tall. Each plant can produce more than a million seeds that can emerge right through the growing season. It has reduced yield up to 91 per cent in corn and 79 per cent in soybeans. It’s resistant to glyphosate and multiple other […] Read more

Palmer with long terminal seed head.

PHOTOS: How to identify Palmer amaranth

Reading Time: 1 minute The amaranth species look fairly similar as seedlings. Nobody wants to wait until they’re in seed to figure that out. When in doubt, ask an agronomist.” — Tammy Jones, Manitoba Agriculture. For the latest information, visit the North Dakota State University website.


“Snirt” was a common sight in Manitoba soybean fields last winter.

Avoiding another year of ‘snirt’

North Dakota farmers and researchers are finding success in controlling soybean field erosion by planting cover crops

Reading Time: 5 minutes “Snirt” became a buzzword in Prairie agricultural journalism in 2017 and 2018, and for good reason: the dirty snow lining ditches along highways was a telling indicator that there had been a soybean field there last season. It’s a problem across the Red River Valley region in particular, where soybean producers are used to tilling […] Read more

Four ways to help protect your farm from fire

Whether it’s close to home or across an ocean, fire hasn’t been far from the news this summer. This year has been average in terms of fire risk on the Prairies, says Mike Flannigan, professor of wildland fire and the director of the western partnership for wildland fire science at the University of Alberta. But[...]
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Miles Dyck studied sulphur deficiency at the Breton Plots, a long-term crop rotation research site established in 1930.

Nutrient balance key to avoiding sulphur deficient soils

Production of more high-sulphur demand crops such as pulses and canola is creating a shortage in some fields

Reading Time: 4 minutes In order for any crop to use fertilizer efficiently, it needs to have all of its nutrient deficiencies met, says Miles Dyck, an associate professor of soil science in the department of renewable resources at the University of Alberta. The most common nutrient deficiencies in Western Canada are nitrogen and phosphorus, but because of the[...]
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Six tips for a smooth soybean harvest

For two-thirds of soybean producers in Saskatchewan last year, it was their first time growing the crop, with seeded acres up to 850,000 from just 239,939 in 2016. In Manitoba, soybean acreage jumped from over a million and a half acres to well over two million acres in 2017. Estimated acreage is lower this year[...]
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Tillage is the number one soil-degrading process, says one University of Manitoba professor.

Tillage erosion costing farmers billions

The pressure to get an early start on newer crops such as corn and soybeans encourages tillage practices which may not be sustainable

Reading Time: 5 minutes This past spring was one of the worst on record for so-called “snirt,” or dirty snow, in ditches across the Prairies — a sign that wind is moving loose topsoil to the margins of fields. While snirt is an indication that fields are susceptible to wind erosion, however, University of Manitoba soil science professor David[...]
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If a test finds pathogen populations in a field are overcoming R-gene “A,” the producer can opt to plant seed containing R-gene “B” so the pathogen doesn’t face the same selection pressure.

Another item to put in rotation

A new tool can determine which blackleg genes are in a field, allowing growers to choose a variety that will prolong the life of their resistance genetics

Reading Time: 3 minutes A new tool will help western Canadian producers implement “educated rotations” to prolong the utility of blackleg resistance genes in canola, says Dilantha Fernando, a plant science professor at the University of Manitoba. Blackleg is on the upswing in Canada. According to canola researchers, blackleg resistance is starting to break down due to a combination[...]
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SeCan says wheat midge tolerance saves producers $40 to $60 million per year.

Protect your midge-tolerant wheat

The midge-tolerance gene was found in the majority of SWS wheats in 2017. Refuge seed is required to keep this trait in play

Reading Time: 3 minutes Producers should add refuge seed to most Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Soft White Spring (SWS) wheat varieties in 2018 to prolong the longevity of the midge-tolerance Sm1 gene, says Todd Hyra, western business manager for seed marketing agency SeCan. Last spring, Canadian researchers discovered Sm1 in most SWS varieties, including AAC Indus, AC[...]
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Isaiah Swidersky says resistant varieties are one organic defence against late blight, but these varieties aren’t always the ones in highest consumer demand.

Growing potatoes without chemicals

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Ontario grower is meeting it

Reading Time: 4 minutes Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. “To some degree it is, but there’s a reason I haven’t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,” Swidersky says. “It’s a challenge to grow organic potatoes. But I’m optimistic. It’s a good challenge.” Swidersky’s operation, Rose Mountain[...]
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