GFM Network News

These are insects that have co-evolved with the particular target weed,” explains Robert Bourchier, AAFC biocontrol researcher at Lethbridge. “They are screened to ensure their specificity.”

Controlling crop weeds with beneficial insects

Flea beetles that eat leafy spurge are only the first wave of biological weed control

Reading Time: 5 minutes What is it about weeds? No matter how hard you try to eradicate them, they always come back. Worse still, each method of weed control has its drawbacks. Spraying with herbicides can lead to weed resistance if the same product is used continuously. Tillage can result in soil erosion (remember the Dirty ’30s?), and although […] Read more

Fungicide resistance creeping up in crops

Fortunately, we already have many of the tools we need to delay or stop resistance in its tracks

Reading Time: 5 minutes We hear a lot about herbicide-resistant weeds these days. Repeated use of herbicides, especially ones from the same group and with similar modes of action, promotes the growth of weed populations that the chemicals can no longer control. A prime example is the emergence of weeds resistant to glyphosate, the most widely used weed control […] Read more

The West’s big challenge for soybeans

Soybean Guide: Despite their province’s soaring soy acreage, Manitoba’s hog industry is still locked into expensive imported soymeal. Worse, change may still be years away

Reading Time: 5 minutes It was another banner year for Manitoba soybeans in 2014 with production hitting a record 1.1 million tonnes, up 3.7 per cent from 2013. Figures from Statistics Canada show that, although average yields dropped 14 per cent to 32.3 bushels per acre, a 21 per cent increase in harvested area more than made up for […] Read more

One kochia plant can scatter between 10,000 and 25,000 seeds as it rolls across a field.

Weed management. It’s time to get ahead before it’s too late

With herbicide resistance on the rise, is integrated weed management an idea whose time has finally arrived?

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you want to know how bad weed resistance can get, ask the cotton farmers of Georgia about Palmer amaranth. From a single field in Macon County in 2005, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth has exploded across the southern U.S. Cotton Belt. A member of the pigweed family, Palmer amaranth has seriously affected weed management in cotton […] Read more

I certainly wouldn’t be dumping half my 
acres into corn the very first year.”
— Myron Krahn, MCGA

The West’s new Cinderella

Corn acres are surging across the West. Is it time for you to get on board?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Although widespread throughout southern Ontario and the U.S., corn is a crop you don’t normally associate with the colder Canadian Prairies. But don’t tell that to Monsanto, which is investing $100 million to develop early-maturing hybrids that the company hopes could make corn the new star in the West. “I think there’ll be millions of […] Read more

ernie Sirski has doubled his soybean acreage every year that he’s grown them, even though he farms ground that was thought too cold for the crop.

1.6 million acres of Prairie soybeans

Manitoba’s soybean acres have exploded in 2014, and Saskatchewan farmers are close behind

Reading Time: 6 minutes You can’t accuse Ernie Sirski of doing things by halves. In fact, he does them by twos, at least when it comes to soybeans. In 2012, Sirski planted 200 acres of soybeans for the first time on his farm near Dauphin, Man. The next year, he doubled that to 400 acres, averaging an impressive 40 […] Read more

Catch-22: The all-out race to grow more high-price corn has damaged Iowa’s soils, making its farms more vulnerable to drought and yield loss

Sustainability special: Saving Iowa

Stronger commodity prices are threatening many soils. But not on every farm

Reading Time: 4 minutes The topsoil of one of America’s largest agricultural-producing states is vanishing at an alarming rate, with wind and water erosion directly linked to the cropping practices and to the fencerow-to-fencerow philosophy that farmers have turned to in order to cash in on high prices for corn, soybeans and other crops. Around Iowa’s western and southern […] Read more

Conservation tillage is supposed to save soil, preserve yields and increase farm profitability. So why has the global move toward no till stalled so far short of the goal?

Increase in conservation agriculture ‘has to happen’

Only 7.1 per cent of the world’s arable land is farmed no till, and there are many reasons to adopt practices

Reading Time: 4 minutes If conservation agriculture is so great, why aren’t more farmers doing it? It’s a question that surfaced repeatedly during panel discussions at the recent World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in Winnipeg. Presenters from countries spanning the alphabet from Australia to Zambia left little doubt that conservation agriculture is a worldwide movement. Zero tillage is growing […] Read more

See the future

Wayne Wikkerink didn’t get into the dairy business. Thanks to Growing Forward, 
he did something even better

Reading Time: 4 minutes That phrase “If you build it, they will come” may have worked for Kevin Costner, who played a farmer in the movie “Field of Dreams” but it’s a high-risk strategy for farmers in real life. Instead of heading off into the unknown, any farmer looking to try something different on the farm wants first to […] Read more

Manitoba Interlake ranchers face desperate situation

Reading Time: 4 minutes Updated, May 12 — Cattle producers in Manitoba’s Interlake are frantically trying to move their herds out of the Lake Manitoba region this week after receiving emergency evacuation warnings because of rising flood waters. Producers in nearly a dozen municipalities around the lower basin of Lake Manitoba have been put on evacuation alert for as […] Read more