GFM Network News


Producer Jay Schultz found that despite a tough 2019 harvest with slow-maturing crops and tough moisture conditions, early-seeded wheat came off earlier than normal and graded No. 1 CW.

Pushing the wheat seeding envelope

Good seed treatments are recommended, but research at Lethbridge suggests you should start the drill when the soil is at 2 C

Reading Time: 4 minutes Statistically, early seeding equals higher yield, at least over the long term. But how early can you seed without having a wreck due to cold spring conditions? Earlier than you might think, apparently. Last spring, Jay Schultz started seeding his CWRS wheat (mainly Brandon, with some Eli and Viewfield) on April 15 — the earliest […] Read more

Five acclamations in Alberta Wheat Commission election

Reading Time: < 1 minute Three directors and two regional representatives for the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) were acclaimed, according to a statement issued by the commission. Each of the five regions of the AWC includes two directors and three regional representatives, serving a maximum of two consecutive terms of three years. The directors are sitting members of the board […] Read more


U.S. varieties such as Faller and Prosper once had a 20 per cent yield advantage over CWRS, but the arrival of new varieties such as Brandon has narrowed the difference.

Canada Northern wheat class struggles for acreage

It turns out that it’s hard to knock CWRS off its perch as the preferred wheat class for customers and farmers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Some touted it as the new high-yielding wheat class that would free farmers from the rigid standards of CWRS, but nearly four years after its creation, Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) hasn’t made much of a dent in Prairie wheat acreage. Some predicted CNHR’s acres would rival or even surpass Canada Western Red Spring. The […] 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


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 […] 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


If you could convince wheat or barley to form nodules like these, you might be able to skip your annual nitrogen purchase.

The ‘Holy Grail’ in cereal technology

Can wheat and barley really be taught to act like pulses, and produce their own fertilizer?

Reading Time: 5 minutes A new research project funded by the Alberta Wheat Commission and the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission will try to answer a question that has bedevilled plant scientists for years: can cereal crops be made to fix their own nitrogen the way legumes do? The AWC is spending $100,000 to have Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists […] Read more

Rotary hoe and inter-row cultivation reduced weed biomass by 75 to 85 per cent in field pea and lentil, as seen in this photo of lentils after inter-row cultivation. When seeding rate was boosted, weed biomass in lentils was reduced an extra 16 per cent.

If you can’t beat ’em, clip ’em

New methods of mechanical weed control show promise, but don’t expect a yield increase the first year

Reading Time: 8 minutes With the high and growing percentage of Prairie cropland infested with herbicide-resistant weeds, researchers are turning their attention back to mechanical control, but that doesn’t necessarily mean tillage. The Alberta Wheat Commission and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers are partnering on a three-year research project at the University of Saskatchewan which is evaluating in-crop weed clipping as […] Read more


The falling number test requires laboratory-like conditions, and is usually only done at selected central locations when there is a general concern about sprout damage.

Better than meets the eye?

Canada’s quality-control system still has a lot of support, but some are calling for grades to be determined by machines, not the human eye

Reading Time: 4 minutes Is that No. 2 CWRS just as good for milling and baking as a No. 1? Or does that No. 1 CWRS have some quality damage that can’t be seen with the naked eye, making it no better than a No. 2? The answer could be yes in both cases, sometimes, in cases that might […] Read more