GFM Network News


Spraying fungicide might not have to be a routine part of the program if better weather forecasts were available.

The fine balance of controlling crop diseases

It's a classic example of where short-term decisions can mean long-term problems

Reading Time: 7 minutes Randy Kutcher recalls that when he moved to Saskatchewan 25 years ago, farmers were using hardly any fungicide. “They were using a bit of fungicide for sclerotinia in canola, and that’s about it. Now it’s pretty much part of the program, and often crops are getting two or more applications, and it’s almost become like […] Read more

Manitoba’s corn growers didn’t worry too much about Goss’s wilt this year, but despite the dry weather it did crop up in Alberta.

Crop diseases take a bit of a break in 2015

Drier conditions this past season kept a lid on most crop diseases — but this is probably just a brief respite until environmental conditions line up again

Reading Time: 8 minutes The bad news is that dry weather cut yields across much of the Prairies in 2015. The consolation? This same weather kept fungal diseases in check. In fact, areas that were in the sweet spot of lower pressure but enough rainfall to carry yield were rewarded with exceptional crop quality. Country Guide recently spoke to […] Read more


Blackleg in canola.

Canola disease highlights from 2015

Dry conditions, especially early in the season, reduced disease severity in general in 2015. Noteworthy events are the rise of blackleg in Saskatchewan and clubroot in Manitoba

Reading Time: 6 minutes Blackleg is on the uptick in Saskatchewan. The disease survey went 10 years with blackleg bumping along the bottom of the graph at low levels. But then prevalence — the percentage of fields with some level of blackleg infestation — rose from the 10-year average of 25 per cent up to 54 per cent in […] Read more

A University of Alberta team scouting for signs of clubroot. Researchers say the key to stopping the spread is scouting fields where the problem isn’t obvious, but where it’s likely to appear next.

Clubroot continues its march across prairie canola fields

So far nothing appears to have slowed the spread of clubroot, so some are suggesting it might be time to rethink our approach

Reading Time: 9 minutes Over the past dozen years the canola industry has poured an ocean of effort into halting the spread of clubroot around the Edmonton area. And while there have been advances such as new resistant varieties, one uncomfortable truth remains — the disease continues to spread. Dan Orchard, a Canola Council of Canada agronomist who discovered […] Read more


Jimsonweed got a lot of attention when it was discovered last August in a canola field in Westlock County north of Edmonton.

A costly approach to dealing with crop insects and weeds

A head-in-the-sand approach to unfamiliar insects, diseases and weeds simply won't do. Be observant. Early identification and fast action — when required — are best

Reading Time: 5 minutes If Dan Orchard had not discovered clubroot in an Alberta canola field in 2003, we’d all be in ignorant bliss right now. Orchard really should have recognized the scientific principle that if something isn’t “discovered,” then it doesn’t exist and we don’t have to worry about it. He should have left well enough alone, as […] Read more

Get used to seeing more agronomists with more disinfecting gear. The trend is growing.

Livestock biosecurity strategies come to canola

Canola and soybean farmers are just beginning to see the wave of biosecurity that could sweep them the way it swept Canada’s hog and poultry sectors

Reading Time: 6 minutes When Manitoba agronomist Terry Buss goes out on a call from the Beausejour office, he takes a big trunk full of plastic boot covers in the back of the pickup. There are disinfectants in the trunk too, and other cleaning supplies as well, and he uses them all. Buss has adopted a brand new form […] Read more


Time to test all Man. fields for clubroot, province says

Reading Time: 3 minutes Distribution of clubroot spores across Manitoba now suggests it’s time for more widespread testing to keep the disease in check, the provincial ag department recommends. Since the disease appeared in Manitoba in 2009, fewer than five per cent of the province’s farms have so far been tested for the spores that cause the yield-robbing disease […] Read more

Canola program stacks genes against new clubroot

Reading Time: 2 minutes Rather than send out a canola variety with a single source of resistance against clubroot — especially the disease’s most recent pathotype — Agrium’s CPS division has stacked several sources into the new hybrids it’s sending for testing this summer. Crop Production Services on Monday announced its “next generation” of Argentine canola hybrids shows “high […] Read more


Clubroots beating all resistant canolas across Alta.

Reading Time: 2 minutes A study of 27 canola fields across Alberta has found 16 infected with clubroot pathotypes able to cause “high levels” of the disease — in canola plants with clubroot-resistant genetics. What’s more, the clubroot pathogen isolated from “many” of the infected fields in the study was virulent on all clubroot-resistant canola cultivars, the Canola Council of Canada […] Read more

Root rot in pea plants.

Root rot disease could become the clubroot of pulse crops

For pulse growers, aphanomyces has all too much in common with canola’s clubroot

Reading Time: 3 minutes Nervous eyes are watching it, and voices are already whispering that it may become the clubroot of pulse crops. Aphanomyces is a virulent root rot, technically classified as a water mould, and it appears to be slowly spreading throughout the Prairie region, affecting annual and perennial legumes including legume forages. First confirmed in Saskatchewan in […] Read more