GFM Network News


Apothecia germinate from sclerotia in the soil. They are tiny but can be in great numbers, releasing billions of spores that go everywhere. The ones that land on canola petals are the concern for sclerotinia stem rot and are the target for fungicide applications.

How to keep sclerotinia infection to less than five per cent

New research shows fungicide applied at or just after 20 per cent flowering is still the best way to stop sclerotinia stem rot from shredding canola profits

Reading Time: 6 minutes Like a detective piecing together the timeline of a crime, Dwayne Hegedus has played and replayed the sequence of events from when a sclerotinia-infested petal drops onto a canola leaf to the all-is-lost cleaving of the cuticle. The scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon now knows, genetically, what arrows the pathogen shoots and […] Read more

Wet conditions will increase the chance of clubroot-infected soil sticking to machinery and being transferred to other fields.

Disease considerations for a late and wet spring

In the west, it could mean more clubroot transmission. In the east, growers should be concerned about phytophthora in soybeans

Reading Time: 4 minutes At the time of writing, spring moisture conditions in Eastern Canada remained to be seen, but there wasn’t much question about the Prairies — many growers would still be dealing with wet soils and late planting due to rain and snow from last fall. For example, by early October the Western Cypress Hills area of […] Read more


Sudden death syndrome is expected to worsen in southwestern Ontario soybeans and root rot could also be a serious concern this year if the conditions at planting time are wet.

Soybean and corn disease threats in Eastern Canada

Growers will need to use all their experience, best management practices and new tools to successfully combat disease in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Another crop season is upon us and certain disease threats stand out in soybeans and corn in Eastern Canada. “SDS (sudden death syndrome) is expected to worsen in southwestern Ontario soybeans and root rot could be a serious concern this year if the conditions at planting time are wet,” notes Dr. Owen Wally, research scientist […] Read more

The 2018 growing season was bad for gibberella ear rot in many corn fields and it remains a challenge.

Disease outlook for the 2020 crop season

We can’t be sure which diseases will attack this year, but indications are that once they arrive, they’ll be here to stay

Reading Time: 7 minutes What will be the big disease concern this year? Will it be tar spot in corn, or frog-eye leaf spot in soybeans? Or will growers be facing more of the same, with soybean cyst nematode and northern corn leaf blight? Forecasting diseases is iffy at best. The truth is that most disease pathogens, once they […] Read more


Short rotations are partly to blame for the emergence of clubroot, which can reduce canola yield to zero.

Putting a value on crop diversity

Economists and agronomists are getting together to compare the benefits of short and long rotations

Reading Time: 3 minutes Have you ever stared at your crop plan and wished that it didn’t rely so heavily on canola? Or wheat? Or peas? Or any crop that is too often called on for cash flow at the expense of proper rotation? Agronomists have been beating the drum of crop diversity for years and farmers understand that […] Read more

Mark Belmonte, researcher and associate professor at the University of Manitoba, uses big data and next-generation genetic sequencing to develop crop protection products. One new result is an RNA interference molecule that can stop sclerotinia stem rot.

Species-specific crop protection

RNA interference provides a new method of pest control, using tools so precise they hit only the target insect or disease

Reading Time: 4 minutes “We like to call sclerotinia the bully,” says Mark Belmonte. And stopping a bully is not easy. The pathogen attacks fast, it moves quickly through the plant and it can do heavy yield damage right away. “Because it acts with brute force and involves multiple genes, sclerotinia is difficult to study and get a good […] Read more


In 2016, Brûlé-Babel and her team tested 25,000 individual lines grown in single-row, one-metre-long plots. For every 75 plots there is a block of five check varieties with known resistance levels.

Row upon row of fusarium

At this ‘nursery’ at Carman, Man., researchers simulate exactly the conditions wheat farmers fear — warm, humid and loaded with fusarium spores

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s incredibly labour intensive,” says Anita Brûlé-Babel of the FHB screening process. She should know. A professor at the University of Manitoba, Brûlé-Babel established the FHB screening nursery at the University’s Carman location back in 2001 and has managed it ever since. “It’s much more efficient to do disease screening in a nursery like this, […] Read more

Initial symptoms of tar spot are brownish lesions on the leaves. Black, spore-producing spots appear later, making the leaf feel rough or bumpy.

Two new diseases in corn crops

The flow of sub-tropical diseases continues in the the North American heartland

Reading Time: 4 minutes It has been an interesting year for field crop pathologists in the U.S. Although many seasons often pass without the discovery of any new diseases, this year they were treated with not just one but two new corn diseases in the country. Tar spot and bacterial leaf stripe were both discovered late in the growing […] 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

The app contains over 70 weed species and over 300 photos to help you identify weeds.

Pest Patrol: Using the ‘Pest Manager’ app

Weeds and weed management information in the palm of your hand

Reading Time: 2 minutes We have good pest management information and research. The challenge can be to get that information to the farmers who need it. Earlier this summer, a smartphone app was launched called Pest Manager. Currently, only information on weeds and weed management is included, so I tell farmers it’s what you would get if a weed […] Read more