GFM Network News


Honeybees’ attraction to fungicide ‘unsettling’

Reading Time: 2 minutes London | Thomson Reuters Foundation — Honeybees are attracted to a fungicide used in agriculture with “unsettling implications” for global food production, a U.S. scientist said on Tuesday. Tests carried out by a team from the University of Illinois showed bees preferred to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone. […] Read more

Pesticide review a huge issue for horticulture sector

Time of worker re-entry after application and use of protective equipment are stumbling blocks

Reading Time: 5 minutes Canada’s horticultural growers say they’re concerned about a review of many of the broad-spectrum crop protection chemistries they’ve relied on for years. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is conducting the review, with a final outcome due in 2018. That gives growers and other industry stakeholders the rest of 2017 to strengthen their arguments and […] Read more


Wheat being inoculated with fusarium at Western Canada’s largest fusarium “nursery” at Carman, Man.

A genetic solution to fusarium?

Across the country, several researchers are studying fusarium from every angle, from pathology to agronomy

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the early ’90s, farmers in the eastern Prairies started to ask questions about odd white “tombstone” wheat kernels. When they received the answer, some wondered whether the name would refer to the tombstone on the grave of the wheat business, especially when there was a huge outbreak in Manitoba in 1993. Near-panic ensued, as […] Read more

Wheat plants growing as an experimental control group show signs of wheat stem rust disease at Kenya’s Eldoret University 
in 2013.

Heading off a stem rust pandemic

Only two older wheat varieties are resistant to Ug99, a devastating race of stem rust which threatens to spread around the world

Reading Time: 5 minutes Working under tight security in their plant science laboratory at Morden, Man., Tom Fetch and his scientific colleagues look as if they’re handling extremely hazardous material. After changing into hospital scrubs in a locker room, Fetch and his team deactivate an alarm system and go through four doors to enter the laboratory. The Level 3 […] Read more


Like their mushroom cousins, sclerotinia apothecia like warm and wet. So if your field is dry and cool, can you save the $20+ per acre in spray costs?

To spray or not to spray?

A preventive canola spray for sclerotinia can pay off, but not necessarily for blackleg

Reading Time: 5 minutes Keith Gabert rarely tells Alberta canola producers straight up not to spray fungicide as a preventive against sclerotinia stem rot. But last year, the Canola Council of Canada’s agronomy specialist for central Alberta south did just that. “In the Drumheller area, where they don’t always have as much moisture, they’d sprayed for sclerotinia in the […] Read more

Part of the challenge in dealing with this issue is the perception that it relates to food safety, which is incorrect.

Another big hurdle for Canadian producers

With MRLs, the problems begin when a test used for regulating trade gets treated as a verdict on food safety

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the past 25 years, agriculture has seen a full gamut of new programs from environmental farm plans to neonicotinoid-use restrictions in Ontario. Some are relatively farm friendly, some less so. Like them or hate them, they’re all meant to be in the name of sustainability, traceability and food safety and security, which are under […] Read more


An aerial sprayer sprays fungicide on a canola field near Miami, Man., on July 11.

High disease risk sees many Manitoba canola growers spraying fungicide

A wet spring creates canola fields full of sclerotinia as flowering blooms

Reading Time: 3 minutes This season Manitoba canola growers shouldn’t be asking if they should be spraying fungicides — they should be asking themselves if there’s any possible reason they shouldn’t. Clinton Jurke, director of agronomy for the Canola Council of Canada, says it’s been a moist spring, yield looks good in much of the province and dense canopies […] Read more

A new look at 30-inch rows for soybeans

If you think the case is closed on 30-inch rows, get ready to think again

Reading Time: 7 minutes Soybean growers near the Ontario-Quebec border have tested wide rows, and some have even adopted them already as a way of managing white mould pressure. The disease thrives here. even though agronomists can’t exactly say why. But there’s also more to the 30-inch debate than just mould control. Based in the eastern end of the […] Read more


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