GFM Network News



Farmers’ friends: bugs, birds and worms can eat weed seeds before they get a chance to germinate.

Weed control with small critters

Insects, birds and worms are a free – and resistance-free – method of controlling weeds before they get a chance to germinate

The dominance of zero- or minimum-tillage practices on the Prairies means lots of weed seeds are left on the soil after harvest, but it turns out that there’s help available to stop them from germinating next spring, and you don’t have to buy it at your local chemical dealer. “Lowering the deposits into the weed[...]
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Bed bugs are most active at night, and are found in dark crevices and in fabric folds.

Guide Health: Bed bugs – yuck!

Bed bugs are very resilient and can go without feeding for up to 11 months

Bed bugs of the species Cimex lectularius are certainly unpleasant. However, they are not harmful. Bed bugs are parasites, and different types of bed bugs are specific to different species of animals. They feed on blood, and when they do, they inject some of their saliva into the bite. It is this saliva that causes[...]
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Farming insects may solve one problem, create others

Rome | Thomson Reuters Foundation — Insects have great potential as an alternative source of protein, but further research is urgently needed before mass production begins in order to avoid environmental disaster, Swedish researchers warned Monday. There is currently an “overwhelming lack of knowledge” on basic questions such as suitable species, their housing and feed[...]
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Top four pests to watch in canola

There are a lot of insects out there, but damage-causing pests are actually in the minority. Even a few “bad” bugs can be beneficial. “Crops can tolerate a certain level,” said Keith Gabert, agronomy specialist, for the Canola Council of Canada. “And even in some cases, it can benefit from a little bit of insect[...]
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Seven beneficial insects on your farm

When making crop production management decisions, consider beneficial insect populations. These harmless bugs can provide adequate control if their populations are high enough. Some beneficial insects are hard to identify, but with some basic training producers should be able to spot them in the field. The following beneficial insects are found in most crops in[...]
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While some protein substitutes may not be as adventurous looking as this tortilla filled with roasted grasshoppers, foods such as cricket powder and cultured proteins are gaining interest with investors and tempting consumer tastes.

Meat-less meat takes a big step closer to becoming mainstream

Terms like “cultured proteins” may not make anyone salivate the way a sizzling steak can, but that’s not stopping Canada’s grocery sector from getting ready for meat-case revolution

Another new President’s Choice product made headlines recently. But who would have guessed what it was this time? Are you ready? It’s cricket powder, now part of Loblaw’s popular private label brand. Last year’s breakthrough seems so much more pedestrian by comparison. It was a vegetarian burger that bleeds like a real meat patty on[...]
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The nature of the crop makes it harder to scout for Western bean cutworm in edible beans than in corn, yet easier to find feeding damage after leaf-drop.

The economics of Western bean cutworm

For bean growers, it turns out this is a very different — and difficult — pest

From year to year, edible bean growers face a variety of challenges, including some that are unique to their particular sector. In the past, they have had to deal with bean leaf beetles and potato leaf hoppers, as well as wireworms and seedcorn maggot. As with other field crops, each new growing season seems to[...]
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Pea leaf weevil has been spreading in Saskatchewan and Alberta in recent years. Seed treatment rather than foliar sprays is recommended for control.

Prairie insect outlook for 2018

Provincial websites offer a wealth of identification and monitoring information which is continually updated through the season

With snow still on the ground as this article is written, it’s difficult to predict how conditions may change over the next few weeks as farmers approach seeding. That said, lower-than-average precipitation across the Prairies over the winter indicates it will take some excessive spring moisture to significantly change the dry conditions that seem likely[...]
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