GFM Network News


PGRs may be useful for managing longer-straw varieties and/or crops in fields high in nitrogen.

Shorter straw, higher yield?

Trial assesses plant growth regulators on different varieties at several locations

Reading Time: 4 minutes On paper, it’s an ideal combination — a product which shortens straw but doesn’t reduce yield. But are plant growth regulators (PGRs) a worthwhile investment? That’s being assessed based on ongoing trials in Manitoba. In Canada, the most promising PGR is chlormequat chloride, marketed by EngageAgro under the trade name Manipulator. The product has been […] Read more

Agritruth’s Adam Gurr (l) and Stephen Vajdik hope to generate robust, field-scale data on everything from nutrient management to varieties and product testing.

Going big with on-farm research

The plots may be supersized, but the questions that privately owned Agritruth Research looks to answer could have come from any farmer in Western Canada

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you go driving down Highway 110 east of Brandon, Man., you probably won’t notice you’re passing a research farm. There are no chemical or seed company signs dotting the field edge, nor any grids of those tiny, distinct plots that are normally a dead giveaway that agricultural research is underway. There is no small-batch […] Read more


CDC Austenson (centre) with CDC Dolly (left) and Xena (right). Austenson is prized for high yields and test weights and Xena for its good fusarium head blight tolerance.

Halting the feed barley decline

Many growers still take a yield penalty in hopes of a malting premium, but breeders say feed varieties offer advantages

Reading Time: 4 minutes Feed barley has some tough competition. Once the second-largest crop by far on the Prairies, in recent years it’s had to compete for acres with canola and pulses. And while malting premiums are still tempting some growers, feed barley has to compete with cheap U.S. corn and corn gluten. As for the formerly touted qualities […] Read more

The Western Grain Research Foundation has assisted in the development of more than 200 new varieties since 1981, but will no longer receive direct checkoff funding after July 31, 2017.

Checkoffs to become a checkerboard

The plan is for a single checkoff next August 1, but will different provincial recipients all go in the same research direction?

Reading Time: 5 minutes What a tangled web. That’s one way to describe the system of checkoffs to support cereal research in Western Canada. From a centralized system administered by a single agency, the plan has splintered into six separate checkoffs and five different producer-run wheat and barley commissions in three provinces. This patchwork will simplify a little on […] Read more


Making change for cereal crop development

In the wake of deregulation, the cereals sector has needed to reorganize itself, and so far it seems like the major pieces have been picked up

Reading Time: 7 minutes When the Canadian Wheat Board was losing the single desk, there was no shortage of dire predictions about what the fallout might be. Even many of those in favour of an open market conceded that there were a lot of moving parts, and it was going to be necessary to proceed with caution lest very […] Read more

The future of minor wheat classes

Recent changes in marketing and grading regulations should mean more acres, but non-CWRS wheats are still struggling to find their place

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s a chicken-and-egg standoff. Prairie farmers are enthusiastic about the higher yields from minor classes like Prairie spring, extra strong and winter wheat, but they want an assured market. Marketers say they can sell it — if farmers grow a consistent supply. Then there’s the question or where to spend scarce research dollars. “Our association […] Read more