GFM Network News


Dr. Edward Cocking of the University of Nottingham discovered sugarcane bacteria which are now being sold as crop treatment.

Capturing nitrogen from thin air

Has a U.K. scientist found the nitrogen-fixing bacteria we’ve been waiting for? If he has, it could be great news for nitrogen-hungry crops

Reading Time: 5 minutes The air around us and in every nook and cranny between soil particles is 78 per cent nitrogen, yet farmers pay billions per year for N fertilizer. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find efficient, low-cost, hard-working bacteria to convert nitrogen in the air into an available form of N for any crop — […] Read more

A professor of plant science at the University of McGill expects the “microbiome” to do as much for crops in the 21st century as chemical inputs in the 20th century.

Giving crop roots a boost

Researchers can now identify the microscopic organisms on which roots depend, and are discovering ways to make their relationships even more effective

Reading Time: 4 minutes For as long as plants have been growing on land, their roots have shared a symbiotic relationship with microbes in the soil. Arbuscules — the microscopic nutrient-gathering hairs of mycorrihizae — have been found connected to 400-million-year-old plant root fossils from the Rhynie chert in Scotland. A paper by Winfried Remy et al, published in […] Read more


A soybean emerges from the soil in its early stage of development.

Soybeans fight to reach full potential against cyst nematode

A growing problem with sudden death syndrome is causing concern for Ontario soybean growers, but one plant pathologist says it’s a manageable concern

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s an in-field whodunnit — a burgeoning crop disease that closely resembles other better-known problems, but is its own unique culprit, with its own unique symptoms, development and costs. The first symptoms are a widespread mottling and crinkling of leaves on soybean plants, usually coming after the start of flowering, though in rare cases symptoms […] Read more