GFM Network News

U.S. grains: Wheat futures top two-month high on global harvest worries

Corn, soybeans firm as U.S. weather looks hotter, drier

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures on Thursday leapt to their highest prices in more than two months as the latest crop estimates in major exporting countries like Argentina, France and Russia raised questions about global supply. Corn and soybean futures also strengthened, as weather forecasts predicted more heat and dryness […] Read more

Ontario, Manitoba corn crops need rain

Reading Time: 3 minutes CNS Canada — Corn development in key growing areas of Ontario and Manitoba remains highly variable as the crop nears its yield-determining phase. “The pollination stage is the critical part of the corn-growing period and I would say probably within the next three weeks we will know what yield is going to look like,” said […] Read more

General Mills is offering free flower seed to conservation-minded farmers who are interested in promoting habitat for predators and pollinators such as the native leafcutter bee.

Give your insect friends a home

Leaving some non-crop areas with a diverse range of perennial vegetation can save you money on insecticide

Reading Time: 4 minutes What do shelterbelts, pivot corners and field margins have in common? No, they’re not unprofitable or “wasted” areas. As natural habitats for beneficial insects, including pollinators and predators of crop pests, those non-cropped areas may be worth their square footage in gold. Alejandro Costamagna, an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of entomology, […] Read more

Flowering plants such as alfalfa provide a home for beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps that can control diamondback moth, wheat midge, aphids and Hessian flies.

Be kind to your insect friends

Of the thousands of insect species around your fields, only a few damage crops. Here’s a guide to identifying and protecting the good bugs that eat the bad ones

Reading Time: 2 minutes It can be worrying to see insects crawling over your nicely developing crop, but are they doing any damage? And even if they are, before ordering the insecticide, will spraying kill the good bugs that are already at work controlling the bad ones, not to mention other insects that are important for pollination? While killing […] Read more

Study of bumblebee decline points to climate ‘vise’

Reading Time: 4 minutes A study of the shrinking range of bumblebee habitat suggests farmers relying on those species to pollinate crops may soon have to look elsewhere, barring a reversal of climate change — or, perhaps, an “assisted migration.” An international study of specimens from 31 species of bumblebees in North America and 36 such species in Europe, as […] Read more

Contrary to popular belief outside of agriculture, farmers and industry stakeholders are just as concerned about bee health and environmental impacts of modern farming practices.

The many facets of the neonicotinoid issue

The neonic debate is not a one-issue, one solution scenario

Reading Time: < 1 minute Whoever you talk to in agriculture today, most people agree this is not a one-issue, one-solution scenario. As Dr. Cynthia Scott-Dupree has stated this is more like a 1,000-piece puzzle. Making the case in the neonic debate The following are just some of the aspects involved in the neonicotinoid debate that may or may not […] Read more

Pesticides could lead to ‘pollination deficit,’ EU report says

Reading Time: 2 minutes Brussels | Reuters –– Evidence is mounting that widely-used pesticides harm moths, butterflies and birds as well as bees, adding to concerns crop production could be hit by a shortage of pollinators, according to a report drawn up for EU policymakers. The European Commission, the EU executive, placed restrictions on three neonicotinoid pesticides from Dec. […] Read more

Determining whether bees affect soybean yield is not only complex, but it could take years of research.

Researchers abuzz about soybean yields

The research is preliminary, but early results suggest that some bees might be good for soybean crops

Reading Time: 6 minutes Some call it serendipity. Others say it merely proves the old adage that you make your own luck. Either way, some of the world’s biggest scientific breakthroughs have come when the researcher was actually looking for something else. Think penicillin, for example. Matt O’Neal is more a member of the group that says it all […] Read more

Protecting pollinators in 2014

Ontario best-management trials include using fungicide-only seed

Reading Time: < 1 minute Country Guide recently had a chance to sit down with Tracey Baute, Field Crop Entomologist, during the 75th annual AGM for the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). Baute’s presentation focused on protecting pollinators and how a new partnership with OSCIA using “fungicide only” seed and insecticide treated seed in comparison trials will help […] Read more