GFM Network News


Until 2000, there was no need to incorporate stripe rust resistance into Prairie wheat varieties.

Detecting stripe rust in wheat before it strikes

Resistance is low in current varieties. An early warning system could allow for fungicide application only when needed

Reading Time: 5 minutes Stripe rust is wily and tough. For the longest time, Canadian farmers could depend on cold winters and a fairly hot, dry summer climate to keep it at bay. But stripe rust is also highly adaptable and around 2000, scientists noticed a change. “Pathogens always evolve,” says André Laroche, a research scientist with Agriculture and […] Read more

Few producers use the Canadian Grain Commission’s procedures for appealing a grade at the elevator, but 8,000 to 10,000 a year use the free Harvest Sample Program to determine their grade before shopping their grain to different buyers.

If you want to dispute a grain grade

If you don’t like the grade at the elevator, you can appeal to the Grain Commission, but most farmers choose to shop around for the best deal

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s their legal right under the Canada Grain Act — if farmers don’t like the grade their elevator manager offers, they can appeal to the Canadian Grain Commission for an official ruling. But not many do. “In 35 years of buying grain, I’ve only had it once or twice with guys that I’ve dealt with,” […] 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

Randy Dennis (l), chief grain inspector for Canada talks to farmers attending the grain grading seminar in Yorkton, Sask.

Getting the scoop on grain grading

Farmers get a better understanding of frost damage, colour, mildew, sprouting and other downgrading factors

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers in Saskatchewan and Alberta recently had the opportunity to learn hands-on about how their grain is graded after delivery to their local elevator. In July, grain-grading seminars were held for farmers in Yorkton and Swift Current, Sask. for the first time as a joint effort between the Canadian International Grains Institute, Canadian Grain Commission […] Read more


wheat crop at sunrise

Wheat’s turn to shine

Despite shrinking government support in recent years, there have been remarkable research payoffs, and new investments promise even more

Reading Time: 5 minutes High prices have made some of the advances in canola yields look pretty good in recent years, masking the fact that average Prairie wheat yield increases have been even higher. But with new private and public research investments and recognition that it’s not just a necessary part of the rotation, wheat is starting to grab […] Read more

wheat and barley

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

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

Men watching sunset

Are Canada’s farm organizations actually listening to their members?

Amid the falling commodity prices and rising input costs, one question is getting louder. Who do our farm organizations really represent?

Reading Time: 7 minutes The last few years have been tumultuous for Canadian grain farmers, especially in the West. Not only have we seen the end of the single-desk CWB monopoly, but we also watched as Ottawa passed Bill C-18, the Agriculture Growth Act (which included the approving UPOV 91) and as major changes were made to AgriStability. Farmers […] Read more