GFM Network News


“In Canada, we have a lot of opportunity because so many people own their own land,” says Phil Loring. It gives us an edge over other countries. But will we exploit it?

How are Canada’s top conservation farmers faring through COVID-19?

It's a tough question, but an associate professor at the University of Guelph is asking it

Reading Time: 5 minutes Phil Loring, associate professor and Arrell Chair in Food, Policy, and Society at the University of Guelph has his eye on a question that’s been getting little attention so far, but may turn out to be crucial in shaping the direction of our agriculture over the next decade. Loring wants to know: How are the […] Read more

Winter canola has some challenges but could provide growers with another rotation option for corn and soybeans.

Winter canola could be your next ‘third crop’

Winter canola opens the door to late-summer planting, double cropping and longer rotations

Reading Time: 5 minutes Growers across much of southern Ontario have long been on the lookout for another “third crop.” The standard is winter wheat, but in the past few years, more growers have felt pinched by everything from its crop prices to poor planting conditions in the fall. If they don’t have another option, it isn’t for lack […] Read more


Figure 1: A weed seed’s perspective of having to germinate in the spring under a thick winter wheat canopy, which reduces the amount and quality of two key components for that weed to germinate: sunlight and heat.

Pest Patrol: Why growing cereals is bad for weeds

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 3 minutes The benefits of growing winter wheat in a crop rotation have been well established. Long-term research at the University of Guelph has shown a 10 bu./ac. increase in corn yields and a five bu./ac. increase in soybean yields when winter wheat is grown. Other benefits, such as increased soil organic matter when cereals are grown, […] Read more

After a decade in agriculture, these new farmers weigh in

Having completed their first decade, Adam and Amy Petherick, with son Lucas, take stock. They’ve met hopes, challenges, successes. What’s next?

Reading Time: 11 minutes About 2010, the tide turned. Or, the tides, with an “s.” Agriculture had finally left the gruelling 1990s behind, leading to an uptick in twenty-somethings with a realistic shot of making it on the farm. But it was also clear that this new generation was never going to start their careers the way their parents […] Read more


Figure 1. The white fluffy growth on Canada fleabane rosettes following several weeks in the cool and wet environment of the vernalization chamber.

Pest Patrol: White mould and Canada fleabane

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes I could barely contain my excitement. What was this fluffy white stuff that had taken down large fleabane rosettes? Had I accidentally stumbled upon an effective biocontrol option for glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane? I wondered, what would it take to reproduce this potent material so we could inoculate plants throughout Ontario? I quickly took a sample […] Read more

Figure 1. Hairy galinsoga seedling.

Pest Patrol: More and more hairy galinsoga

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 3 minutes Q: I’m seeing more of a weed called hairy galinsoga, and I’m struggling to control it. Any suggestions? A: Historically, we have found this annual plant mainly in horticultural crops throughout the southern portion of the province, but in the last five years, there have been more inquiries on managing hairy galinsoga in field crops. […] Read more


A survey found that the mistrust the general public has of agriculture is often a source of stress for farmers.

Is your farm way of life under attack?

Personal online attacks against farmers are heating up, and a farm psychologist warns it’s only going to get worse

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s not just weather woes, trade issues and government inaction that’s keeping farmers up at night these days. A sense of being scrutinized by the public is taking a toll too, especially when accompanied by the online jeering, baiting and vilification that are getting flamed at the farmers too. That won’t be news to anyone […] Read more

FHB infection in barley. The Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute and the Canadian Grain Commission are testing an innovative post-harvest treatment from a Scandinavian company called ThermoSeed. It has potential to eliminate the pathogen during malting and brewing.

Careful grain sampling key when looking for mycotoxins

Ontario’s worst-ever year for DON infection in corn may provide some guidance for managing the problem in Western Canada

Reading Time: 5 minutes For Ontario corn growers dealing with an outbreak of deoxynivalenol (DON), 2018 was a year to forget. “It was a really major, widespread issue,” says Art Schaafsma, a professor in field crop pest management for the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus. He says the last time the industry saw widespread issues with DON was in […] Read more


Yield remains the primary focus in breeding, but other quality parameters, like standability, are also important.

Public cereal crop breeding rebounds

With eight public breeders at work in Eastern Canada, look for more cereals in your future

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s so much to like about cereals in Eastern Canada, whether you’re talking winter or spring wheat, oats, barley or even rye. They’re great for the soil, with stubble and roots that help improve soil organic matter levels and boost yields in subsequent corn and soybean crops (especially winter wheat), and there are benefits for […] Read more

Farmers are using online platforms such as social media to do what they do best: i.e. capitalize on the latest tools and technologies to promote and sell Canadian agriculture.

Is it time to rethink your consumer approach?

Science is telling us it’s time for a fresh look at how we approach public engagement, especially when it’s online

Reading Time: 6 minutes Once upon a time, the standard advice was that if farmers want to connect with consumers, they should share the fascinating science and facts that make up the world of agriculture. Wouldn’t consumers be enthralled by the behind-the-scenes mechanics and science of how their food is made? Actually, most people don’t care about the mechanics […] Read more