GFM Network News


Miles Dyck studied sulphur deficiency at the Breton Plots, a long-term crop rotation research site established in 1930.

Nutrient balance key to avoiding sulphur deficient soils

Production of more high-sulphur demand crops such as pulses and canola is creating a shortage in some fields

Reading Time: 4 minutes In order for any crop to use fertilizer efficiently, it needs to have all of its nutrient deficiencies met, says Miles Dyck, an associate professor of soil science in the department of renewable resources at the University of Alberta. The most common nutrient deficiencies in Western Canada are nitrogen and phosphorus, but because of the […] Read more

Millers want a maximum moisture of 13.5 per cent so they can dehull the oats properly and avoid pieces of oat hulls in the customer’s morning cereal.

More than a rotation crop for feed

Demand is increasing for this officially ‘heart healthy’ crop, but growers need to pay attention to quality

Reading Time: 5 minutes New varieties that consistently yield 120 to 140 bushels per acre. Increasing demand, with buyers paying a premium. Competitive against weeds, with good resistance to fusarium. That hardly describes a feed crop you seed last because you need it in rotation. Demand for milling oats is on the rise and processors have announced expansion. Some […] Read more


Wheat quality manager Rhett Kaufmann speaking at the official opening of Bayer CropScience’s wheat breeding centre near Saskatoon last summer. Bayer is investing $1.9 billion into wheat worldwide over 10 years, including $24 million in Canada.

Wheat breeding: Public or private?

Some argue private investment will boost yields, but others note that public breeders have done a pretty good job so far

Reading Time: 4 minutes Making wheat a more competitive crop requires public and private breeder co-operation — and getting a return on investment from farmers buying seed. That was the consensus among panelists discussing wheat breeding at the 3rd Canadian Wheat Symposium in November. “My observation would be that ultimately farmers are going to be paying for this one […] Read more

Resilience in the Midwest

Reading Time: 3 minutes Over his career as a professor at Virginia Tech University and as a farm economic guru, David Kohl has seen some epic farm failures. But he has also admired farmers who have survived and even thrived during tough times. With the recent drop in grain and oilseed prices, some midwestern farmers are once again treading […] Read more


One of the challenges with Old World bollworm is it closely resembles corn ear worm, pictured here, complicating positive identifications.

Watch out for bollworms

Old World bollworm may be a severe threat to agriculture in North America

Reading Time: 4 minutes Asian soybean rust, aflatoxin in corn and Palmer amaranth are but three examples of disease and weed species that have made huge news in the U.S. but haven’t yet crossed the border into Canada in a big way. It makes it difficult to issue a credible alert about a new pest threat called Helicoverpa armigera […] Read more