GFM Network News


CDC Fraser shows good lodging resistance, an important trait for maintaining malting quality.

Balancing demands for both quality and yield in barley

New barley varieties show yield gains over old favourites AC Metcalfe and CDC Copeland. What’s needed now is industry acceptance

Reading Time: 4 minutes A quick scan of the farm press this spring might have been enough to convince you Canadian barley has a yield problem. The sharp drop in Prairie acreage suggests farmers may think the same thing — only 6.2 million acres were seeded last year, about two million less than 10 years earlier and half the […] Read more

Recommendations on Pasmo fungicide choice and spray timing are getting much sharper.

Flax opportunities

Agronomics and yield are the big priorities for flax growers in Western Canada

Reading Time: 9 minutes Flax acres have started to rebound over the past few years, with Saskatchewan still accounting for most of the flax grown on the Prairies. In order to entice more growers to flax, however, yields will need to increase. Average flax yields have hovered around 22 bu./ac. for many years, and although growers in some areas […] Read more


CDC Austenson (centre) with CDC Dolly (left) and Xena (right). Austenson is prized for high yields and test weights and Xena for its good fusarium head blight tolerance.

Halting the feed barley decline

Many growers still take a yield penalty in hopes of a malting premium, but breeders say feed varieties offer advantages

Reading Time: 4 minutes Feed barley has some tough competition. Once the second-largest crop by far on the Prairies, in recent years it’s had to compete for acres with canola and pulses. And while malting premiums are still tempting some growers, feed barley has to compete with cheap U.S. corn and corn gluten. As for the formerly touted qualities […] Read more

Fabulous fababeans

Good results for the past few seasons have led to increased interest in fababeans, but like any new crop, there are still a few hurdles to clear

Reading Time: 6 minutes After a false start in the 1970s, it looks like fababeans are back on the Prairies for good this time. Alberta farmers planted only 15,000 acres in 2012, but most estimates put acreage at well over 100,000 acres last season. This interest has crossed the border into Saskatchewan too, with more than 15,000 acres going […] Read more


Without farmer-funded WGRF funds, research such as the Durum Wheat Plots at Kernen Crop Research Farm in Saskatoon would be limited.

WGRF investment dollars in research making the difference

Farmer funding has helped with the development of many well-known cereal varieties at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre

Reading Time: 4 minutes Another growing season is well underway at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC), thanks in large part to farmer investments furnished through the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF). Wheat and barley breeders at Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre along with about 45 research technicians and field workers plant, maintain, monitor and harvest about 150,000 […] Read more