GFM Network News


Country Guide becomes an historical record

Nearly 50 years of magazines goes into university archives

If you were one of perhaps hundreds of western Canadian farmers who found their farms featured on the pages of Country Guide magazine between 1974 and about 2003, you are literally in the history books now. Your story and photos — whether it be fact or fiction— are now preserved for all time in the […] Read more

It was Yamily Zavala’s enthusiasm and commitment to the idea and the support of local farmers, businesses and other institutions that made the CARA Soil Health Lab a reality. Zavala studied and worked in Venezuela, where she was born and raised, and later earned a PhD in soil and plant nutrition from Cornell University. She has spent a good part of her working life studying the soil ecosystem.

Soil studies just for the “health” of it

Alberta lab teaches farmers to be soil health investigators

[UPDATED: Oct. 6, 2021] Farmers spend a lot of time working in and on the soil. As the holder of crop nutrients and, hopefully, water, soil is literally the foundation for growing crops, although under extremely dry conditions, it may seem like just so much dirt. But aside from what a soil analysis might tell […] Read more


Grasshoppers, yes, but so far no locusts

Grasshoppers, yes, but so far no locusts

It took five days in the late 1800s for the cloud of locust to pass

I don’t know if there is much of a silver lining to the drought of 2021, but I’ll throw this out there — at least farmers aren’t dealing with a plague of locusts as happened back in 1874. I have heard in recent days of crop and pasture conditions ranging from okay, we’ll get through […] Read more

An Asian giant hornet, trapped at Birch Bay, Wash. on July 14, 2020 by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) researchers, is seen at Olympia, Wash. on July 29, 2020. (Photo: WSDA/Chris Looney/handout via Reuters)

Washington state eradicates first ‘murder hornet’ nest of the year

Nest found in northwestern county near B.C. border

Reuters — Washington state eradicated its first Asian giant hornet nest of the year by vacuuming out 113 worker hornets and removing bark and decayed wood near the nest, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) officials said Thursday. The so-called stinging “murder hornets,” the world’s largest hornets, can grow to five centimetres in length and […] Read more


An Asian giant hornet, trapped at Birch Bay, Wash. on July 14, 2020 by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) researchers, is seen at Olympia, Wash. on July 29, 2020. (Photo: WSDA/Chris Looney/handout via Reuters)

U.S. training ag staff to track, trap, kill ‘murder hornets’

Invasive species remains threat to bees, honey producers

Blaine, Wash. | Reuters — The first Asian giant hornet nest of the year has been found in Washington state, and plans are being developed to eradicate it, likely next week, the state’s agriculture department said on Thursday. The so-called stinging “murder hornets,” the world’s largest hornets, can grow to five centimetres in length and […] Read more

This photo taken in April 2021 is a female Anna’s hummingbird enjoying apple blossoms.

What to do if you get stung by an insect

Singing Gardener: Plus, a reader shares her experiences with hummingbirds

It was the third ring on my telephone when I picked it up and answered. A woman with an anxious-sounding voice on the other end said, “Hi Ted, this is Marlene. I just got stung by a wasp or a bee — not sure which. I was outside folding towels that had dried in open-air […] Read more


File photo of the flags of Canada and its provinces and territories at Canada Place in Vancouver. (lilly3/iStock/Getty Images)

Request line open for AgriRecovery drought plans, Bibeau says

Formal ask needed to trigger process: ag minister

Canada’s federal agriculture minister says the government is “ready to receive formal submissions” from provinces for AgriRecovery plans to help Prairie farmers and ranchers up against significant droughts this summer. Marie-Claude Bibeau, summarizing discussions from Thursday’s online meeting with provincial and territorial (FPT) agriculture ministers, said the formal requests “are needed to trigger the process,” […] Read more

Ralph Eichler, shown here at Ag Days in Brandon in 2019, is again Manitoba’s minister of agriculture. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Allan Dawson)

Eichler back as Manitoba ag minister in shuffle

Pedersen not seeking re-election

Manitoba’s provincial agriculture files return to the desk of their former handler in a cabinet mini-shuffle Thursday. Premier Brian Pallister has named Ralph Eichler, MLA for the Interlake-area riding of Lakeside since 2003, as minister of agriculture and resource development, replacing Blaine Pedersen. Pedersen announced Thursday he will not seek re-election but will serve out […] Read more


Flea beetles in canola seedlings. (Canola Council of Canada video screengrab via YouTube)

Flea beetles a nuisance for canola crop

[UPDATED: June 22, 2021] MarketsFarm — Western Canada’s canola crop has been hit hard by hot, dry weather so far this growing season in the midst of ongoing drought conditions — which may also be aiding another threat. *Across the Prairies, flea beetles are an oft-seen pest that feeds on both canola and mustard seedlings, […] Read more

The two-striped grasshopper.

Tips to scout and identify crop pest grasshopper species

Flying before June, coloured hind wings and sings? It’s not eating your crops. Here’s how to identify the ones that are

It can be hard to distinguish between grasshopper species as many of them appear to look similar. And while they may look alike, only a few of them pose a threat to farmers. A typical Prairie system of pasture, cropland and roadside vegetation, for instance, might have 30 to 40 different species, but only four […] Read more