GFM Network News


Pea root rot moves into new cropland about the same way as clubroot. Follow the clubroot protocol.

The looming Prairie-wide pea crop disaster

Follow the clubroot protocol to ensure your future as a pea grower

When I first became involved in checking out pea diseases in Alberta in 1974, pea crops were few and far between. Pea growing was somewhat of a disaster. The pea variety generally grown was called Trapper. This was a tall, six-foot vine that lodged as soon as pod-filling took place. The mass of lodged leaves […] Read more

Stopping the spread of wild oats

Stopping the spread of wild oats

There’s a fresh focus on the decades-old problem of herbicide-resistant wild oats

There are a number of things from the 1970s few people wish to see return: leisure suits, avocado-coloured bathroom fixtures and platform shoes may come to mind. But if you’re a crop farmer, there’s a more serious threat from that era making a comeback — wild oats. Sixty-nine per cent of wild oats across the […] Read more


Several participants attended a field day on Walker Farms to have a look at the cocktail blend of forages. Cattle, in the background, will eventually move into this productive feed as part of a high-intensity, rotational grazing program.

Livestock can benefit crop production

Combining the two benefits both beef and crops, says a Saskatchewan producer, and let’s not forget about the soil

Lance Walker says incorporating the livestock enterprise into more of the grain component on the family’s central Saskatchewan farm in recent years is already showing signs of increasing production, while reducing input costs. He’s excited to see where increasing the synergy between the two enterprises — that includes feeding cattle on cropland, multi-species cropping and […] Read more

The cover crop of fall rye seeded late in 2018 appeared to have a lasting effect to help control weeds as Fensky seeded flax in the spring of 2019.

Regenerative agriculture beats high input costs

Alberta farmers apply a new mindset to crop production

Shorty Fensky says it was largely a matter of farm economic survival as he forgets about the “Y” word and applies crop production practices that focus on profitability for their family run mixed-farming operation in central Alberta. Fensky, who along with his brother Cevin produce cattle and crops at Thorsby, about half an hour southwest […] Read more


Some crops are a little more salt tol­erant — like canola shown above as well as alfalfa, corn, oats and wheat — and you will probably not see sig­nificant yield loss until you hit a conductivity number of about two mS/cm, says Lyle Cowell with Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Crops and saline soils

Plant something, but choose carefully

When it comes to planting most annual cash crops on saline land, Lyle Cowell does not mince words: stop. “When a cattle farm has a cow that is no longer productive, that cattle farmer will not continue to try to breed that cow. It will be culled,” says the agronomist with Nutrien Ag Solutions in […] Read more

Anderson cattle graze in early winter an area of the stockpiled annual forage blend that wasn’t cut for swath grazing.

Improving pastures through regenerative agriculture

A low-input strategy is paying off for this central Alberta producer

Brendon Anderson took over the family farm near Rimbey in central Alberta a few years back and is now focused on regenerative agriculture to improve soils and forage production. Ultimately he would like to get to a system of year-round grazing, but that may not be possible in some winters that deliver nearly four feet […] Read more


Southern Alberta farmer Brady Valgardson has been experimenting with cover crops for the past five years. 
One of his objectives is to reduce the risk of soil being lost to wind erosion during the vulnerable post-harvest to pre-seeding period.

The cover crop learning curve

There is plenty of good information in theory, but a Taber grower is learning what works best for his farm

Challenges, commitment, trial and error, faith and steep learning curve. Those are some of the terms that southern Alberta farmer Brady Valgardson uses when he describes his experience with regenerative agriculture over the past five years. Valgardson, who is the fourth generation on the family farm southwest of Taber (about 50 kilometres east of Lethbridge), […] Read more

Faked fuzz facts on fusarium

Faked fuzz facts on fusarium

The real story of Alberta’s fusarium head blight control program

Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat, barley, oat, rye and triticale caused by Fusarium graminearum is the most destructive disease of cereals in Western Canada right now. This fungus is also a destructive disease on corn, particularly in Ontario and the United States, where it is the exact same disease that we have on small […] Read more


(ThamKC/iStock/Getty Images)

U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear biofuel waiver case

Reuters — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a lower court ruling that severely limited the government’s powers to exempt small refineries from the nation’s biofuels law, rekindling a long-running dispute between the oil and corn industries. The decision came after appeals by refining companies that argued the 10th Circuit Court’s decision […] Read more

(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Railways overshoot grain revenue limits for 2019-20

Grain revenues run $5.3 million over caps, CTA rules

Canada’s big two railways have about two more weeks to hand over about $5.6 million in Prairie grain revenue overages and related penalties for the 2019-20 crop year. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) on Dec. 22 ruled Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) each overshot their maximum revenue entitlements (MREs) for the […] Read more