GFM Network News


Kelly Turkington says farmers who want to get the most out of their disease management tools should apply the same principles behind 4R nutrient stewardship to disease management.

The 4Rs of disease management

How to get the most out of your disease management tools

Some say life success is about being in the right place at the right time. These are part of the guiding principle behind 4R nutrient stewardship, which farmers know well. Kelly Turkington, an AAFC pathology research scientist based in Lacombe, Alta., said the same principles can be applied to disease management. Speaking at the Farm […] Read more

The openings on the roots of soybean plants infected by SCN may cause the plant to be more susceptible to the development of root rot and seedling diseases.

Crop disease experts take stock of 2020

Your provincial roundup of pulse and soybean diseases, what to watch for this year and emerging threats

From east to west, pulse and soybean growers face disease challenges, and last year was no different. For example, producers from all three provinces struggled with aphanomyces root rot in peas and lentils, Manitoba’s soybean farmers were warned of increased cases of soybean cyst nematode (plants are more susceptible to root rot and seedling disease […] Read more


Building soil health for future generations is the main goal on Tim Nerbas’ farm in Waseca, Sask. Nerbas took the first steps toward improving soil health on NRG Farms more than 20 years ago when he made the decision to eliminate tillage entirely. Some of the farmland had not been tilled for more than 30 years. From there, he focused on crop variety and diversity and constant cover, which he sees as crucial to soil health.

Soil health management on Harvest Moon and NRG farms

Alberta and Saskatchewan producers discuss soil care

Since an unexpected disaster in 2017, in many respects, Alberta farmer Andy Kirschenman has had to start over. In October of that year, a massive fire ripped through Harvest Moon Farm. The Kirschenmans lost their house, a shed, a combine, quite a bit of equipment and most of the trees in the shelterbelt. But the […] Read more

There is a great diversity of soil microorganisms. Their needs should be considered when starting a new soil management plan. Having a strong soil microbial community will improve physical and chemical constraints.

Take a closer look at your soil assessment

Make sure these important soil health indicators are evaluated

Soil is a complex mixture of organic matter, minerals and countless organisms both alive and dead. To understand whether or not soil is healthy, all of its interconnected properties — physical, chemical and biological — must be evaluated. Through their interconnectivity, these three properties play a crucial role in soil health and affect key parameters […] Read more


Sclerotinia stem rot leaf lesion forming from an infected canola petal.

How to manage sclerotinia stem rot in canola

Disease risk comes down to moisture

Sclerotinia stem rot is one of the most destructive diseases in canola. The fungus can cause up to 50 per cent yield loss. From year to year, region to region, and field to field, occurrence and severity are extremely variable. Foliar fungicides remain the main source of control. Canola Council of Canada agronomy director, Clint […] Read more

This post-harvest photo of a canola stem with verticillium stripe shows how the stem has senesced and the epidermis is shredding to reveal the microsclerotia.

Verticillium stripe should be on your radar for 2020 and beyond

Three things you need to know about the disease

When Verticillium longisporum-infected canola was first discovered in Manitoba in 2014, it was quickly followed by countrywide soil surveys conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2015. Those surveys revealed V. longisporum populations in British Columbia and every province eastward as far as, and including, Quebec. And while it hasn’t reached the point where […] Read more


Canola plants that are highly infected with clubroot may have large galls.

Steps to prevent and mitigate clubroot in your fields

Your guide to identification, risk reduction and disease control

Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease. If conditions are right, it can cause up to 100 per cent yield loss in canola. And while yield loss can be low when conditions aren’t favourable, the pathogen is hardy and easily overwinters in the tough Canadian climate. Come spring, resting spores not only germinate where they overwintered, […] Read more

Two plants infected with brown girdling root rot (right) and two uninfected plants (left).

How to identify and prevent root rots in canola

If you’re not scouting for root rots, that doesn’t mean they’re not there

Survey data from Western Canada’s provincial agriculture departments don’t have really good numbers when it comes to root rots. The difficulty is not many growers are scouting for them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The pathogens that cause root rot can impact yield severely, especially if infection occurs early in the season. The […] Read more


Left to right: verticillium stripe, blackleg, clean/ healthy plant. Plants rated at 60 per cent seed colour change.

Blackleg best management practices to keep disease levels low

Is blackleg increasing in your fields? Use BMPs to keep the disease at bay

For the longest time, yield loss due to blackleg has been significantly reduced through the use of disease-resistant canola varieties. However, those genetics were first introduced nearly 20 years ago and are now starting to be overcome. For a disease that has mostly been ignored by farmers, this means there is a need to reintroduce […] Read more

The crown rust disease damages plants’ leaves, reducing the photosynthetic area. When pustules erupt, the plant loses water.

Oat diseases that affect your crop and what to do about them

Don’t let crown rust rob your yield

Following the announcement of plans to build a new oat mill in Manitoba last October, growers may be considering adding oats to the rotation. They’re a good cold-weather crop, prices have been decent and demand has been stable. Those adding oats to the rotation should be aware of the major diseases that affect both yield […] Read more