GFM Network News


This flax field was treated with Headline. The triangle in the centre is the spot the sprayer missed.

Control the pasmo in your flax

Left untreated, the pasmo fungus can take five to seven bushels per acre from 
your flax yields. Luckily, farmers have effective fungicide options


Flax is an increasingly popular crop. With growing demand from Europe, the U.S. and China, flax is likely to stay in high demand (with attendant high prices) for the foreseeable future. It also produces a high profit per acre compared with grains and works well in crop rotations to break disease and pest cycles. While […] Read more

Symptoms of black chaff on wheat include discolouration of mature wheat head, dark brown or purple markings on wheat stems, and leaf streaking.

Beating back black chaff

Black chaff can lower yields in your wheat field. Make sure your seed is disease free this spring


You’re out in your wheat field, inspecting your crop. It’s been a good season, a bit wet earlier in the year, but the plants are growing strong and it looks like you’ll have a good yield come autumn. Then you spot something odd — a bunch of the plants have leaves covered in dark stripes […] Read more


Restrictions on neonicotinoids have come about out of fears that the chemicals are contributing to the collapse of bee populations around the world.

Viable substitutes for neonicotinoids

Some groups are calling for bans on neonic pesticides. Get the scoop on alternatives for your farm

In September Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne mandated Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal to start working to reduce the use of neonicotinoid (also known as neonic) pesticides in the province after 2016. The reduction may include bans or severe restrictions on approved uses. Several countries across the European Union have suspended use of several common […] Read more

The first signs of soybean sudden death syndrome are mottled and  mosaiced leaves, followed by the yellowing of the leaf veins and the death  of  the  whole  leaf.

Soybean sudden death

Sudden death syndrome has not yet been found in 
the Canadian Prairies, but vigilance can’t hurt

Soybeans are one of Canada’s major pulse crops. As new shorter-season varieties are developed, the soybean-growing area is increasing. All the more reason to be vigilant for new and emerging threats like Sudden Death Syndrome. Sudden Death Syndrome (or SDS) in soybeans is a relatively new fungal disease, first discovered in Arkansas in 1971. In […] Read more


Charcoal is an excellent trap for carbon, able to hold it for hundreds of thousands of years.

Biochar: Good for the planet and your farm

Biochar, charcoal made from burning organic matter at low temperatures, 
could be a way to store CO2 and add nutrients to your soil

By now you’ve heard all about about carbon emissions and climate change. You know that by burning hydrocarbons like oil and coal we humans have been putting CO2 into the atmosphere faster than natural processes can remove it, and that over the rest of this century this will result in more and more extreme weather […] Read more

There is a lot of chance involved in using a seasonal forecast. 
The trick is to know how to read and measure the chances.

Using a seasonal weather forecast

If you have Internet access, you have useful, free long-run weather predictions at your fingertips


Every farmer knows how important the weather is to success: too many hot, dry days and the crop will be stunted; too many cold, wet days and fungi can run rampant, cutting down yields. Knowing what the weather is going to be a few days from now is vital, and having a general picture of […] Read more


Corn requires a lot of summer heat.

Corn could be your 2015 cash crop

If you thought you lived on the fringe of the corn-growing area, 
it may be time to take a look at today’s varieties

Farmers in Alberta are planting more and more corn. From 5,000 acres in 1990 the area under cultivation has expanded to over 40,000 in 2014. Alberta agriculture professionals expect this trend to continue, driven by increased demand from domestic livestock producers. Though corn requires high inputs, it can produce very high per acre yields, and […] Read more

Researchers planted these durum varieties at Indian Head, Sask., in 2014.

Choosing the right seed variety for your crop

There’s page after page of data about new seed varieties. Here’s how to find the ones that are right for you

You’ve read the markets, checked the seasonal forecast, considered your crop rotation and decided what you want to put in the ground come spring. Now it’s a matter of choosing the right variety. Opening up the seed guide, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of choices and the huge array of data on each […] Read more


Four tips to help get grain marketing advice you can trust

Before you hire a marketing consultant, make sure to choose the right one for your farm

Whenever a business is as filled with uncertainty as grain farming there will always be lots of advice out there about how to minimize risk and maximize rewards. Government agencies, universities and magazines like Grainews all offer advice to help make your life that little bit easier. They all share a common disadvantage though: their […] Read more

Three tips for a successful post-harvest burndown

There’s only a small window to get your 
weeds under control after harvest and 
ahead of the frost. Make the most of it

At the end of a long growing season with the harvest in and the fields clear it’s tempting to let your guard down against weeds. You may see a few spots of Canadian thistle and dandelion and feel that with frost coming on soon you can wait until spring to deal with them. Before you […] Read more