GFM Network News


The affected plants had smaller peas than they should, and some leaves were exhibiting minor ascochyta blight damage.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s causing the symptoms in this ailing pea crop?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 11, 2020 issue of Grainews

Andy has a 2,000-acre mixed farm operation near Vauxhall, Alta., where he raises cattle and grows wheat, canola, sugar beets, beans, field peas and hay. I had worked with Andy for some time and knew he’d stepped up his scouting efforts that summer, due to the fact the growing season had been unusually cool and […] Read more

Jeff’s durum crop was patchy and uneven. Most of the affected areas were on the tops of knolls within the field.

Crop advisor casebook: Why is this durum crop patchy, uneven and with discoloured leaves?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 4, 2020 issue of Grainews

Jeff, a mixed grain and livestock producer who farms near Vulcan, Alta., called me in early June about a problem in one of his durum wheat fields. Earlier that day, Jeff had noticed the crop looked patchy and uneven while driving by the field. When he walked into the field to investigate, he could see […] Read more


The affected canola plants were stunted and had prematurely ripened. When I pulled up a few plants to look at the roots they appeared normal.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s causing these undersized, odd-coloured canola stems?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the January 21, 2020 issue of Grainews

John, who grows mainly wheat, canola and peas on his farm near Canora, Sask., called me in late August to report a problem his swather operator had spotted while swathing a canola field. Within the field, he said, there were numerous patches with canola plants that were undersized and had odd-coloured stems. John hadn’t seen […] Read more

I could see lots of the worms crawling around next to an armyworm that I also observed on the plant.

Crop advisor casebook: Can you identify the worms in this barley?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the January 7, 2020 issue of Grainews

Like most farmers, Tom has dealt with his share of insect pests. He’s encountered many different pests at his 6,000-acre mixed grain operation near Wadena, Sask., over the years, but this past August he came across a new insect that had him stumped. Tom called me in early August to say he’d been out inspecting […] Read more


As the wheat matured, some of the wheat heads weren’t turning the typical bright yellow but instead were much darker in colour and had striped kernels.

Crop advisor casebook: Wheat heads not your typical yellow fellows

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the December 3, 2019 issue of Grainews

Back in mid-August, I got a call from Jay after he noticed something wasn’t right with his wheat crop. Jay, who is a grain producer in the Provost region, had just finished scouting one of his fields planted to CWRS wheat. He was alarmed to see that as his wheat matured, some of the wheat […] Read more

The yellow stripes on the plants were not running along the length of the leaves, as would have been the case with a nutrient deficiency, but along their width instead.

Crop advisor casebook: Zebra stripes in barley a result of herbicide carryover?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the November 5, 2019 issue of Grainews

Ken was driving by one of his barley fields at the end of May when he spotted a problem. His emerging barley crop seemed to be turning yellow, and when Ken pulled over to have a closer look, he was alarmed by yellow bands resembling “zebra stripes” on many of the plants. Ken, who also […] Read more


All of Fred’s canola seed was planted at a consistent three-quarter inch depth, so why the uneven emergence?

Crop advisor casebook: Spotty canola emergence baffling

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the October 15, 2019 issue of Grainews

I received a call from Fred last May after he came across a problem while out scouting his canola fields. He’d observed some spotty emergence of canola seedlings in one of his fields and was wondering why emergence was so much better in the adjacent fields that had been planted around the same time. Fred, […] Read more

There was some spotty emergence with areas 
of poor stand establishment, especially in the 
low spots.

Crop advisor casebook: Patchy growth in canola presents a puzzle

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the September 24, 2019 issue of Grainews

The canola in Rob’s field had just emerged when he contacted me this past spring about concerns of insect pressure and a patchy plant stand. In addition to canola, Rob grows wheat, barley and peas on 2,500 acres near Wakaw, Sask. At the time of his request for me to visit his farm, the region […] Read more


Blackleg disease incidence in the crop was medium to medium-high. However, I thought the blackleg was compounding another, larger issue in this crop. Some of the roots looked funny when we pulled the plants out of the soil, almost like there was an abundance of organic matter or extra loamy soil collecting at the roots.

Crop advisor casebook: Irregular canola pod shatter a mystery

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the August 27, 2019 issue of Grainews

Dave, who farms 6,000 acres of wheat, barley, peas and canola in Central Alberta, was trying out a new canola seed variety, which was in its first market year. The variety had clubroot resistance and had also been selected for some pod shatter tolerance. Throughout the growing season, the canola crop had developed normally, and […] Read more

The problems in Dwayne’s field were limited to a five-acre area, although soil tests showed a copper deficiency throughout the field.

Crop advisor casebook: Pigtailing barley presents a problem

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the July 16, 2019 issue of Grainews

Dwayne farms around 4,500 acres of red spring wheat, canola and malt barley near DeBolt, Alta. He gave me a call late last June because of a recurring problem in one of his barley fields. When visiting the field, I found some barley plants located in a concentrated area — around five acres — had […] Read more