GFM Network News


Ergot can be found on a number of “grass” species and not just rye. The fungal disease can develop on timothy grass as well as most cereal grains.

Watch closely for ergot-infected feeds

Several grasses and some grain crops can be susceptible


Last spring, auction mart chat turned a problem with ergot in grasses. The conversation pointed towards lame cattle resulting from feeding timothy straw. My curiosity piqued because a high percentage of cattle producers have been feeding everything from timothy straw to pea straw, to canola straw and bakery waste for the last few years, so […] Read more



Can a cover crop help establish forages?

Q & A with Nutrien Ag Solutions

Q: Are there benefits to a cover crop for forage establishment? A. There are many benefits to planting a cover crop (sometimes referred to as a companion or nurse crop) for forage establishment. Cover crops commonly planted alongside perennial forages include oats, barley and wheat. Before a forage stand becomes well established, bare soil can […] Read more

Can copper reduce ergot levels in wheat?

Q & A with Nutrien Ag Solutions

Q: Can the application of copper reduce ergot levels in wheat? A: Ergot is a worldwide disease that affects cereal crops such as wheat, barley, triticale, rye, and oats. Ergot is promoted in years with cool, damp weather conditions in late spring and early summer. When a crop is under stress, the flowering period is […] Read more


Rye production could fall 25 per cent, analyst says

CNS Canada — This year’s Canadian rye harvest appears positioned to carry on the crop’s recent trend with another production decline. Dry conditions in many regions of the Prairies and ergot in Manitoba are expected to drive down yields. Jonathan Hull of The Scoular Co. said he has been hearing from farmers that yields could […] Read more



When we have years with lots of ergots, we have higher levels of wheat midge.

Don’t blame ergot on the weather

Copper deficiency leads to the development of many diseases in cereal crops

If you’re a pedigreed seed grower and you’ve discovered that one of your seed fields, either wheat or barley, is infested with ergot, you have a problem but it’s not what most, if not all of you think. Don’t blame it on a common diagnosis of cold, wet growing conditions. It’s more likely caused by […] Read more