GFM Network News


Alberta deregulates fusarium

Crop disease comes off province's 'zero tolerance' list

Alberta is moving to keep fusarium in check by means other than the “zero tolerance” policy it has in effect on agricultural pests such as rats, rabies and clubroot. Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen announced a ministerial order Wednesday to remove Fusarium graminearum from the list of pests covered by the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation, […] 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


Fusarium head blight.

Cereal diseases to watch in 2020

Tan spot, septoria complex, scald, FHB and root rots top the list. What’s the outlook for your region?

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is predicting a slight increase in seeded acreage of wheat in 2020. Difficult spring planting conditions ran the gamut across the Prairies in 2019 from limited to excess moisture; however, moisture levels going into 2020 look adequate, with projected cool, dry conditions. Regardless, producers should start the season armed with a […] Read more

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


As corn acreage expands on the Prairies, there will be a whole new crop that can host fusarium spores.


Still no magic bullet for fusarium head blight

There’s still no cure, but at least there’s no sign of fungicide resistance. Yet

“We have no magic bullet.” When Randy Kucher, associate professor at the Crop Development Centre/Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, said that at the beginning of his presentation, the mood in the roomful of CropSphere attendees deflated just a bit. Fusarium head blight has stolen yield from many durum and spring wheat […] 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


Testing seed for pathogens for next year’s crop

Q & A with Nutrien Ag Solutions

Q. When seed testing, what pathogens should we test for? A. In an era of high input costs, unpredictable weather conditions and volatile grain markets, farmers face many challenges even before they get the crop in the ground. Getting seed tested is an easy and inexpensive way to help ensure a healthy crop stand. While […] Read more

A tethered locust flying in a wind tunnel to test its vision.

Hart Attacks: No end to researcher ingenuity

I think I was sick the day we learned about this stuff in high school


I am often in awe of the agricultural researchers, which shouldn’t be surprising since I really have no understanding of 99.9999 per cent of what they do, or how they do it. Yet they manage to come up with answers. Recently I was speaking with three researchers in Alberta working to identify and quantify the […] Read more


Should you spray twice for fusarium?

In a fusarium-filled field, are more applications better?

During a February 28 BASF’s “Protect Your Profits” fusarium webinar, a farmer who was watching asked whether, if you had a fusarium-prone field, it would be a good idea to plan to spray a fungicide twice to control fusarium. Dr. Michael Harding, plant pathology research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, fielded the question. Harding […] Read more

The “Spornado” collects windborne disease spores such as fusarium head blight and sclerotinia in the field, to provide farmers with a heads up on potential problems.

Spornado could give heads up on disease

Collecting airborne disease spores could offer growers an early warning

An Alberta seed testing company has crop disease monitoring technology in the works that could provide some of the answers as suggested in the old Bob Dylan song about what’s “Blowin’ in The Wind.” 20/20 Seed Labs, based in Nisku, just south of Edmonton, is continuing its field testing in 2019 using fairly simple-looking equipment to collect the windborne disease spores such […] Read more