GFM Network News


Parallel stripes of yellowing, unhealthy-looking plants ran across the field.

Crop advisor casebook: Seeding issue makes for unhealthy wheat plants?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the May 12, 2020 issue of Grainews

In early June, I got a call from Keith, who owns a mixed cattle and grain farm near Grandview, Man. He’d been out checking his crop for herbicide timing when he noticed there were parallel stripes of yellowing plants running all across the field. Keith, who also grows canola, oats and mixed hay on his […] Read more

Crop advisor casebook: Crop circles in Manitoba soybeans

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

Like most people, I’ve heard of those mysterious formations in farmers’ fields known as crop circles, but I never thought I’d run into one. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I got a call last June from a farmer who said he’d spotted some circular patches in one of his soybean […] Read more


John’s lentil field had several large bare patches. Across the rest of the field, the lentil plants were at the eight-leaf stage and didn’t exhibit any signs of herbicide injury.

Crop advisor casebook: Bare patches in lentil crop puzzles Sask. grower

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

Back in early June, I was out scouting fields near Main Centre, Sask., when I came across a problem on one grower’s farm. A field containing lentils had several large bare patches, so I called John, the farm owner, to let him know what I’d found. John, who also grows durum wheat and canola on […] Read more

The pea crop was at the R4 stage — most of the pods on the plants were done filling but hadn’t started to ripen yet. There were numerous patches of damaged plants spread randomly around the field, the largest were on the headlands.

Crop advisor casebook: Why are these pea pods scratched and shredded open?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the March 24, 2020 issue of Grainews

Brian is a grain farmer who also runs a successful crop input and agronomy business near Humboldt, Sask. He regularly calls or drops by my office with questions or ideas, so I wasn’t surprised when Brian came in to see me late last July. After shaking my hand, Brian got right down to business, pulling […] Read more


In parts of the field, wheat plants were pale, shorter and had smaller heads than the healthy-looking wheat. Maturity was delayed. Tissue tests would show the truth.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s holding back this stunted wheat?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the March 10, 2020 issue of Grainews

Randy, a grain farmer near Winnipeg, Man., was surveying one of his wheat fields back in June when he noticed that something was off with the crop. There was a large area running right up the middle of the field that had stunted, pale-looking wheat and he was anxious to find out why. Randy called […] Read more

Ernest sprayed his flax field with a Group 1 herbicide to eliminate green foxtail in his crop, 
but the treatment didn’t appear to be having 
any affect.

Crop advisor casebook: Herbicide not doing its job in this farmer’s flax field

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the March 3, 2020 issue of Grainews

Back in June, I got a call from Earnest, who grows 2,500 acres of soybeans, canola, oats and flax on his farm near Starbuck, Man. He told me he’d recently sprayed his flax field with a Group 1 herbicide to eliminate green foxtail in his crop, but the treatment didn’t appear to be having any […] Read more


In certain rows, Cory’s lentil plants were stunted and the leaves of those plants were turning yellow and shriveling. Some plants in the affected rows were already dead.

Crop advisor casebook: Why are rows of these lentils yellowing and stunted?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 23, 2019 issue of Grainews

Cory owns a 4,000-acre grain farm near Cupar, Sask. His crop rotation consists of lentils, wheat, durum and canola. It was around the middle of June when I received a call from Cory, who was concerned about his lentil crop after he noticed that in certain rows the plants were stunted and the leaves of […] Read more

Crop advisor casebook: What caused the colour banding in this wheat field?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 19, 2019 issue of Grainews

One morning last May, I received a call from Dale, a farmer in Westbourne, Man., who farms around 3,500 acres of canola, wheat and soybeans. He told me he had been out walking his fields and noticed “striped” wheat plants. He said the striping, which appeared as yellow bands on the first and second leaves, […] Read more


Austen checked the plants for root rot in all areas of the field. All plant roots were healthy, which allowed me to rule out root rot. Because the plants were asymptomatic, Austen also struck rhizoctonia off the list.

Crop advisor casebook: A thin lentil crop due to seeding problems?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 12, 2019 issue of Grainews

Colin farms 6,000 acres of canola, lentils, durum and canaryseed south of Regina, Sask. He called me at the beginning of June about his poor lentil stand. He said the stand looked less vigorous than it should. He thought the problem might be related to seeding. “I must’ve messed up during seeding. Maybe I put […] Read more

Plant stands on hill slopes and some hilltops were thin, while those in low-lying areas were thick and well established.

Crop advisor casebook: Why is this barley crop patchy in rectangular blocks?

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

Jim, a Saskatchewan farmer, was unhappy with the establishment of his barley crop — he had expected a more uniform stand. When he contacted me the first week of June last year, Jim said plant populations in some areas of the field were thin, while others were thick and lush. The plants, which were at […] Read more