GFM Network News


Plant density was low in some areas. The plants in these patchy regions were also much smaller than those in the rest of the field.

Crop advisor casebook: Patchy problems in a canola field

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the September 25, 2018 issue of Grainews

On June 11, while spraying his canola plants with an in-crop herbicide, Wade noticed regions of the crop had uneven emergence, causing some patchy areas. Wade farms 10,000 acres of canola, wheat and barley near Yorkton, Sask. He thought he might have an insect problem in his canola crop. “My guess is it’s flea beetles or cutworms,” he said. […] Read more



Crop advisor casebook: What’s causing these wheat heads to curl?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the July 17, 2018 issue of Grainews

John, who owns a mixed grain farm near Lacombe, Alta., called me last July after he discovered curled and deformed wheat heads in his crop. He said the affected plants were scattered throughout the field, and approximately 10 per cent of the crop was affected. At the field, examination of the plants revealed healthy and […] Read more

The seedling leaf tips were notched in this Alberta producer’s wheat crop. 
In addition, the leaves had holes, giving them a shredded appearance.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s taking a bite out of this producer’s wheat crop?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 24, 2018 issue of Grainews

While scouting his wheat crop at the end of May last year, Alex noticed some seedling leaf tips were notched. Also, the leaves had holes, giving them a shredded appearance. Alex farms 3,000 acres of barley, wheat, canola and peas near Manning, Alta. Alex thought the damage he found in his wheat crop was caused […] Read more



From the road, the crop had a purplish tinge to it. Although they appeared consistently throughout the field, the symptoms were more pronounced in drier areas, such as hilltops.

Crop advisor casebook: What’s causing extreme stem discolouration in this wheat crop?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the March 13, 2018 issue of Grainews

While checking some crops, Ron, a Saskatchewan producer, was alarmed to find his wheat crop’s plant stems had turned a vivid reddish-purple colour within a very short period of time. It was August 9 when Ron asked me to investigate the cause of the stems’ colour change. Ron farms 3,000 acres of wheat, canola, barley […] Read more


Although there was lots of green in the field, some areas were patchy where the plant stand was thin. In other spots, entire rows were missing plants. There was no obvious pattern.

Crop Advisor’s Casebook: What’s attracting seagulls to this canola field?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the January 23, 2018 issue of Grainews

Paul, who farms 3,500 acres north of Camrose, Alta., was convinced cutworms were taking a bite out of his canola crop. It was mid-June last year when he noticed his canola plant stand was thin. Also, many seagulls were circling the field. He thought cutworms were attracting the birds, as well as damaging his crop […] Read more

When compared with the other two, the plants in the third field were visibly stressed — slower growing, smaller and paler in colour.

Crop Advisor’s Casebook: Barley blues. Why aren’t these plants growing faster?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the January 9, 2018 issue of Grainews

Thomas, who owns a 3,000-acre mixed dryland and irrigation farm near Magrath, Alta., asked me to visit his operation in early June. He wanted help identifying the weeds in three barley fields as well as advice on a herbicide package that would best fit his farm. He also mentioned the plants in one of the […] Read more


Richardson buying two Alberta crop input retailers

Two independent crop input retailers in northeastern Alberta will become part of Richardson Pioneer’s ag retail chain starting Friday. Richardson on Monday announced it will buy Webb’s Crop Services Ltd. at Vermilion and Agro Guys Inc. at Forestburg, about 165 km southwest of Vermilion, for undisclosed sums. Both deals are expected to close Thursday, with […] Read more

Some of the barley plants had white heads. Also, the kernels of the affected plants didn’t fill. When pulled, these heads separated easily from the stem. The affected plants were distributed randomly throughout the field.

Crop Advisor’s Casebook: A big barley bother

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the April 25, 2017 issue of Grainews

While assessing his crop for damage after a storm last year, Ian, a Manitoba producer, noticed some barley plants had white heads. Also, the kernels of the affected plants didn’t fill. Ian, who farms 1,500 acres of wheat, barley and canola near Oak Lake, Man., wasn’t sure if the storm had damaged the barley plants, […] Read more