GFM Network News


University’s ‘Beefier Barley’ billboard binned

A billboard about Alberta barley’s prospects under climate change in the University of Alberta’s ‘Truth Matters’ promotion — a series of ads meant to spark discussion about its researchers’ work — has been winnowed out of the campaign. Jacqui Tam, the Edmonton-based U of A’s vice-president for university relations, announced Sunday it would withdraw the […] Read more

Slowing growth to prevent lodging

Should you invest in a plant growth regulator for your cereal crops this season?

Where there’s enough moisture and high fertility levels, lodging can still be a major yield constraint. In cereal crops, plant growth regulators (PGRs) have been shown to produce shorter stems to reduce lodging and maintain grain yields. Researchers in Alberta are trying to optimize PGR use to prevent lodging and improve standability and harvestability in […] Read more



University of Alberta researcher Victor Manoli tours International Clubroot Workshop delegates through his research work at Alberta’s Crop 
Diversification Centre North. Manoli has infected these plants with clubroot spores to enable future study.

No silver bullet for international disease

Scientists from around the globe met in Edmonton to discuss the latest on clubroot

The world’s top canola researchers and agronomists met in Edmonton in early August to talk about their work on the pathogen that’s lowering canola yields throughout Alberta and spreading to the rest of the Prairies. While researchers at the International Clubroot Workshop discussed the scientific research underway, farmer delegates were disappointed to hear there is […] Read more


Getting info and seeding early

It is the time of year to gather knowledge and make your plans for the coming season

January is the busiest month of the year for ag trade shows, conferences, updates and industry meetings. You could spend the entire month traveling across the Prairies attending sessions. I attended the inaugural Cereals Innovation Symposium in Red Deer, Alta., hosted by the Alberta Wheat Commission, and heard some very interesting speakers. Scientists talked about […] Read more

Marc and Hinke Therrien and their three children, Annelies, four, Emilie, three, and Natalie, one, didn’t hesitate to learn the turkey business.

Canada’s OYF: The nominees from Alberta

This award is a feather in the cap of these new turkey farmers

She was new to turkeys and he was new to farming. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, not much, which is why Marc and Hinke Therrien of Redwater, Alta., are proud winners as Alberta regional nominees for the Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) Award. “I’m not a farm kid; I grew up in […] Read more


Different types of soil have different properties. University of Alberta research is focusing on measuring soil quality.

Controlling traffic to improve your soil

A new test offers another way to test soil quality improvements

It can be called “fractal hierarchical aggregation” or just “fractal aggregation.” Whatever the moniker, the new method of soil health testing promises to offer an important way to assess soil quality and land stewardship, says Guillermo Hernandez, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. Hernandez is the lead researcher on a suite of projects […] Read more

Blackleg in canola.

Helping our plants to help themselves

One day, farmers may be able to use natural products to fight blackleg and other diseases

New research that could lead to a biological alternative to chemical fungicides began with work into food safety. “We were interested in whether food-fermenting lactobacilli would produce molecules that prevent fungal growth,” says Dr. Michael Gaenzle, who is leading the research into antifungal lipids at the University of Alberta. Gaenzle’s team came across some molecules […] Read more


Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell at the University of Alberta.

The wacky world of decision-making

Hart Attacks: When there is too much information, there must be an app for that

Here’s one “flypaper” email list you want to avoid — the Conservative Party of Canada. I made the mistake back in Stephen Harper’s days as prime minister — it might have even been during his first term — but I sent a donation to the Conservative Party. The pitch was if I sent even a […] Read more

Wheat research in the pipeline

Not happy with wheat in your rotation? One of these projects will brighten your future

Following is a roundup of some of the major wheat research and breeding projects across Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan that address priority areas such as increasing yield, improving disease and pest resistance, agronomics and tolerance to drought and excess moisture, as well as end-use qualities. Better wheat under stress Two projects are looking at improving […] Read more