GFM Network News


Fungicides with dual modes of action, a new insecticide seed treatment and foliar fungicides containing a brand new active ingredient are available for 2020.

Get ready for improved pest control

Companies offer new products and new actives for coming crop year

With the start of the 2020 growing season just a few weeks away, crop protection companies are introducing farmers to new products with new chemistries promising improved pest control — some with wider windows of application and some with dual modes of action — and all are intended to provide a bigger bang for the […] 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


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

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

Emptying the tool box on fusarium head blight

There are no silver bullets, but these 11 agronomic practices can help

While there is no so-called cure for fusarium head blight a whole series of proper agronomic practices can be applied to stave off the impact of the disease, say Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers. Using FHB-resistant cereal varieties and applying registered fungicides is part of the story say Kelly Turkington, plant pathology researcher in Lacombe, Alta., and […] Read more


The overwhelming culprit is F. graminearum (G. zeae) which can be distinguished from similar fusaria by the bright orange/pink colouration of this fungus infection on the grain.

The latest buzz on fusarium in cereal crops

Fusarium is destructive, and Alberta’s zero-tolerance policy is in trouble in durum areas

Fusarium head blight (FHB), fusarium graminearum, or tombstone as it’s called in the U.S. has become one of the most destructive diseases of small grain cereals and corn in North America. Fusarium head blight first became a problem in Ontario where it produced toxins on grain corn. Just to confuse you, this disease on corn […] 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


WInter wheat.

Winter wheats get better and better

New winter wheats improve on yield, disease and quality; some with specialty appeal

Several promising new lines of milling winter wheat are coming along for cereal crop producers across Western Canada over the next couple of years, says an Agriculture Canada winter wheat breeder. Rob Graf, based at the Lethbridge Research Centre says producers in all parts of the prairies should be watching for a new line called […] Read more

August 1, 2014, the crop looked great.

FHB: a disease of even-numbered years

It seems unlikely that FHB strikes every second year, but the data backs it up

This is an update of a piece about fusarium head blight (FHB) we did about one year ago now. To be honest, much of it is actually “cut and paste” from last year. I’ve never done that before, but it seems appropriate for this situation. We are just adding another year of data. In agronomy […] Read more