GFM Network News

Researcher explores mysterious world of soil fungi

Fungi helps some plants access nutrients and trigger their defence mechanisms when under attack by disease

There are billions of bacteria in every teaspoon of soil, but for the most part all those microbes are a black box that’s responsible for all the biological activity in soil. Now, an Agriculture Canada scientist has been researching one soil fungus phylum — the Glomeromycota — and found an amazing variety of species each

Like a kid and vegetables, cattle will eat thistle if they have to.  photo: thinkstock

Bovine solution for eating into a Canada thistle infestation

Cows will avoid eating the prickly weed if they have a choice, 
but keep them in a paddock longer and they’ll control the invader

There’s 10 million square kilometres of free — and highly nutritious — feed spread across North America. But because it’s Canada thistle, you need a special grazing system to get cattle to eat it. “You can use managed grazing to keep weeds, including Canada thistle, at tolerable levels and increase forage production,” said Sue De

photo: Istock

JBS predicts better days for Brooks plant and Canadian beef sector

Company officials give media and community members a tour of Brooks facility, and say safety is Job 1

The company that bills itself as the world’s biggest animal protein supplier sees a bright future for Canada’s beef industry. “We’re planning for long-term success at this plant,” Bill Rupp, president of the JBS USA beef unit, said during a recent tour of its newly acquired Brooks plant. “We’ve a lot of dreams for Canada.

Hail beats up southern Alberta for a second year

Southern Alberta has had quite a beating from Mother Nature this summer. The hail season started early with crop-damaging hailstorms during the last week of May in both Lethbridge and Vulcan areas. Storms were particularly violent and widespread over July 5-8, when some motorists reported driving through hailstorms as tough as any winter storm and

New technologies mean new challenges for farm safety

The death and injury statistics tell the tale — agriculture remains one of Canada’s most dangerous professions. All the industry’s efforts to improve the situation haven’t made any difference. In Alberta 16 people were killed in farm accidents in 2011 and three of them were under 18. Just as a comparison, among all the workers

The ins and outs of hiring foreign workers

As farm work has become increasingly complex and skil-led, farmers, non-farming landowners and employment agencies are searching the world for the right employees. At the other end of the scale, some employers, including horticulture operations, are turning the movement of low-wage jobs out of Canada on its head and are bringing foreign workers to this

Stripe Rust Overwinters In Alberta For The First Time

Stripe rust hit Alberta winter wheat hard last year, after it overwintered there for the first time. Plant pathologists blame the insulating effect of the deep, persistent snow cover we had last winter for the stripe rust fungus surviving in southern Alberta. The fungus infected the winter wheat and spread into spring wheat, limiting the

Tiny Wasp Used To Avert Disaster Farmers Never See

CO-OPERATOR CONTRIBUTOR / LETHBRIDGE You may never have seen it, it doesn t have a common name, it didn t cost you a cent, but it may be saving you thousands in lost yield and pesticide cost. Tetrastichus julis (T. julis) is a tiny wasp that feeds on the cereal leaf beetle, a Eurasian pest

Checklist For New Wells — Water/Oil And Gas — Yours/ Theirs

Whether you need a new water well or an oil and gas company wants to drill nearby, it s vital that the aquifer and your well are protected from contamination and changes in rock formations. If you need a new well, make sure all quotes are from certified well drillers who understand the detailed information