GFM Network News


Seed early and heavily to boost flax

A good start is key to ensuring the crop’s competitiveness

Flax markets are still flat despite demand as a health ingredient in Canada and the U.S., but the crop represents a strong option for western Canadian producers. It’s especially suited to those looking to diversify the rotation, said Dane Froese, Manitoba Agriculture oilseed specialist at this year’s Crop Diagnostic School. “Flax is a non-host for

Four ways to help protect your farm from fire

Whether it’s close to home or across an ocean, fire hasn’t been far from the news this summer. This year has been average in terms of fire risk on the Prairies, says Mike Flannigan, professor of wildland fire and the director of the western partnership for wildland fire science at the University of Alberta. But


Terry Buss displays a photograph showing a side-by-side comparison of field peas infected with ascochyta blight isolates resistant to Frac 11 fungicides. From left to right: untreated, treated with Headline (Frac 11) fungicide and treated with a Proline fungicide.

Field peas a strong alternative to soybeans

But you’ll need to remember the rulebook is different

Field pea markets might still be depressed following last year’s trade disputes with India, but the crop represents an opportunity for Manitoba producers in the long term. That’s according to Terry Buss, farm production extension specialist for Manitoba Agriculture. “As you go west and south in Manitoba, the soils are lighter and better drained, and

Tillage erosion is gaining attention around the world as researchers get a better understanding of how tillage can move soil.

Get your topsoil moving

Landscape restoration can offer immediate yield boosts

If you farm in the Prairie pothole region, you’re dealing with some yield loss due to tillage erosion, says Marla Riekman, land management specialist for Manitoba Agriculture. The good news is there’s a relatively easy way to restore that lost yield potential: simply move the eroded topsoil back up the slope. Riekman was at this

Farm management specialist Darren Bond (r) says a calculator on the MAFRI website can help calculate break-even costs.

To spray or not to spray for fungal disease

You don’t have to just pencil it in and spray anyway — there are tools to help make the decision

To spray or not to spray for fungal diseases? Will the extra yield offset the cost? In practice this decision is often made based on farmers’ comfort levels, but economics should always be considered, said Holly Derksen, field crop pathologist for Manitoba Agriculture, at this year’s Crop Diagnostic School in Carman. “You have to understand


Six tips for a smooth soybean harvest

For two-thirds of soybean producers in Saskatchewan last year, it was their first time growing the crop, with seeded acres up to 850,000 from just 239,939 in 2016. In Manitoba, soybean acreage jumped from over a million and a half acres to well over two million acres in 2017. Estimated acreage is lower this year

Frontal view of a Colorado potato beetle.

What’s the future of Colorado potato beetle control?

Neonics may be losing the beetle battle. What are the alternatives?

An old pest is becoming a new problem, according to Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, director of research and quality enhancement for Peak of the Market. Shinners-Carnelley was at Manitoba Potato Production Days in January to discuss Colorado potato beetle (CPB) control options as neonicotinoid seed treatments begin to lose effectiveness against the potato’s ancient enemy. Since the

A tuber infected with Dickeya dianthicola can have a mushy consistency similar to tapioca.

Dickeya diagnostics available, but could add costs

Growers exporting seed to the U.S. are increasingly being asked for the test

Laboratory testing can detect Dickeya — but is there enough of it present to justify the higher costs? It’s a relatively new threat to North American potato production. The invasive pathogen Dickeya dianthicola — not to be confused with blackleg causing Dickeya solani — was first spotted in Canada in Ontario fields, having come in


Chloropicrin being applied on a New Brunswick potato field. McCain has been trialling applications there since 2014.

Fumigation a potential solution for ‘tired potato land’

Not all land will show an effect however, so producers need to consider the strategy carefully

Soil fumigation is a good option for potato acres inflicted by yield-limiting pests, says Andy Robinson, a North Dakota State University extension potato specialist. Fumigation is used south of the border to control buildup of soil-borne pests causing verticillium wilt, potato early dying and other diseases. But fumigation hasn’t been widely adopted in Canada, unlike

An example of a hot spot detected with the FLIR One camera that gave no other indication of breakdown.

Managing potato diseases in storage

High-tech solutions can help to find problems before they’ve become critical

Whether it’s fresh or processing potatoes, any issue in storage needs to involve partnership with your end-user,” says Mary LeMere, an agronomy manager with McCain Foods based in Wisconsin. LeMere was at Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon, Man. January 24 to 26 to deliver “lightning advice” on three key topics — managing late blight