GFM Network News


Oddly shaped tubers are a risk from both glyphosate and dicamba exposure. NDSU research shows both chemicals can affect tuber production.

Dicamba drift a new danger for potato growers

Glyphosate has always been an issue, but new Xtend soybeans will likely see more dicamba applied

Crop damage caused by herbicide drift should be a risk on Manitoba potato producers’ radar this year. Soybean producers are gearing up to plant Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans following European Union approval last summer. The soybeans are tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides. But dicamba drift can cause irreparable damage in neighbouring potato

Photo: File

Five reasons to hold off on swathing canola

When exactly is the right time to cut that swath? Here are the reasons to wait

According to Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, there’s been a real shift in the industry when it comes to canola swath timing. “I think there’s a much better understanding of the economics and yield benefit of waiting to swath,” she says. “My impression is that the early swathing that happens is done


Pink rot can mean significant storage losses, and a key control product is under threat from resistance.

Canadian potato growers may lose Ridomil for pink rot

Phosphites offer growers a strong alternative control option for pink rot

Canadian potato growers may be destined to lose the use of Ridomil to control pink rot. The issue is most serious in Prince Edward Island, where observers say the active ingredient metalaxyl is on the verge of being rendered ineffective. To some degree it is a looming problem across the country, according to a recent

Wireworm are set to take a bite out of potato fields and can be tough to control.

Manitoba potato growers brace for wireworm issue

The loss of Lindane then Thimet has resulted in growing and booming wireworm populations across Canada

A budding wireworm problem for Prairie potato growers is the result of losing two key chemical control products. According to Bob Vernon, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Agassiz, B.C., that lack of control options makes it a question of when, not if, the problem shows up. First the organophochlorine pesticide Lindane

European corn borer might prefer grain crops normally, but it’s not opposed to settling into a potato crop too if conditions are right.

Corn borers develop taste for potatoes

Canadian potato growers found a new insect foe in the 2015 season — European corn borer. Ordinarily the pest prefers maize and other grain crops, but when conditions are right it will move on and hit other crops hard, including potatoes. Ian MacRae, an extension entomologist at Minnesota’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center, told Manitoba


P.E.I. potato grower Gary Linkletter told his Manitoba colleagues biosecurity makes good business sense during a presentation at Manitoba Potato Productions Days.

Biosecurity a good business decision

Getting biosecurity right prevents losing money to disease and pests

Biosecurity should be top of mind for potato growers, according to Prince Edward Island potato producer Gary Linkletter. Linkletter brought his grower’s perspective to a presentation on biosecurity at Manitoba Potato Production Days, held in Brandon, Man. from January 26 to 28. Offering examples from his own experiences on his fourth-generation, 1,700-acre potato operation, Linkletter

Blackleg is just one disease that can be caused by strains of the Dickeya pathogen.

Use only local seed to slow Dickeya and other pathogens

Europe has been grappling with a similar problem for years 
and we should learn from its experience

Imported seed bearing new pathogens is a threat to the Canadian potato industry, according to a U.S. researcher. Neil Gudmestad, a distinguished professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, was in Brandon this January to deliver a lecture on the importance of planting locally produced seed at Manitoba Potato Production Days. “There are

A pea/oat/tillage radish cover crop seeded in early August, pictured on October 17.

Cover crops breaking out of livestock niche

Benefits of cover crops shown to accrue to grain portion of mixed operations, causing some without livestock to consider them

Cover crops could be a game changer for Manitoba, and not just for mixed crop and livestock operations. Typically those farms have been the earliest adopters of this new technique, said Michael Thiele, who works with the province’s grazing clubs through a Ducks Unlimited program. “These guys growing cover crops are finding that using and


The state of Minnesota has made buffer zones mandatory as a way of protecting streams from nutrient run-off. But a Manitoba researcher says they may not be as effective as first believed.

New research raises red flag over buffer strips

A University of Manitoba researcher says riparian buffer 
strips may not be the answer to preventing nutrient run-off

New research from the Univer­­sity of Manitoba raises questions over the effectiveness of buffer strips often used around cropland to filter out nutrients before they reach waterways in run-off. David Lobb, senior research chair for the Watershed Systems Research Program and a University of Manitoba soil science professor, says riparian buffer strips are “highly inefficient”

Phosphorus recovery can complement source reduction

Phosphorus recovery can complement source reduction

Globally, it's estimated that one-third of all phosphorous applied is lost to water due to erosion, leaching and run-off

A Manitoba engineer says phosphorus (P) recovery methods can be an important addition to the province’s phosphorus management strategies. Francesco Zurzolo, an engineer specializing in nutrient management and reduction with Dillon Consulting, says Manitoba is dealing with eutrophication and destruction of important ecosystems due to P buildup. Zurzolo spoke at the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association’s