GFM Network News


Loretta Mayer speaks about rat sterilization.

Menopausal rats could prove solution to rodent problem

The invention has proven it can successfully reduce rodent populations, 
but a cash injection is needed to scale it up

An Arizona-based company has developed a rat-control product that could spell the end of the adage, if you have one rat, there are probably more. “I call it rat-o-pause,” SenesTech CEO Loretta Mayer told a crowd at the annual Agri Innovation Forum in Winnipeg last month, explaining the compound her company has developed essentially causes

Kelly Patzer, Bayer CropScience’s cereals development manager, says Bayer’s plant health compound shows a lot of promise and is expected to have its biggest impact in Canada because crops here are usually under more stress than in other growing areas around the world.  Photos: Allan Dawson

Bayer says ‘plant health compound’ combats stress

It sounds almost to good to be true — spring wheat yields averaging 6.5 per cent higher when treated with what Bayer CropScience calls a “plant health compound.” Bayer has yet to disclose the exact nature of the experimental product, but says it boosts yields by reducing plant stress. The results are based on 19


People want to genuinely love the place they live, a Calgary marketing strategist tells Manitoba municipal leaders.

How to kill your community

A marketing strategist warns local leaders 
of what comes from rejecting change and 
acting ‘dumb’ so less is expected of them


Revised, Dec. 13, 2013 — All small-town coffee shops should have a designated ‘be happy’ section, says Chris Fields. Coffee shop critics with all their “nattering and chittering” are part of what’s killing rural communities, says Fields, a senior marketing strategist with the Alberta-based Twist Marketing Firm. “Coffee shops are horrible places for that. They’re

KAP president tells ag minister rail service unacceptable

Gerry Ritz says rail performance, which is being monitored, 
is adequate given the big crop to move

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he has yet to see conclusive proof that the railways aren’t doing an adequate job moving this year’s bumper crop to market. “I hear a lot of anecdotal evidence and I follow it up and say, ‘give me the car numbers… give me the dates,’ and nobody can, nobody has,”

Canada leads efforts to convince importers to dump zero tolerance

Canada is leading efforts to get an international agreement that would see countries accept small amounts of unapproved genetically modified (GM) crops in their imports, says Dennis Stephens. And the Oakbank-based secretary of the International Grain Trade Coalition credits Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz for leading the charge. Ritz, along with Canada’s flax industry, experienced first



AAFC official says private companies needed to fill wheat research gap

There’s a multimillion-dollar wheat research funding gap in Canada that the private sector needs to fill, says Stephen Morgan Jones, director general of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Prairie/Boreal Ecozone. It will require stronger plant breeders’ rights rules and partnerships with publicly funded researchers, he told the Grain Industry Symposium Nov. 20 organized by the

New Taiwan bird flu shows animal virus risk to humans

A woman in Taiwan has become the first person in the world with a confirmed case of a new strain of bird flu, adding to a growing body of evidence of the potential threat from animal viruses that mutate to be able to infect people. Scientists from Taiwan said the infection — with a bird


Teachers see a much different dynamic in their classroom compared to 25 years ago, says Alison Delf-Timmerman, Treherne-based home economics teacher in the Prairie Spirit School Division and board member of Manitoba Association of Home Economists (MAHE).

Province promises long-overdue update of home economics curriculum

Curricula used to teach classes such as family studies and foods and nutrition in 
Manitoba schools has remained unchanged since the late 1980s

Manitoba home economists are applauding a provincial plan to give the home economics curriculum a long-overdue update. The current one is 25 years old, said Alison Delf-Timmerman, a board member of the Manitoba Association of Home Economists, which has been asking the province to freshen up the curriculum. “It definitely needs updating,” she said.“We’re very

Farrowing rates : going back to basics and paying attention to detail

Maximizing farrowing rate requires a focus on the basic aspects of management and close attention to detail, Steinbach, Manitoba-based veterinarian Dr. Blaine Tully told delegates at the recent Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop. He was describing the findings from his work carrying out fertility assessments on swine farms across Canada over the last three years.