GFM Network News


This is a cabbage butterfly caterpillar feeding on an Arabidopsis plant where, on an adjacent leaf, a piece of reflective tape helps record vibrations.

Plants can hear the difference

They respond differently to vibrations caused by 
chewing insects than to wind

University of Missouri-Columbia – Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found plants can not only tell the difference between the sound waves caused by insects chewing and wind but they respond with more defences. ‘We found that feeding vibrations signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks

The drones are coming to a sky near you

Most folks have heard about the use of drones for military purposes, but there is a much better future for these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as they are officially called, in the world of agriculture. A number of universities and research agencies are already busily investigating their use mainly for crop surveillance of diseases and


Dandelions versus pesticides on the playground

Many, if not all, of the province’s school divisions plan to conduct “pesticide control” on school property to control dandelions and other unsightly weeds. I have a problem with this for several reasons. Firstly, when did unsightly plants become a problem within schoolgrounds that require poisons to eradicate? And to whom are they unsightly, the

Parrish & Heimbecker has a Faller wheat contract for 2013

Parrish & Heimbecker will contract around 10,000 acres of Faller, an unregistered American wheat, under an identity-preserved program with farmers in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan this spring, says John Devos, the company’s manager of seed and chemical. P & H is the second grain company to offer such a program and there could be more,



Wheat could be the next canola

Industry insiders say $2.2 billion will be pumped into wheat research in the coming decade and that will be a game changer

If research into the crop pays off, King Wheat is ready to elbow aside canola, say some industry experts. Seed and chemical companies are pumping up their research and will soon be turning out new seed varieties, treatments and fungicides, Todd Ormann, head of crop portfolio for cereals at Syngenta Canada, told attendees at the

Barry Todd retires March 1

Barry Todd knows what he’s going to miss most as he prepares for retirement after serving Manitoba’s agricultural sector more than three decades — the people Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural initiatives’ (MAFRI) deputy minister retires March 1 after almost 32 years with the department, including the last 10 as acting and then the permanent

Popular herbicide may be linked to increased pathogen virulence, says Huber

Emeritus professor from Purdue University and former U.S. army bioweapons expert points to 
growing evidence of potential harm from genetic engineering and herbicide “abuse”

Don Huber may not be a big fan of organic agriculture, but he’s become a hero among organic farmers with his contention that glyphosate is less benign than its promoters crack it up to be. Huber an emeritus professor of Plant Pathology from Purdue University, isn’t backing down, even though some dismiss him as a


New technology with old herbicides

Agroup of seven extension staff from Ohio’s Purdue University have issued a publication on the pros and cons of 2,4-D- and dicamba-tolerant crops. Two companies are set to introduce these products in combination with glyphosate as a means of controlling weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate alone. Opponents say that widespread use of these

Man awarded $7.2 million in ‘popcorn lung’ lawsuit

Reuters / A U.S. Federal Court jury has awarded a Colorado man $7.2 million in damages for developing a chronic condition known as “popcorn lung” from a chemical used in flavouring microwave popcorn. Jurors agreed with the claims by Wayne Watson, 59, that the popcorn manufacturer and the supermarket chain that sold it were negligent