GFM Network News


A look at snow and super-cooled water

The water in our atmosphere has to be colder than 0 C before it’s cold enough to freeze

As we slowly work our way toward winter and several locations across the Prairies have seen snow, I thought it might be time to revisit the icy topic of snow. Instead of jumping straight into our discussion we’ll look at the process that creates precipitation in cold clouds, which, in our part of the world,

A milk and ochre paint mixture used 49,000 years ago at Sibudu, South Africa. Researchers used chemical analysis to determine the origins of paint flakes found on ancient stones.

Milk, paint, wild beasts and an ancient African mystery

People were making paint long before previously thought

Around 49,000 years ago, someone in what is today South Africa mixed milk with ochre to produce a paint mixture. What the paint was used for remains unknown. But what is startling is that it was made earlier than the first previously known use of the paint — 47,000 years earlier. The mixture was preserved


Blackleg infections girdle canola stalks preventing the plant from taking up moisture and nutrients. Sometimes the disease will appear in strips of what appears to be prematurely ripening canola, which occurs sometimes with sclerotinia, another fungal disease that attacks canola.

To spray or not to spray canola for blackleg?

Longer canola rotations and switching varieties can reduce the need and cost of a fungicide

The best time to spray canola with a fungicide to control blackleg is at the two- to four-leaf stage, but there are things farmers can do to avoid having to spray at all and save money, says Anastasia Kubinec, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s (MAFRD) oilseed specialist. “Blackleg becomes a greater risk when you

La Salle Redboine Conservation District manager Justin Reid spoke to municipal and conservation officials during the latest phase of the large-scale water-retention project south of Holland last week.

Pelly’s Lake watershed management project complete

Officials visit site to see the gates opened on the now complete Pelly’s Lake Watershed Management Project

Conservation and municipal officials opened the gates here June 16 to release water that had been held back through the spring as part of a water control project expected to bring multiple benefits to the area. The June opening of the gates on the Pelly’s Lake dam built last year is the latest phase of

Test your water before sending cattle out to pasture

Less run-off could make for water quality problems

Limited snowmelt and the lack of rainfall this spring means producers should have the water quality in their pastures tested before turning their livestock out to pasture, North Dakota State University Extension Service specialists advise. “Reduced rainfall means less water from run-off into stock dams,” says John Dhuyvetter, area extension livestock specialist at the North


Phosphorus acid has been effective in controlling silver scurf, a disease which causes blemishes on potatoes for the fresh market.

Phosphorus acid a strong option for disease control in potatoes

Both foliar or post-harvest application are options, depending on circumstances

Phosphorus acid was a much-discussed topic at Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon this year, and for good reason. A variety of phosphorus acid treatments, registered in Canada under the labels Phostrol, Rampart and Confine, are useful additions to growers’ tool boxes for disease control. Susan Ainsworth, a potato specialist for Syngenta in Manitoba, offered

CLUBROOT: Farmers betting on resistant varieties as infestation spreads

Experts tell farmers with infected fields to thoroughly clean equipment before moving to 
a new field, but many question whether the time-consuming chore is worth it

Farmers in the epicentre of Western Canada’s clubroot infestation are easing back on containment efforts and betting resistant varieties will save the day — even as leading researchers are warning it could be a losing wager. Since first being discovered in an Alberta field in 2003, the soil-borne disease has spread to more than 1,000

Liquid nitrogen splash puts KAP president in hospital

Keystone Agricultural Producers president Doug Chorney got a crash course in farm safety this spring after a seemingly benign splash of liquid nitrogen landed him in hospital with severe dehydration. The Selkirk-area farmer was decoupling a pressurized hose May 15 when he was sprayed with liquid nitrogen. Sunglasses protected his eyes and he washed it


Young drivers need more instruction on country roads

Manitoba Women’s Institute says beginning drivers should be given hands-on practice on unpaved roads

Do young drivers get enough instruction on how to safely drive country roads? The Manitoba Women’s Institute doesn’t think so, and wants hands-on practice on unpaved surfaces to be part of drivers’ education. Beginning drivers should be required to spend a specified amount of time driving on gravel and other unpaved surfaces, said Justina Hop,

Two quick tips

Phoney foliage I am not a great fan of fake flowers and foliage, but I do have a few sprigs of good-quality artificial foliage that I use from time to time. It came in handy this spring when I received my bunch of Cancer Society daffodils. I stuck them into a vase but the arrangement