GFM Network News


“My hackles rise when I hear people say farmers want to ‘douse’ their crops with chemicals or ‘slaughter’ their land with fertilizer.” – Robert Saik.

Food 5.0 challenges agriculture misconceptions

Book tackles fear of pesticides, GMOs and new technologies with facts and common sense

Author Robert Saik concludes his just-released book Food 5.0 with the following observation — “I have immense faith in our farmers to feed the future… we just have to let them.” The book is aimed at the 99.8 per cent of the population who Saik figures have no on-the-ground knowledge of modern agriculture and explains

Consumers and chemicals: The battle for a balanced pest management system

The preference of your customers is changing and it’s important for your business that you’re aware of it

The feud between farmers and pests is a never-ending story, and changes in consumer preferences might force producers to look at new ways to battle their microscopic foes. While farmers are in the midst of a constant struggle to protect their crops against bugs and diseases, at the same time consumers on a wide scale


Bayer cancels plans to sell U.S. crop product in 2020 over safety concerns

Chicago | Reuters – Bayer AG has scrapped plans for wide sales next year of a chemical that is intended to protect U.S. crops from yield-robbing worms, citing ongoing safety concerns. The decision is the latest setback for Germany-based Bayer following its acquisition of Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. Bayer is separately battling thousands of lawsuits claiming Monsanto’s glyphosate-based

U.S., Canada, 14 others slam EU farm product regulation at WTO

Geneva | Reuters — The United States and 15 other countries launched a broadside of criticism at the European Union on Thursday, saying its “hazard-based” approach to regulating pesticides and other “critical tools” used by farmers was damaging livelihoods worldwide. Their statement, submitted to the World Trade Organization, said the EU’s approach created great uncertainty

Farmers who maybe weren't too initially concerned about weed pressure will need to keep a close eye on fields.

A messy year for weeds

Farmers didn’t see many weeds early this year, but agronomists warned that the flush was coming

Manitoba’s spring weather may have set weeds back, but the spray season hasn’t been a picnic for farmers either. Provincial weed specialist Tammy Jones warns that producers might be in for a tough weed control season, despite cool temperatures and dry conditions keeping weeds from gaining ground early this year. Why it matters: Clean fields this spring may have


Kochia's fuzzy leaves makes treating it with a herbicide more of a challenge.

Dry year adds to spray considerations

Manitoba’s weather lately means weeds have toughened up and herbicides may have an uphill battle if weeds aren’t growing vigorously

This year has brought its own quirks to weed control. Kochia is out in force again this year, provincial weed specialist Tammy Jones said. The plants’ fuzzy leaves create their own challenges for herbicide contact, even if the kochia is not showing glyphosate resistance. Glyphosate-resistant kochia has become a significant headache and cause for worry

Agricultural plastics not part of federal ban

The federal government’s plan to halt Canada’s consumption of single-use plastics such as shopping bags, straws and stir sticks over the next couple of years won’t extend to farm chemical containers and grain bags. Cleanfarms, the national industry stewardship body operating waste management and recycling programs for agricultural packaging, said Thursday that plastic products such

The researchers started with a single seed of Amaranthus hypochondriacus, their test plant, and grew generations of the plant to produce the seeds they needed for their experiments.

New mutations for herbicide resistance rare

Most resistance seems to come from pre-existing genetic conditions

After exposing more than 70 million seeds to a soil-based herbicide, researchers at the University of Illinois were not able to find a single herbicide-resistant mutant. Though preliminary, the findings suggest that the mutation rate in amaranth is very low, and that low-level herbicide application contributes little — if anything — to the onset of


More debate yet to come on neonics

Health Canada has satisfied its concern with three neonicotinoid insecticides and pollinator risk, but a decision to protect aquatic insects may yet take those chemistries off the table

Health Canada’s April decisions on three neonicotinoid insecticides won’t change much for growers this year — but it also won’t be the last word on the subject. Producers will still have access to most imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam uses following the April 11 ruling. In 2016, the federal government announced plans to phase out imidacloprid

Even less competitive crops can benefit from an integrated weed management strategy.

Crop establishment important for weed management

Combining many tools into an overall integrated weed management strategy is a winner

There are many components to integrated weed management (IWM) including crop rotation, seeding rates, chemical, cultural and mechanical controls, but one of the most vital aspects of any successful IWM is crop establishment, says Dr. Rob Gulden of the University of Manitoba. At this year’s Crops-A-Palooza event in Portage la Prairie, researchers including Gulden manned