GFM Network News


Angie Cormier demonstrates how to use the wash station that her dad designed
 and fabricated for their farm.

Strawberry business booms after slow start

COVID safety measures tricky but didn’t dampen demand

Strawberries were the new toilet paper this summer, says one grower. As in — people snapped them up so fast they were hard to come by. “Huge demand, not enough supply,” said Angie Cormier, who farms with husband Darren near La Salle. “Everyone has just seen an increase in customer flow.” The uptick in strawberry

U-pick operations to open with safety precautions

Online stores set up to assist sales of pre-picked berries

U-picks for strawberries, saskatoon berries and other fruits will open this June with safety measures in place, the Prairie Fruit Growers Association announced on May 20. PFGA, which represents 70 U-pick farms in Manitoba, has been working with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development fruit crops specialist, Anthony Mintenko, to develop COVID-19 guidelines. “Some of the


Planning your preserves

Now is a good time to think about what your summer calendar looks like, how you’re going to manage your freezer space and how you’ll fit in preserving all of your favourites

As I finish planting the last of my garden, my thoughts turn to preserving. It seems early to think about canning, jamming and freezing, but now’s the perfect time to plan what, when and how I will preserve my favourite fruits and vegetables. Unlike last year, I do not want to miss blueberry season again.

Commercial greenhouse production in Manitoba has an overall value estimated at $36.6 million to the provincial economy. Direct employment from these operations is estimated at 324 full-time equivalent jobs annually.

New report spotlights high-value horticulture

Total value of production from horticultural crops is estimated at roughly $100 million a year

A new report shows Manitoba’s horticultural producers are punching well above their weight when it comes to contributing to the provincial economy. There are relatively few fruit and vegetable growers, plus those producing sod, other nursery crops such as flowers and trees, and greenhouse operations — yet together their production is worth roughly $100 million

There are U-pick operations around the province getting ready to greet 
the season’s visitors.

It’s fruit-picking time

Prairie Fare: Make the most of Manitoba’s short season

We are fortunate to have an incredible variety of fruit here on the Prairies. We have apples, cherries, choke­cherries, crabapples, currants, gooseberries, grapes, has­kaps or honeyberries, melons, pears, plums, raspberries, saskatoons, strawberries and many more. It’s enough to make one’s mouth water. Our beautiful, jewel-coloured fruit is high in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients making it


Strawberry fields hit by winterkill

Fruit growers’ association would like to see crop insurance made available to its 
sector to help stabilize incomes against these kinds of losses

Some strawberry growers will have fewer berries on offer this season, due to an unusually cold winter killing off many of their plants. These growers are reporting losses of anywhere from 20 per cent to about half their crop gone. Their fields couldn’t withstand the intense periods of cold we experienced this past winter, said

Manitoba’s fruit growers are expecting 2016 to tally good or better-than-average yields of strawberries, saskatoons, raspberries and cherries, despite persistent rain and lingering worries about a return of spotted wing drosophila.

Growers vigilant for fly that can devastate fruit crops

This season has had its share of disease and weather pressures, but above-average fruit crops are being reported

Manitoba’s fruit growers are keeping a close eye for signs of spotted wing drosophila, aiming to avoid the toll the tiny fly took on fruit crops last year. Some growers have already detected it and have applied an approved insecticide to combat against another infestation, provincial fruit crops specialist Anthony Mintenko said July 14. The

Is there a ‘stalk’ market in rhubarb?

Research at Portage la Prairie explores potential for commercial production of rhubarb

My parents had a rhubarb patch they harvested for years and years. A sturdy crown divided off it still grows full bore in my backyard. Just how long can rhubarb last? A much bigger patch being established at the Agriculture Canada station (formerly the Central Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre) at Portage la Prairie this summer


High tunnel production has potential to extend the Manitoba grower’s season, says MAFRD’s fruit crops specialist Anthony Mintenko. He and the provincial vegetable crop specialist are evaluating fruit and vegetable crops for high tunnel production at the AAFC site at Portage la Prairie.

Researchers study how to extend the growing season

MAFRD is looking at how well these oversize cold frames 
can extend horticultural growing seasons


A production system that extends the growing season, offers growers a competitive edge in the marketplace and potential to make more money sounds mighty tempting. That’s why fruit and vegetable growers were out in large numbers at Hort Diagnostic Days in late July to hear more about construction of high tunnels. This is the first

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a vinegar (fruit) fly of East Asian origin that can damage many crops by piercing healthy fruit and laying its eggs.

Spotted Wing Drosophila an unwelcome visitor to fruit farms this summer

MAFRD began monitoring for SWD in 2013 and this is the worst year yet, say provincial fruit crops specialist

Altona-area fruit grower Waldo Thiessen knew what was wrong immediately when his U-pick customers started calling back a few hours after their first day in his raspberry patch in mid-July. “They said they’d started to make jam, and, well, there was a lot of protein (in the raspberries),” he said. It was larvae of spotted