GFM Network News

Manitoba’s agriculture history started long before the sodbusters arrived

Researchers say plants such as lamb’s quarters aren’t here by accident, and growing corn goes back more than a millennium

Does it ever seem that unrelenting weeds such as lamb’s quarters and amaranth were somehow bred to thrive on the Canadian Prairie? In fact, they were. But if you think corn is a new crop in this part of the world, think again — Aboriginal farmers were growing it more than a millennium ago. Technology

Fighting more deserts

When I went to the barber in Swift Current in the summer of 1937 to get a haircut and shave, he said the haircut was OK but he had quit shaving people. I asked “how come” and he said he couldn’t keep an edge on the razor anymore. With the terrible dust and the shortage

AgCanada boss says budget cuts won’t affect fusarium head blight research

Recently retired plant pathologists Andy Tekauz and Jeannie Gilbert will be replaced, 
but the positions will be in Morden, not Winnipeg

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada isn’t easing up in the battle against fusarium head blight, says the director general for the department’s Prairie/Boreal Plain Ecozone. “Fusarium work is a high priority,” said Stephen Morgan Jones. “It is, along with the rust diseases, a very high priority for us.” Jones said two recently retired fusarium experts from

Pullouts hit CFA finances

The Canadian Pork Council, along with the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Horticultural Council, are no longer members of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Not only do the departures throw a big spanner into CFA’s finances, they have some observers questioning whether it can still claim to be the country’s main national farm organization.

A new wheat and barley association another step closer

Manitoba farmers are a step closer to establishing a new spring wheat and barley association to collect voluntary checkoffs for wheat and barley research and marketing. An interim seven-member board of directors met Feb. 15 in Winnipeg and Dauphin-area farmer Don Dewar, a former president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), was selected as chair.

New Prairie Improvement Network launches this week

The Prairie Improvement Network (PIN) is the new name for what will now be the former Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council (MRAC) as its advocacy role for rural development expands in a post-federal funding era. Since its formation in 1996, MRAC has administered Manitoba’s share of federal Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) funding to jump start

Leaders keen to see farm robotics and “smarter” crops

Participants in a vision session like the idea of robots operating 
equipment 24/7 but still want people on the scene

Robotics, “smarter” crops, and equipment that’s easier to operate and maintain topped the wish list of 30 Saskatchewan agricultural leaders who recently participated in a “vision session” organized by the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute. “Sessions like this are essential to ensure that our research is focused on producing the new technologies farmers want and need,”

Food Development Centre eyes increased cost recovery

The Manitoba Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie has raised its rates for the first time in 14 years. Manitoba clients recently saw their rates increase by five per cent, while out-of-province clients have experienced a 13 per cent increase. “These increases are needed to ensure it is recovering cost and to more accurately

No till doesn’t mean “never till,” says adviser

It may seem like heresy, but shallow plowing once every seven years 
could help rather than hurt soil quality

It’s still possible to catch a glimpse of a moldboard plow now and then on the Prairies. Usually, they can be seen rusting away peacefully in the bushes near an abandoned farm yard, or taking one last ride on the back of a scrap metal truck. That’s where the older plows belong, said Pat Lynch,