GFM Network News


Cutworms. (Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Prairie growers on lookout as insects seize opportunity

Dry conditions, delayed seeding lift pest counts

MarketsFarm — With most Prairie growers’ newly seeded crops already up against dry conditions, growers remain on the lookout for insects which further threaten the health of those seedlings. Considering the high prices of many crops this season, the potential damage would be more costly. John Gavloski, entomologist for Manitoba Agriculture, said there is a […] Read more

A mayfly on water. (SBTheGreenMan/iStock/Getty Images)

Federal reprieve for imidacloprid cuts its application rates

Proposal for near-total ban rejected in Health Canada's final decision

A member of the neonicotinoid family of insesticides and seed treatments has been pulled back from the brink of an all-out ban in Health Canada’s final re-evaluation ruling. Most agricultural uses of imidacloprid — sold by Bayer under brands such as Gaucho, Merit and Admire, and by Adama under brands such as Alias and Sombrero […] Read more


Flea beetle. (Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Forecast, flea beetles complicate canola timing

Dry conditions make ideal seeding time difficult to peg

Drought conditions, and the odds of more to come, have some Prairie canola growers pondering when to roll the dice on seeding, if they want to do more than feed the flea beetles. Small-seeded crops, such as canola, have garnered particular concern from agronomists and producers worried about germination, given power dry topsoil across much […] Read more

We know beneficial insects eat crop pests — ladybugs, for example, love aphids — but now Alberta researchers armed with advanced DNA tools are taking a deep dive into their eating habits. The goal is to identify top pest predators and find ways to enhance their numbers in fields.

Next-gen DNA sequencing aims to find the best beneficial bugs

U of A researchers using advanced tech to find what’s on the menu of your insect allies

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s like a scene out of the movie “Jaws.” The intrepid scientist reaches his hand into the gut of a shark and pulls out what it had for dinner — a different fish or maybe, in the case of sharks, a tin can. He knows, just by examining those contents, what this predator likes to […] Read more


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Drought Monitor map for the Prairie provinces as of April 30, 2021. (AAFC)

‘Extreme drought’ expands in Prairies

Southern Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan parched

MarketsFarm — The newly released map from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Drought Monitor (CDM) shows the Prairies’ ongoing drought getting worse. According to AAFC’s nationwide map released on Friday, southwestern Manitoba, parts of southern Saskatchewan and the southeast corner of Alberta are under CDM’s classification of Extreme (D3) drought as of April 30. Communities […] Read more

There is substantive evidence that regenerative farming is the future, as our current system will only ‘sustain’ for a short period of historical time.

Schoepp: To sustain is one thing, to regenerate is something else

Sustainable agriculture has been a step forward but it is not the end of the journey

Reading Time: 3 minutes For the past decade the focus on food and farming has been on sustainable systems. To be sustainable means to meet production needs without compromising the future, particularly our future natural resources. To farm sustainably is to ‘do no further harm’ or to maintain the current balance and to accept a level of accountability for […] Read more


A Halictus bee on an aster. This is an example of the native bees that live in Alberta and thrive on diverse plant species.

Native pollinators want to be your buddies

Some simple things can make your land more attractive to pollinators

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s no denying that native pollinators are important — and there are things you can do to encourage these keystone species to come live on your land. Native pollinators are critical for forages and crops, agroforestry specialist Luke Wonneck said during a recent Foothills Forage and Grazing Association webinar. “Pollination is plant sex. Because plants […] Read more

Wheat midge is an “insidious” thief of both yield and quality, says entomologist Tyler Wist, seen here demonstrating how to sweep for the pest.

Keep watch for wheat midge this growing season

This silent killer is a ‘big bad’ threat and may be out in force in some areas this year

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ask any wheat farmer about orange blossom wheat midge and they may tell you it’s the ‘big bad’ of crop insects and comparable to fusarium in terms of pure destructive power. “It’s kind of insidious,” said AgCanada entomologist Tyler Wist. “Often if you’re not out looking for it you don’t even know it’s there. Then […] Read more


The new $70-million grasslands conservation effort will allow hundreds of Prairie ranchers to do projects on their land, says Tamara Carter, a Saskatchewan producer recently hired as the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s director of prairie grassland conservation.

Grasslands conservation effort gets $70-million boost

Major grasslands initiative to fund 800 stewardship projects across the Prairies

Reading Time: 4 minutes There have been a lot of grasslands conservation efforts, but none as large as the Weston Family Prairie Grasslands Initiative. Five organizations are being given nearly $25 million by the Weston Family Foundation for what may be the largest grasslands conservation effort ever in Canada. And each of the five groups will be committing additional […] Read more

A mayfly on water. (SBTheGreenMan/iStock/Getty Images)

Health Canada steps back from bans on two neonics

New limits, some cancellations to be put in place

A federal proposal to protect aquatic insect habitat by cancelling all registered outdoor uses for two popular ag insecticides has been walked back in a major way. Health Canada on Wednesday announced its special review decisions on the risks to aquatic bug life from the use of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, both pesticides and seed treatments […] Read more