GFM Network News


Herbicide injury guide now online

The Herbicide Action and Injury guide is now available online. The guide looks at pesticides, their modes of action and the identifying symptoms of each herbicide action on susceptible plants. It is useful for the initial diagnosis of plant injury and for further investigation into the causes of crop damage from herbicides, crop specialist Harry […] Read more

Fact sheets of pulse varieties available

Pulse varietal fact sheets are now available. “Important agronomic characteristics and disease-resistance information are provided for varieties of field pea, lentil, fababean, dry bean and soybean,” said Alex Fedko, crop research technologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. In 2019, 16 seed companies submitted entries for testing at up to 20 locations across Alberta and northern […] Read more


Annual forages offer benefits, says forage specialist

Annual pastures allow you to properly rest their perennial cousins and can be used for silage or greenfeed

Annual forages offer a couple of advantages for producers, says a provincial forage and beef specialist. “By seeding annual pastures, producers can give stressed perennial pastures a rest,” said Karin Lindquist. “If those pastures are rested early in the spring and following rain, they can produce good amounts of growth later in the summer. However, […] Read more

2020 elm pruning ban soon to start

Alberta’s elm pruning ban starts April 1. To prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease, burn, bury or properly chip pruned elm wood and elm firewood by March 31. The Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease (STOPDED) encourages everyone to pay attention to the provincial elm pruning ban, which will be in place until Sept. […] Read more


Spring termination of hay land brings challenges

Fall is the better time as spring termination will delay seeding and will result in moisture loss

Producers should consider a number of factors before deciding to terminate hay land in the spring in order to seed an annual crop. “Traditionally, forage stands have been terminated in the fall by using one of three approaches — tillage only, herbicide application combined with tillage, and herbicide application followed by direct seeding into sod,” said […] Read more

A sample of some of the wireworms and click beetles found in Alberta.

‘We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to wireworms

Populations are growing and control methods shrinking, says provincial crop specialist

Wireworm damage to field crops is poised to escalate, says a provincial crop specialist. “For several decades, Lindane (Vitavax Dual, etc.) insecticide applied to crops on the Canadian Prairies kept wireworm numbers low,” said Neil Whatley, crop specialist at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre. “Since the ban of this organochlorine pesticide in 2004, wireworm damage in […] Read more


Even after flames are no longer visible and burn pile has collapsed, the fire may not be entirely extinguished.

Don’t let a winter burn come back to life

Stick a metal rod or stick into the ash pile to ensure the fire is well and truly out

With wildfire season underway and snow still on the ground, now is a good time to ensure your winter burns are completely extinguished. “We typically see landowners burning as they try to clear woody debris off their land and turn it to agricultural purposes. We see windrows and machine-piled brush piles that are burned in […] Read more

More U.S. cattle head North

Live cattle imports from the U.S. are up sharply, says a provincial livestock market analyst. From January to November, nearly 243,000 non-purebred head were imported, an increase of 40 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, said Jason Wood. “Alberta non-purebred cattle imports were more than 145,000 head for the January to November […] Read more


More farmers are requesting permits to use pesticides to kill grain beetles in their bins. But the fumigant Phostoxin doesn’t work when temperatures are below 12 C.

Grain beetles on the rise after wet harvest

Requests for pesticide certificates are up, likely because more grain is being turned away at elevators

Farmers are finding more grain beetles and that has provincial ag officials fielding more requests for renewals or issuing new certificates under the Farmer Pesticide Certificate Program. “We see it almost every year in southern Alberta, but it’s creeping up to central Alberta, too,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “After the very difficult harvest, […] Read more

Bite-sized lowdown on ag economics

New series looks at economic trends in Alberta’s agricultural and agri-food industries

Producers can turn to a new series that looks at economic trends in Alberta’s agricultural and agri-food industries. Called ‘Explained in Brief,’ the fact sheets cover topics including farm economics and cost of production, economic impacts of crop and livestock diseases, and environmental and trade issues. “Agricultural economic topics can be complex,” said provincial research […] Read more