GFM Network News


The past two growing seasons have resulted in increased canola spoilage due to late and wet harvests.

Now is the time to start thinking about conditioning canola

Having the right setup and the manpower capacity for turning bins are keys to avoiding spoilage

Two late and wet harvests in a row have greatly increased canola spoilage — and upped the need to have a conditioning plan in place early on. “It’s really important to consider this topic now when there is time rather than being in the heat of harvest and having to make decisions,” said Lorne Grieger, […] Read more

Using aeration for drying can take 200 to 400 hours to drop moisture one to three per cent.

Timely tips for safe grain storage

Aeration is a slow process when drying grain, moisture circulation is tricky, and green seed poses additional problem

It has been a difficult and stuttering harvest this year with short periods of combining between showers and cool temperatures. “You might breathe a sigh of relief when harvesting is complete, but it really isn’t done until the grain ends up at the buyer’s and is paid for,” said crop specialist Harry Brook. “Maintain vigilance […] Read more


Stored grain has to be both cool and dry to minimize the risk of spoilage.

Drying grain may become the norm as harvests trend later

Natural air drying with supplemental heat hasn’t caught on in Alberta yet, but it soon could

Alberta farmers may need to get used to leaving grain in the field at harvest. “Harvest might be starting earlier, but poor weather during the harvest season is slowing down that last little bit of harvest, and there’s more and more crop being left in the field in October,” said Joy Agnew, program manager at […] Read more

Storage problems can start almost as soon as grain is loaded into bins.

Keep ‘unpleasant surprises’ out of your grain bins this fall

Don’t neglect the basics when storing grain or oilseeds, 
says provincial crop specialist

A little preparation prior to harvesting can ensure worry-free winter crop storage, says a provincial crop specialist. “Warm or wet conditions at harvest and multi-staged crops are potential ingredients for storage problems,” said Harry Brook. “Take the time to monitor the stored grain’s condition and cool those bins down. Don’t get an unpleasant surprise when […] Read more


The rusty grain beetle is ranked as the No. 1 pest most often found 
in stored grain.

Grain beetles appear to be on the rise this winter

A jump in inquiries about pesticide certificate program is a sign that grain pests are an issue, says crops specialist

Provincial officials have been fielding more requests this winter for the Farmer Pesticide Certificate Program for renewals or issuing new certificates, and grain beetles are the reason why. “We see it almost every year in southern Alberta, but it’s creeping up to central Alberta, too,” said crop specialist Harry Brook. “That is telling me that people are […] Read more

This little fellow breaks a lot of hearts at elevators every year. The rusty grain beetle is ranked as the No. 1 pest most often found in stored grain.

It happens too often — loads of grain rejected because of insects

It’s not uncommon for elevators to find insects in grain — but it’s entirely preventable by aerating properly

Loads of grain across the Prairies are being rejected as a result of insect contamination — but that’s pretty much par for the course at this time of year. “It’s something that’s actually pretty commonplace, so it’s not too surprising to hear,” said Brent Elliott, infestation control and sanitation officer with the Canadian Grain Commission. […] Read more


Checking the dugout should be on the winter prep list

Provincial water specialist offers his inspection to-do list and tips for protecting water quality

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to inspect your dugouts, says a provincial water specialist. An inspection should start with a check of the area that feeds into the dugout, said Dan Benson. “Make sure that this area is free of debris that might flow into your dugout,” he said. “A properly […] Read more

Harvest better than expected in most — but not all — areas

Expectations were low in many areas of the province, but yield and quality have generally been decent

This year’s crop quality and yields are better than expected, which comes as a major surprise to both farmers and agronomists across the province. “Even as late as seeding was done, the yield seems to be average or better than expected, which is surprising, when some canola was planted on the 7th or 8th of […] Read more


A lot can go wrong in the bin, particularly with canola, which can be “quite volatile” in storage, says the Canola Council of Canada.

Proper grain storage pays off

Getting grain to proper temperature and moisture levels is just the first step — constant monitoring is also vital

A grain producer’s hard work doesn’t end at harvest. “A tremendous amount of work goes into getting that crop to the point where you can actually put it in storage,” said Brent Elliott, infestation control and sanitation officer at the Canadian Grain Commission. “And once they’ve put it in storage, the common thought is, ‘OK, […] Read more

Follow storage guidelines to protect your stored pulses

Combining pulses when they’re tough reduces damage to seeds, but they then need to be dried down

Pulse crops retain their quality and maximize their marketability when a few grain storage guidelines are followed. Downgrading of pulses can occur when cracked seed coats or split seeds are present in the sample, or if a significant amount of seeds are heated or have a musty odour. The Canadian Grain Commission’s dry seed moisture […] Read more