GFM Network News


A canola council project looking at beneficial insects in wetlands, shelterbelts, and other insect habitats caused a Twitter firestorm when farmers thought the organization was partnering with Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Confusing canola council tweet ‘bugs’ farmers

Tweet suggested council and Ducks Unlimited were partnering in agronomy project on beneficial insects

A tweet that suggested the Canola Council of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada were working together on an agronomy project prompted a firestorm of angry comments. The tweet, posted on Feb. 1, was about a project on beneficial insects in wetlands, shelterbelts, and other insect habitats. The idea of the canola council and Ducks Unlimited […] Read more

China’s decision to get back at Canada by severely restricting canola seed imports made news all year long.

The Year That Was: China punishes Prairie farmers

For crop growers, China’s canola seed ban was the big news story of 2019

China’s near-total ban on Canadian canola seed dominated the news cycle in the past year. “The biggest challenge we faced through 2019 was the blockage of canola seed shipments to China,” said Jim Everson, president of Canola Council of Canada. “China is, of course, a very significant market for canola seed, oil, and meal, but […] Read more


John Guelly tweeted this photo during this year’s harvest with the warning: “When ur out swathing, spraying or harvesting, keep an eye out 4 patches that look brown & dead like this.” Although clubroot wasn’t the cause in this case, taking a proactive approach is critical to managing the disease, which is continuing its relentless march across the province.

The Year That Was: Clubroot continued its deadly march in 2019

The disease didn't make the headlines in 2019 but its assault on Alberta continued

The rapid spread of clubroot in the last decade will continue in the coming one if canola growers don’t start to get ahead of the disease. “The resistance is being overcome already, and some of those cases are pretty significant and serious infestations,” said Dan Orchard, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada. “In […] Read more

The discovery of a new strain of clubroot in Manitoba is a reminder that all canola growers need to have a clubroot management plan, the canola council says.

New clubroot strain found in Manitoba sends a message to all canola growers

Discovery is a reminder growers need to ‘take this disease seriously and implement clubroot management plans’

The discovery of a new clubroot strain not controlled by traditional resistant canola varieties underscores the need to be proactive in keeping clubroot spore numbers low. “This is yet another cue for the industry to continue to take this disease seriously and implement clubroot management plans,” said Dan Orchard, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council […] Read more


If you seed 20 plants per square foot, an average of 10 will emerge, says the Canola Council of Canada — a number that provides insurance in case frost, pests, and disease kill off a few more seedlings. But if conditions are good, 
you could lower your seeding rate.

Dealing with the canola crisis on your farm

Controlling costs, marketing plans, and finances should all be on your radar

No one can predict what China will do next when it comes to Canadian canola. There are certain things that you can do on your farm, but producers face some tough decisions when it comes to deciding what to spend on inputs, when to pull the trigger on sales, and whether to take a large […] Read more

It’s not hard to guess which plot had phosphate placed in the seed row — that would be the canola on the right (which had P applied at a rate of 15 pounds per acre) while the plot on the left did not. Putting phosphate in the row is tricky when the seed is small or conditions dry.

Make sure your seed and fertilizer can get along

Side- and mid-row banding help, but watch that P in the seed row — especially in a dry spring

Fertilizer and seed are what you might call the best of frenemies. They need each other but if conditions aren’t right, one of them (in this case, the seed) is likely to get hurt. And that goes double if you’re growing a small-seed crop like canola under dry conditions. Three of the biggest concerns canola […] Read more


Canola is currently being used to backfill other plant oils. Buyers in China are still in need of oil, but are looking for other varieties to meet their demand.

To store or sell canola? That is the question

As grain companies try to boost sales in other countries, growers ponder long-term storage

China’s ban on Canadian canola means that farmers have to take different strategies this year. Some are planning to store their canola on farm, while others are planning to sell. “Anything that has been ordered already, companies are honouring those canola contracts,” said Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. “They’re pencilling […] Read more

Richardson International, which spent $140 million to expand its port terminal in North Vancouver in 2016, had its registration to ship canola to China cancelled on March 1 — a move that sent shock waves through the entire canola sector.

Growers fear a China crisis over canola

Farmers are worried but quiet diplomacy is the best option, says Alberta Canola official

Wait and hope. And test. That’s about all Alberta canola growers can do as what appears to be political gamesmanship by China plays out. News that Canada’s biggest buyer of the oilseed had cancelled Richardson International’s registration to ship canola prompted worried producers to call the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. “At first it was kind of […] Read more


This plant was found in 2017 in a trial plot of a resistant variety that Scott Keller was growing. It turns out that bags of resistant varieties aren’t pure — and so a percentage could be a non-resistant variety, said Keller. “So even resistant canola seed can help spread clubroot!” he said in an email. Still, experts and agronomists urge producers to seed resistant varieties — something Keller and Alberta Canola chair John Guelly say isn’t happening often enough.

In denial? Farmers ‘failing’ in battle against clubroot

Scott Keller has crunched acreage numbers and found tight rotations and susceptible varieties are commonplace

For the last three years, Scott Keller has been crunching acreage numbers from the provincial crop insurer — and he’s not liking what he sees. “To me, everything the researchers and the Canola Council (of Canada) is saying that farmers should do; they’re not even doing anything outside of just adopting the resistant varieties,” said […] Read more

Canola performance results available

The results from the 2018 Canola Performance Trials are now available. Data from small-plot and field-scale trials can be downloaded in a booklet format. The booklet has yield, height, lodging, days to maturity, and calculated gross revenue values for 29 varieties grown in short-, mid- and long-season zone locations all across Western Canada. It features […] Read more