GFM Network News


For many, this seeding season will be the most stressful they have ever encountered.

Plant 2017: It’s all about making the best of a bad situation

It was never going to be good, but crop specialists say this seeding season may not be as bad as feared

Reading Time: 3 minutes To say that last year’s harvest season in Alberta was unusual would be putting it mildly. The exceptionally wet fall resulted in 967,569 unharvested acres reported to Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) this past winter, representing millions of dollars in seed and inputs that have yet to be recouped. So the big question this spring […] Read more

Producers needed for blackleg survey

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association is conducting a blackleg survey and asking producers to collect samples while scouting canola fields. Virulent blackleg of canola is a fungal canker or dry rot disease that causes stem girdling and lodging. In heavily infested crops, up to 100 per cent of the stems may be infected, […] Read more


Fusarium graminearum survey underway

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is conducting a survey on Fusarium graminearum to help better manage the disease. “For example, if you’re trying to prevent the introduction of the organism in an area, there are certain things you can do, but if it’s already there, the prevention practices aren’t going to work,” said provincial plant pathologist Michael […] Read more

White rot is one of the diseases showing up in Alberta garlic crops.

Garlic and onion disease survey underway

Samples across the province have revealed a number of diseases

Reading Time: < 1 minute Over the last several years, a number of issues has been observed in garlic crops in Alberta, with reduced yields, poor storability, and poor performance. Plant and soil samples collected from across the province in the last two years have found a number of diseases, including aster yellows, white rot (sclerotinia), fusarium basal plate rot, […] Read more


Keep watch for fusarium graminearum in cereal crops

The fungal disease is established in southern Alberta in areas especially under irrigation

Reading Time: 2 minutes Fusarium graminearum (Fg) is a serious fungal disease, affecting yield and quality. Recent surveys indicate Fg is established in southern Alberta and traces are present in central and northern regions of the province. “When weather conditions are favourable for infection, and in irrigated cropping systems, an in-crop fungicide application may be considered, but only provides […] Read more

Weather has always offered its fair share of risk when it comes to farming.

Things not going as hoped? That’s normal, says crop specialist

Whether it’s production conditions or markets, producers need to have a Plan B

Reading Time: 2 minutes Preparation is key when dealing with the unexpected, says provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “There’s always a lot of talk about ‘normal’ when talking about cropping and agriculture,” said Brook. “Advanced planning and adjustments are needed to avoid possible devastating results when ‘normal’ doesn’t occur. Whether it applies to spring weather conditions or markets or […] Read more


Late blight can cause rapid crop losses in potato and tomato crops, says provincial commercial horticulture specialist Rob Spencer.

Potato and tomato growers warned to keep watch for late blight

Monitor for symptoms in tomato transplants and in early-emerging potato plants

Reading Time: < 1 minute There has been a great deal of concern in Alberta in the last few years about late blight, a serious disease that mainly affects potatoes and tomatoes. Favourable conditions for disease development have resulted in multiple outbreaks of late blight in commercial market gardens, as well as urban potato and tomato crops throughout parts of […] Read more

In 2015, late blight continues to be a risk for all potato/tomato family crops grown in Alberta.

Late blight risk on potatoes and tomatoes again this year

The disease can be carried over in infected material

Reading Time: < 1 minute Over the last few growing seasons, growers have seen signs of late blight, a serious disease that mainly affects potatoes and tomatoes. This disease is caused by an aggressive fungus that develops rapidly under wet/moist environmental conditions. Wet conditions, combined with the presence of the pathogen, has resulted in continuing outbreaks of late blight in […] Read more


Historically a problem in southern Alberta, stripe rust has started spreading north, says winter wheat agronomist Janine Paly.

Start scouting: stripe rust in winter wheat is spreading north

Producers across the province need to start scouting their winter wheat fields for signs of stripe rust

Reading Time: 3 minutes Stripe rust overwintering on three winter wheat fields in the Edmonton area is “concerning,” says a provincial winter wheat agronomist. “Last year, stripe rust overwintered in the central Alberta region, near Lacombe, Red Deer, and Olds, which was alarming because it really hasn’t overwintered in years,” said Janine Paly of Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Last year, […] Read more

Crop pest and disease watch for 2015

Some of the usual suspects could be back this year, 
especially if you are pushing your rotations

Reading Time: 6 minutes The new growing season is underway, with a combination of old and new challenges and opportunities. Alberta Farmer reporter Alexis Kienlen asked some experts about things that producers should look out for this growing season. Here’s what they had to say: Plant diseases It’s difficult for plant pathologists to predict the possibility of diseases, said Kelly […] Read more