GFM Network News


Banchus flavesce is a species of parasitoid wasp that stings bertha army worms.

They don’t wear capes, but beneficial bugs are superheroes

New campaign urges farmers to give a little more love to the good bugs that kill bad ones

They’re in your field, lurking there, doing their thing. But do you know who they are? Can you identify your beneficial insects? That’s the goal behind the Western Grains Research Foundation’s Field Heroes campaign. “It’s basically a social media campaign to increase the profile of the beneficial insects that are in your field crops,” said […] Read more

Understanding how plants search out nutrients, and react to weeds and pests could have a huge impact on farming in the coming decades, says biologist JC Cahill.

Listen to your crops — the plants are talking to each other

They’re also ‘foraging’ for nutrients, deciding where to put their roots, and calling for help when under attack

You might think it’s crazy — but plants talk to each other and act in ways that are similar to animals and humans. “Step away from the idea of plants as factories and start to think of plants as individuals,” biological sciences professor JC Cahill told attendees at the Western Canadian Soil Health and Grazing […] 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

Wheat growers, plan this fall for next year’s wheat class changes

Almost 30 wheat varieties will be transitioning to the new Northern Hard Red class 
next August, and that could impact your bottom line

Alberta wheat producers need to start preparing this fall for next year’s Canadian wheat class changes. “When some farmers plant their wheat in the spring, it will be Canadian Western Red Spring, and when they harvest it, it will be in the new class,” said Brian Kennedy, grower relations and extension co-ordinator at Alberta Wheat. […] Read more


Alberta Wheat Commission looking for candidates

The Alberta Wheat Commission is looking for candidates for two directors and three regional representatives in Regions 2 and 4. Farmers can become candidates by filling the nomination package recently mailed to them (it is also available at albertawheat.com). Voting will take place at Next Level Farming events — Nov. 15 in Acme for Region […] Read more

Ottawa urged to quickly pass transport bill

The Alberta Wheat Commission is urging the federal Liberal government to quickly pass Bill C-49, which will overhaul the Transportation Act. In a presentation to the standing committee on transport earlier this month, commission reps also recommended amendments to make interswitching more effective and requiring railways to provide more detailed volume forecasts and operational plans […] Read more


The large volume of spring-harvested canola has increased producer concerns about grading and dockage assessments by elevators this year.

Don’t like the grade or dockage assessment?

For $50, the Canadian Grain Commission will give you an independent assessment 
of the quality of your canola

Alberta producers are reporting large variations among buyers in their dockage assessment on canola, says a provincial crop market analyst. “On dockage alone, producers have reported from one to over three per cent differences in dockage on the same sample of their canola,” said Neil Blue. “These differences were reported both in cases of comparing […] Read more

Southern Saskatchewan dry, but Prairies mostly OK for now

CNS Canada — Dry conditions in southern Saskatchewan are cause for vigilance, but rain could still pull out a healthy harvest, according to a provincial soil and nutrient specialist. The area of concern lies within a triangle shape, with the northern tip at Saskatoon, one arm stretching southeast to Weyburn, Estevan and the U.S. border, […] Read more


CropChoice$ for 2017 now online

This years’s edition of the CropChoice$ planning tool is now available. The tool uses the latest crop insurance data from AFSC and projected crop costs to evaluate a crop plan in its entirety, said provincial crops economist Rawlin Thangara. “Let’s say a producer has a crop plan for 10 fields that he wishes to evaluate. […] Read more