GFM Network News


Stan Blade, dean of agriculture, life and environmental sciences at the University of Alberta, poses with a banana plant in a botanical garden in the United States.

Raise a glass of banana beer — this popular fruit will endure

U of A’s Stan Blade says the world’s most popular fruit will survive — in some form or another

Don’t worry, be happy — the banana is not going extinct. And an Alberta plant scientist is helping to ensure that. “I think we will always have bananas,” said Stan Blade. But, he added, they might be quite a bit different — such as much smaller and red or purple in colour. “My view of […] Read more

Blackleg lives up to its name but unless it is severe, blackening at the base shouldn’t significantly affect yield.

You’ve got blackleg in your fields — whether you know it or not

Blackleg was confirmed in 90 per cent of Alberta fields last year and is likely in every field, says expert

You probably already have blackleg in your field. But you just don’t know it. “When we did our survey in 2016, we found blackleg in almost 90 per cent of the fields we looked at,” said Mike Harding, research scientist in plant pathology with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “If we looked harder, we probably could […] Read more


An ergot-infected grain (r) compared to a healthy grain seed.

Management critical to preventing ergot outbreak

Crop rotation, mowing field edges, and good agronomic practices can reduce impact of ergot infestation

When it comes to controlling ergot, the best control is prevention. Ergot fungi, which produce mycotoxins that are extremely toxic to humans and livestock, affects all cereal crops except oats. “Although not significantly impacting yield, the low tolerance level for affected grain can cause grain rejection or downgrading at the elevator,” said provincial crop specialist […] Read more