GFM Network News


Fusarium head blight is widespread in southern Alberta but is only present in small levels or not at all in the north. The province’s decision to remove it from the pest act has sparked a protest, including a call on the home page of the MD of Peace urging farmers to ask for a refund of the checkoff paid to Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley.

Fusarium removal from pest act sparks protest

Farmers in north fear the regulatory change will open the doors to fusarium — and make cereal crops unprofitable

The removal of fusarium head blight from Alberta’s Agricultural Pests Act has sparked protests from farmers in the as-yet-uninfected northern parts of the province. “My biggest concern is that we’re opening the gates to infect thus far uninfected areas of the province,” said Janice Reyda, who farms in the Peace Country near Brownvale. “Fusarium is […] Read more

A healthy wheat head at left and one with severe symptoms of fusarium head blight on the right.

The FHB buck now stops with farmers in Alberta

The zero-tolerance 
approach didn’t stop the spread of fusarium in the province

The Alberta government has given up trying to battle fusarium head blight through regulation — but the move means farmers will need to up their game to control the hugely costly cereal disease. The province removed fusarium graminearum from the Pest Control Nuisance Regulation of the Agricultural Pests Act last month, bringing Alberta in line […] Read more


Fusarium rule change applauded

Cereal and seed organizations are hailing the province’s decision to remove fusarium graminearum from the Pest Nuisance Control Regulation of the Agricultural Pests Act. “This news has been a long time coming,” said Alberta Wheat chair Todd Hames. “FHB (fusarium head blight) is well established in Alberta and since it’s spread through airborne spores, we […] Read more

A stem infected by root rot shows signs of shredding, shattering and the development of a sclerotial body. The central cavity (pith tissue) has been destroyed, which is characteristic of stem rot.

A mix of pests and diseases on the roster for #crop2020

Wheat midge, wheat stem sawfly, net blotch and other things to look out for

There are several diseases and pests farmers might want to keep an eye out for this growing season. “It’s kind of a hodgepodge this year,” said Jeremy Boychyn, agronomy research extension specialist with Alberta Barley and Alberta Wheat. The southern part of the province has had consistent issues with grasshoppers because it has been so […] Read more


Alberta deregulates fusarium

Crop disease comes off province's 'zero tolerance' list

Alberta is moving to keep fusarium in check by means other than the “zero tolerance” policy it has in effect on agricultural pests such as rats, rabies and clubroot. Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen announced a ministerial order Wednesday to remove Fusarium graminearum from the list of pests covered by the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation, […] Read more

Fusarium head blight study needs farmers

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s pathology program at Brooks is again looking for growers of winter wheat, two-row barley and durum to participate in a fusarium head blight project for the 2020 growing season. The project, which aims to develop a disease prediction model, is a collaboration between the University of Manitoba and the agriculture ministries […] Read more


Alltech’s harvest analysis found an average of more than five different mycotoxins per sample, and so producers need to be on guard, says company official Max Hawkins.

Mycotoxin risk likely to be high in some Alberta feed grains

Last year’s growing conditions created a perfect breeding ground for some dangerous mycotoxins, including DON

Variable weather conditions across the Prairies could cause problems with mycotoxins in feed this winter. “The No. 1 most influencing factor in mycotoxins is weather,” said Max Hawkins of Alltech’s mycotoxin management team. “Weather determines which moulds we’re going to have, the amount of those moulds, and those moulds determine the variety of mycotoxin.” Mycotoxins […] Read more

Premature bleaching of wheat spikelet infected by fusarium head blight, 
which is expected to be more common this year.

The rains came and crop disease pathogens couldn’t be happier

Scouting regularly and intensely gives you the best chance of hitting the ideal fungicide window

Early season diseases generally passed crop growers by during the dry spring, but rainfall across much of the province means they need to keep a close watch now. “The dry conditions earlier this spring tended to slow things down, but we’ve had moisture occurring, and that has elevated the risk for diseases,” federal research scientist […] Read more


Producers should use fungicide when there is an elevated risk of FHB,

DON a growing economic threat

Grain buyers are increasingly on the lookout for deoxynivalenol (DON), and producers need to take steps to “keep Canada’s markets open for all,” says Cereals Canada. “Domestic processors and export customers are increasingly testing shipments for mycotoxins,” said spokesperson Brenna Mahoney. “Shipments that exceed acceptable levels of DON could be rejected, which is a tremendous […] Read more

Grain grading revamp may add falling number, DON as factors

Two significant grain specs that aren’t yet factors for a crop’s official grade are now under consideration to join that official list. The Canadian Grain Commission on Monday put out a call for “grain sector stakeholders” to submit their views before May 10 on a proposal for falling number and deoxynivalenol (DON) to both become […] Read more