GFM Network News


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


This 2008 Canola Council of Canada video recommended producers “start at the top and work your way down to the root” when scouting for diseases. That meant clubroot — now the biggest threat to producers’ biggest money-maker — was discussed last (behind much less worrisome diseases such as alternaria and aster yellows). Agronomist Dan Orchard, shown here discussing sclerotinia, found the first confirmed case of clubroot but says back then, “we weren’t that scared of it.”

When it comes to the big two crop diseases, those really were the good old days

Fifteen years ago, a ‘funny’ new disease was found — today clubroot combined with fusarium is a killer one-two punch

Fifteen years ago, Dan Orchard was working as an agronomist at a retailer when he got a phone call about something “funny” in a customer’s canola field. The plants were prematurely ripened and the roots looked strange. Orchard had a hunch of what he was looking at, but a visit with a plant pathologist confirmed […] Read more

Wheat research receives funding

Eleven research projects ranging from nitrogen fertilizer use and soil health to drying grain while in storage are receiving $2.2 million from the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and Alberta Wheat. Three of the projects are on fusarium head blight (management, resistance, and post-harvest strategies) while four are either focused on, or have a significant component […] Read more


On the far left is sound red spring wheat seed. Next is a ‘not a fusarium- damaged’ kernel — it does not have sufficient seed discolouration
or fibrous fungal growth, also called mycelial growth, to qualify as a fusarium-damaged kernel. Next is fusarium-damaged kernels with light symptoms (mycelial growth is visible around the germ and in the broad crease, and the seed looks shrivelled and chalky white). On the far right are fusarium-damaged kernels with severe symptoms (abundant mycelial growth is visible on both seed surfaces, with some pink discolouration at the germ. The seed has a shrivelled, chalky white appearance).

Proper combine adjustment pays off now and later

You don’t want fusarium-damaged kernels lowering grade or spreading spores, says crop specialist

Producers need to make combine adjustments to prevent kernels damaged by fusarium head blight from going into storage, says a provincial crop specialist. Harvest management of fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) will improve the grade of a cereal crop, said Neil Whatley. “Many FDKs — especially in wheat — are smaller, lighter in weight, and more shrunken […] Read more

Pearce: Multiple modes of action an emerging reality for fungicides

As growers face more challenges from weeds, diseases and insects, many researchers, agronomists, advisers and farmers have shifted thinking from “control” of pests to “managing” them. Some of this trend is attributable to single-mode-of-action products and a reliance on one or two chemistries or technologies — but the adaptability of weed, disease and insect species […] Read more


FHB risk website has new features

The Alberta FHB risk website has been updated. The site has a Fusarium Disease Severity Value gauge and 10-day running risk evaluation tool to help producers decide on fungicide applications. A number of weather features have recently been added. They include weather station data; a prevailing wind map that can be updated hourly for a […] Read more

It’s not fancy, but Spornado will give producers another tool for managing fusarium head blight.

It’s a Spornado! But that’s good news for cereal growers

New tool for detecting disease-causing spores being rolled out across the Prairies

Hold on to your hats — the Spornado is coming. “(The Spornado) is a really good tool that’s been developed over the last couple of years,” said Trevor Blois, disease diagnostician for 20/20 Seed Labs. “It’s just a passive spore catcher that has been used by potato growers in Ontario to detect late blight spores, […] Read more