GFM Network News


Unusual growing season brings unusual pest pressures

Weather conditions have brought late weed flushes and repeat attacks on crops, says specialist

This year’s unusual weather is causing pests such as weeds, fungal diseases and insects to emerge at unexpected times, says a provincial crop specialist. A dry spring, a later arrival of rain, and a cooler-than-normal growing season all played a role, said Neil Whatley. “While some producers waited for rainfall prior to seeding, most planted […] Read more

Bayer to invest $7.5 billion in new herbicides

Berlin | Reuters — Bayer said it would invest five billion euros (C$7.5 billion) in developing new weedkillers and reducing its environmental impact by 30 per cent by 2030, as it seeks to address the fallout from U.S. class-action litigation over glyphosate. “While glyphosate will continue to play an important role in agriculture and in […] Read more


This Alberta field is being overrun by kochia — likely a type resistant to two or even three modes of action. Canada already ranks third in terms of herbicide-resistant weed and the problem is quickly worsening, says a leading expert.

In the weeds: Canadian farmers can’t stay ahead of herbicide resistance

The problem is huge, rapidly getting worse, and non-chemical weed control is becoming a necessity

Farmers won’t be able to spray their way out of this — Canada is now third in the world when it comes to weeds able to survive pesticides that used to kill them. “We’re quickly being overrun by herbicide-resistant weeds,” said federal research scientist Charles Geddes. “There have been difficult herbicide-resistant weeds in the past, […] Read more

Buyers of Prairie crops are “increasingly testing shipments with highly sensitive equipment for levels of pesticide residues” including glyphosate, says Keep It Clean!, an initiative by canola, cereals, and pulse organizations.

An early warning on using pre-harvest herbicides

Trio of crop organizations warning farmers about herbicides that are ‘products of concern’

A trio of crop organizations are getting a jump on harvest and warning growers not to use glyphosate as a desiccant. “Glyphosate is registered for pre-harvest weed control — glyphosate is not a desiccant nor is it a tool to speed up crop drydown,” Pulse Canada market access manager Mac Ross said in a joint […] Read more


This is not the sort of shot you want to post on Instagram, but it’s going to be a more common scene in Alberta this year — especially in the south.

Expect a full blast of kochia this spring

The tumbleweed already has the south in its grip and two years of dry conditions have made it stronger

[UPDATED: Mar. 26, 2019] Alberta kochia populations have exploded following back-to-back years of dry growing conditions. “Kochia was one of the worst weed problems across the southern Prairies last year,” said federal research scientist Charles Geddes. “If we have another dry year this year, there will certainly be issues with kochia management.” The past two […] Read more

No herbicide even comes close to glyphosate’s popularity — or the controversy it generates.

No ordinary herbicide — glyphosate keeps making headlines

The world’s most widely used herbicide will continue to be one of agriculture’s biggest newsmakers

Two things happened to glyphosate over the past 15 years — it got a lot more popular and a lot more unpopular at the same time. There’s no question that most farmers love it. Although the most recent estimates are a few years old, farm use of glyphosate soared in this century. A major European […] Read more


Don’t forget about residue limits before you harvest

If you’re still considering pre-harvest weed control or a desiccation product, don’t forget about maximum residue limits. “Producers need to ensure they adhere to the pre-harvest interval which is the time from applying a product until it is either swathed or combined,” said Nevin Rosaasen, policy and program specialist with Alberta Pulse. Detailed information on […] Read more

These Manitoba Department of Agriculture photos show that weeds are more obvious when looking 
down at a wheat crop (r) than looking at it sideways.

It’s the time of year when crop scouting pays big dividends

Weed escapes, herbicide resistance, disease, and pests can all be assessed after spraying, says expert

Spray, then scout, says provincial crop specialist Mark Cutts. “It is very important to recognize that scouting after a herbicide application is vital to weed control, said Cutts. “In the majority of cases, producers will find that the chemicals have worked. However, in certain situations, field scouting may show the weeds weren’t properly controlled. Producers […] Read more


Testing can now detect residues at parts per billion (or even trillion) and that’s increasing scrutiny of all spraying, which is one of the reasons to check out www.keepingitclean.ca.

Glyphosate increasingly under the gun

This year’s Keep it Clean! campaign is warning producers not to use glyphosate as a desiccant

The glyphosate you use on the farm hasn’t changed — but public attitudes, at least in some quarters, have radically shifted. That’s part of the warning in this year’s edition of The Keep it Clean! Program. The site has information on maximum residue levels and regulatory updates but also reflects developments at the national and […] Read more