GFM Network News


Warren Sekulic told FarmTech attendees that officials reviewing neonics “were completely unaware of our farming practices” and had little idea of how they are used in Western Canada.

Even pesticide review agency doesn’t understand farming

It’s really no surprise, and it’s why farmers need to speak up, FarmTech attendees told

Warren Sekulic respects the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, even though its officials knew little about two key pesticides they’re proposing to ban. “Talking to the PMRA, it was very obvious that it was completely unaware of our farming practices and neonic seed treatments,” said Sekulic, who grows wheat, canola, and peas on his family’s operation […] Read more

Concerned about the upcoming phase-out of Imidacloprid?

Health Canada plans to ban the neonicotinoid in three to five years, but is first consulting farm groups and growers

Neonicotinoids could be harmful to aquatic insects — and that has sealed the fate for one version of the pesticide. Following a review, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has proposed phasing out Imidacloprid over the next three to five years. “Our re-evaluation found no risk for human health,” said Scott Kirby, director general […] Read more


Looking to improve spray coverage? Try pulse width modulation

Pulse width modulation maintains spray pressure and droplet size at different travel speeds

Nozzle guy’ Tom Wolf is often asked about ways to improve spray coverage. But as he says — borrowing a turn of phrase from Paul Simon — “there must be 50 ways to improve your coverage.” And one of them is through pulse width modulation — a relatively new technology that’s “on the move.” “I […] Read more

Weather has always offered its fair share of risk when it comes to farming.

Things not going as hoped? That’s normal, says crop specialist

Whether it’s production conditions or markets, producers need to have a Plan B

Preparation is key when dealing with the unexpected, says provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “There’s always a lot of talk about ‘normal’ when talking about cropping and agriculture,” said Brook. “Advanced planning and adjustments are needed to avoid possible devastating results when ‘normal’ doesn’t occur. Whether it applies to spring weather conditions or markets or […] Read more


Ladybugs are one example of an ‘undercover operative’ that can deal with crop pests, 
says a provincial commercial horticulture specialist.

How are biocontrol agents like James Bond?

Beneficial control agents include beneficial bacteria, fungi, nematodes and insects that feed on harmful organisms

As the public grows more concerned about chemical use, many growers struggle with how to keep their product salable while using fewer pesticides. Some growers are turning to a new kind of ‘undercover operative’ to deal with crop pests. “Biological controls or biocontrol agents attack and ‘neutralize’ or reduce pests in a cropping system and […] Read more

A new era of watchful food consumers

Consumers don’t just want to know more about how their food 
is produced — some want a very detailed report card

Last month, McDonald’s USA announced a “multi-faceted effort called ‘Our Food. Your Questions’” in which it invites people to submit their food questions via social media. “We’re proud of the food we serve our 27 million U.S. customers every day, yet we know people have unanswered questions,” said Kevin Newell, executive vice-president, chief brand and […] Read more


“Nature is awful sometimes,” says Vincent Hervet, who captured these two beetles fighting over a cutworm.

Cutworms bug off when beneficial insects come calling

It’s a bug-eat-bug world when you’ve got beneficial insects in your field

Producers looking to cut spray costs this year may want to think about a different type of pest control. “(Predatory insects) can be really effective, with cutworms especially,” said Vincent Hervet, PhD candidate at the University of Lethbridge. Cutworms have “cyclic outbreaks” on the Prairies lasting three to four years, and right now Alberta is […] Read more