GFM Network News


Farming Smarter’s field day in early July had an unusual aspect — attendees — who heard from several speakers, including researcher Lewis Baarda.

Forget the silver bullet, bring out the arsenal against kochia

Study using multiple methods to control one of the most dangerous weeds on the Prairies

If it’s a one-on-one battle, put your money on kochia. The pernicious weed is not only a prolific seed producer, thrives in harsh conditions, and spreads its progeny far and wide, it’s also a master when it comes to developing resistance to herbicides. So producers are urged to use a variety of ‘best management practices’ […] Read more

Kochia has taken over this abandoned well site and stands nearly as tall as Kevin Serfas. The Turin farmer says his calls to the energy companies that own several dozen similar sites on his family’s farming operation go unanswered. And managing the weeds would require “a full-time guy,” he said.

Farmers lose — and weeds win — when energy companies walk away

When well sites are abandoned, the rent cheques 
often stop while the noxious weeds flourish

“Kochia six feet tall and completely covering the whole leases. We have many that look like this. When I phone, no one even answers the phones.” This tweet from Lethbridge-area farmer Kevin Serfas in August likely could have been written by any one of hundreds of Alberta producers with abandoned well sites on their farms. […] 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

It was a win-win-win year for kochia across much of the Prairies in 2018.

The stars (unfortunately) aligned for kochia this summer

This could be the year that triple-resistant kochia is confirmed in Alberta

Farmers never really stood a chance against kochia this year. First, it was a dry year following a dry year, and kochia thrives in dry conditions. Then those dry conditions drew salts in the soil toward the surface — and kochia loves saline soils. And finally, those saline soils delayed emergence in kochia, so any […] Read more


This photo was taken in Manitoba but glyphosate-resistant kochia has since spread across the Prairies and it’s estimated half of kochia in Alberta is resistant to at least one herbicide group.

A 50/50 chance your kochia is glyphosate resistant

Triple-resistant kochia has also been found in Alberta and Saskatchewan

There’s an easy way to tell if you have glyphosate-resistant kochia in your field — flip a coin. “Half the fields that have kochia in them now have resistant populations,” said federal research scientist Charles Geddes. Five years ago, only five per cent of kochia populations in Alberta fields were resistant to glyphosate (the active […] Read more

The sight of wild oats escaping weed control is increasingly common in Alberta and could get a lot worse, says crop expert Harry Brook.

Millions of Alberta acres have resistant weeds

Kochia and wild oats top a long list of resistant weeds that are now present in Alberta, says crop specialist

When it comes to herbicide resistance, producers should be looking for trouble. The ongoing spread of resistant weeds means producers should be actively scouting for it, said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “We now have glyphosate resistance in kochia in southern Alberta and it continues to spread,” said Brook. “These should serve as a wake-up […] Read more


This is not what you want to see — resistant kochia was thriving in this wheat field in southern Saskatchewan in 2015.

This is not good — triple-resistant kochia has entered Alberta

Glyphosate-resistant kochia was bad but there’s a new strain that’s much worse

Kochia, one of Western Canada’s most abundant and economically devastating weed species, has won another major battle in overcoming herbicide. This summer, the first known Group 4 herbicide-resistant kochia was identified in a durum wheat field in southwestern Saskatchewan. And samples currently being tested from a farm in southern Alberta are also suspected to be […] Read more

Is this the glyphosate-resistant kochia you've been dreading?

Watch for herbicide-resistant weeds

There are 21 resistant weeds on the Prairies and 38 million acres have at least one of them


The first few weeks of the growing season is a great time to police fields for suspicious weeds. Look for weeds that survived pre-seed burn-off or post-emergent sprays while others of the same species have died. These few weeds could be resistant, and it would be good to nab them early. “It takes 14 to […] Read more