GFM Network News


“These new harvest weed seed control options should be looked at seriously.” – Neil Harker

Herbicide resistance becoming the new reality in Alberta, says weed expert

Researchers in Lacombe are investigating mechanical ways to deal with resistant weeds, but there’s no ‘silver bullet’

Some Alberta farmers are in denial about weed resistance — and they’re in for a rude awakening, says a federal weed scientist. “We spend over $12 an acre on average, and about $500 million a year on wild oat control alone (on the Canadian Prairies),” said Neil Harker. “That’s the weed we put the most […] Read more

Half of Alberta fields have herbicide-resistant wild oats

The short-term gain from growing profitable crops too frequently will bring long-term pain, say weed experts

For Craig Shaw, herbicide resistance is a wreck waiting to happen. “It’s manageable at the present moment, but I wouldn’t guarantee it will remain manageable moving forward,” said Shaw, who has widespread herbicide resistance on his farm near Lacombe. “We’ve learned our lesson in terms of staying on top of weed control and making sure […] Read more


Producers can expect to see the “usual suspects” — wild oats, wild buckwheat, and green foxtail — this year, says research scientist Neil Harker.

Brace yourself — winter annual weeds worse than usual this year

Dry conditions earlier this spring gave winter annuals an edge and for some growers, it’s too late to manage them

The dry conditions of early spring could lead to a spike in winter annual weeds. “Winter annuals could be a problem,” said Neil Harker, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “We really haven’t had a lot of spring moisture, so the ones that were already established, like stinkweed and flixweed and winter annual cleavers, […] Read more