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

Don’t ban strychnine yet, says Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

Farmers should still be able to use strychnine to kill ground squirrels until there are “practical and effective alternative controls,” says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to remove the registration of liquid strychnine use for the control of ground squirrels. The animals not only cause crop losses […] Read more


Battling invasive mussels comes with a high cost

New report outlines control methods — but it will take a massive, and expensive, effort every year

*[UPDATED, May 15, 2018] Winter may be the best weapon if zebra and quagga mussels invade Alberta’s waterways, says a new report. The two species, members of the dreissenid family of mussels, have spread across North America since being found in the Great Lakes more than three decades ago. And while they haven’t invaded Alberta waters […] Read more

Fewer modes of action and active ingredients increase costs and make Canadian farmers less competitive, says critic.

Pesticide rules hurting farmers, says consultant

Producers north of the border have access to fewer modes of action and active ingredients

Canadian farmers are losing much-needed pest management products to red tape. “We’re losing products faster than we’re bringing them in,” said Ron Pidskalny, an Edmonton-based consultant with a background in herbicide development and agronomy. “We’re in a situation where we’re actually ending up with fewer active ingredients than we had before. “The tool box is […] 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

Environment commissioner criticizes neonic registrations

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada’s official environmental watchdog on Tuesday expressed concern that authorities were allowing the long-term use of pesticides linked to bee deaths despite not having enough information about the products. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) can grant a five-year provisional license to some products to give manufacturers time to provide […] Read more


Going ‘off label’ is a bad idea all around when it comes to pesticides

You can not only be fined, but also put your customers, the environment and your business at risk


The practice of ‘off-label’ spraying is not only illegal and can result in severe fines, but can also be very dangerous for your clients, your livelihood, and the environment, says a provincial commercial horticulture specialist. “Horticultural chemicals and pesticides often have the dubious distinction of being more expensive than their field crop cousins. In order […] Read more

European corn borer larvae.

Controlling plant pests with biocontrols on your crop

Some biocontrol agents employ very 
targeted means to deter pests

Competition and antibioses are two of the ways biocontrol agents can help control plant pests. “Producers are familiar with the concept of competition, as in crowding out weeds in a field using row spacing, stand density, etc.,” said Dustin Morton, commercial horticulture specialist, at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre in Stettler. “Biocontrol agents can also be […] Read more


Rusty grain beetles are attracted by heated grain. Upon hatching, larvae will feed on the germ of the kernel.

Know the rules before using phosphine fumigants

Products such as Phostoxin, Gastoxin or Weevilcide are highly toxic and there are easier ways to deal with grain beetles

Using fumigants for grain beetle control in stored grain has become more complex, says a provincial crop specialist. “Obtaining the fumigant, whether Phostoxin, Gastoxin or Weevilcide, is only half the job, as requirements for application and record-keeping have changed,” said Harry Brook. “Products containing phosphine are highly toxic and rules have been recently updated to […] Read more

Alberta opts for better management to reduce bee deaths

What’s Alberta Beekeepers Commission response to Ontario’s move? Our stance hasn’t changed. We are still very much in favour of working towards a scientific conclusion or solution to what has happened. In Alberta, we just aren’t seeing the same things as they’re seeing out in Ontario. We were very interested in the Pest Management Regulatory […] Read more