GFM Network News


Avoiding residues is now two clicks away

Producers can ensure the chemical sprayed on their canola or pulses won’t leave unacceptable residues by adhering to the pre-harvest interval — or PHI — found on the product’s label. Often referred to as the “spray to swath” interval, the PHI is the number of days that must pass between spraying pesticides or desiccants and […] 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


U.S. EPA wins new chance to argue against pesticide ban

Reuters — The Trump administration has persuaded a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its recent decision ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos, which critics say can harm children and farmers. In an order on Wednesday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will again review former EPA administrator […] Read more

Using a sweep net is a standard method for determining the level of a pest infestation, 
but federal researcher Haley Catton, shown here, wants to give farmers a better way to gauge the level of beneficial insects and whether it makes sense to spray.

If this is the future, it can’t come soon enough

Unless you love writing cheques for inputs, you’ll want to cheer on the work of these three scientists

Grow more with less — that’s the goal of three Alberta researchers whose work could revolutionize the way we grow cereals. “Canadian agriculture will be facing quite high demand for food production because of the growing global population and reduction in arable land,” said federal research biologist Alicja Ziemienowicz. “We’re trying to give you the […] Read more


Global study finds trace neonics in much of world’s honey

A study by Swiss scientists has found trace levels of at least one neonicotinoid pesticide in three-quarters of the honey samples it collected from around the world. The study, spearheaded by a team from Switzerland’s Universite de Neuchatel and published in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, was meant to assess “global exposure of pollinators […] Read more

EU starts in-depth probe of Bayer-Monsanto deal

Brussels/Frankfurt | Reuters — The European Commission has started an in-depth investigation of Bayer’s planned US$66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds group Monsanto, saying it was worried about competition in various pesticide and seeds markets. The deal would create the world’s largest integrated pesticides and seeds company, the Commission said, adding this limited the number […] Read more


Dispose of unwanted pesticides and livestock meds this fall

Farmers in the Peace Region and central Alberta can safely dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides and equine/livestock medications at one of the designated collection sites this fall. Obsolete or unwanted agricultural pesticides (identified with a Pest Control Product number on the label) will be accepted. Livestock medications that are used by primary producers in the rearing […] Read more

Pesticide collection program a success again

Alberta farmers returned 70,737 kilograms of obsolete and unwanted pesticides and 2,162 kilograms of livestock and equine medications during CleanFARMS’ obsolete collection campaign last fall. The program, which took place at 20 participating ag-retail locations in southern Alberta in October, was the third CleanFARMS collection in the province, but the first to accept both pesticides […] Read more


Feds scrap ‘conditional’ pesticide approvals

Federal crop chemical regulators this summer will stop granting “conditional” registrations for new pesticides — a practice already largely on the way out, they note. Health Canada, which oversees the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), said Tuesday it plans to stop granting new conditional registrations starting June 1, describing the move as an “important […] Read more

What happens above changes the world below

Tilling, spraying, fertilizing, and even grazing can have big impacts on the microbial world

Many conventional agricultural practices generate a homogenous soil habitat — and that’s not a good thing, says soil ecologist Jeff Battigelli. “Basically, you just keep knocking things down. It’s not allowed to get very complex; there is a simplified community structure, with very few species,” said Battigelli. Homogenous soils need constant human intervention and resources […] Read more