GFM Network News

Banchus flavesce is a species of parasitoid wasp that stings bertha army worms.

They don’t wear capes, but beneficial bugs are superheroes

New campaign urges farmers to give a little more love to the good bugs that kill bad ones

Reading Time: 3 minutes They’re in your field, lurking there, doing their thing. But do you know who they are? Can you identify your beneficial insects? That’s the goal behind the Western Grains Research Foundation’s Field Heroes campaign. “It’s basically a social media campaign to increase the profile of the beneficial insects that are in your field crops,” said […] Read more

Crop Protection ‘Blue Book’ goes mobile

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Blue Book has long been popular reading in the homes of Alberta farmers — and now they can read it anywhere on their smartphones. The Crop Protection book (as it is officially known) is updated annually for previously registered products and includes newly registered pesticide products — herbicides, pesticides, seed treatments, and foliar fungicides. […] Read more

There’s a new kind of loneliness — but overcoming it isn’t easy

You can see it everywhere — at least you can when you stop staring at your cellphone

Reading Time: 3 minutes It was a beautiful winter day. The weather was mild and the Prairie ice was just right for skating. I was thrilled to see a young boy navigating his wobbly way around the ice. It was obvious he was new to the sport. Dad sat faithfully on a nearby bench and not once did he […] Read more

Seeding smartphone tips

Cellphones have been dubbed “smartphones” but sometimes the way folks are addicted to them causes dumb problems. I’ve read three articles that suggest that cellphones are creating isolation, poorer communication and less robust relationships. Stress rises when there is a million-dollar crop to get in the ground, excess moisture, and too many jobs for the[...]
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Farmers’ market app now available

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Agriculture has created a free app for Apple and Android that provides up-to-date information about locations, times, and dates of farmers’ markets in the province. Farmers’ markets are the No. 1 agri-tourism attraction in Alberta, providing a great shopping experience where consumers can “savour time” rather than “save time.” The app, which cost about[...]
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Harvest loss: An app and Top 10 tips

Reading Time: < 1 minute Here are two resources for calculating and reducing harvest loss. The Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association has created a free app — SSCA Harvest Loss Calculator — for iPhones and iPads. The tool allows the user to enter the amount of seed in a sampling area of known size, either in weight, volume, or kernel number.[...]
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Low-pressure centre pivot systems greatly increase water-use efficiency.

Irrigation investments, programs playing a big part in water conservation

A soon-to-be-published study estimates 170 million to 200 million cubic metres were saved from 1999 to 2012

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alberta producers and irrigation districts are making great strides toward conserving water, with both grants and individual investment producing tangible water and energy savings. Those efforts produced overall water savings of 170 million to 200 million cubic metres in Alberta’s 13 irrigation districts from 1999 to 2012, said Rod Bennett, director of Alberta Agriculture and[...]
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