GFM Network News


Vietnam could halt imports of wheat containing thistle seed

Hanoi | Reuters — Vietnam might halt imports of wheat cargoes containing cirsium arvense, or thistle seed, while suggesting local importers should seek supplies from Kazakhstan, Australia and Argentina, local media reported on Thursday. Wheat importer Vietnam, whose main suppliers include Russia, Australia and Canada, has been battling with imported wheat contaminated with thistle seed […] Read more

The stem-mining weevil larvae live up to their name, burrowing down the length of Canada thistles and feeding on their leaves after becoming adults.

There’s a reason why stem-mining weevils are the priciest livestock in Alberta

The insects are mowing down Canada thistle across the province, and attracting lots of eager buyers

Tens of thousands of weevils have been pouring into Alberta from Montana — and producers are clamouring for more. “It’s a biological control and it’s been going great,” said Rachael Nay, conservation agriculture extension co-ordinator with the West-Central Forage Association. The association began the project to import stem-mining weevils four years ago as a way […] Read more


Perennial sow-thistle.

Perennial sow thistle costs farmers across Alberta

Noxious Weeds: Perennial sow thistle causes yield loss and acts as a host for pests

Often found in high densities across Alberta, perennial sow thistle seems to be a noxious weed that doesn’t quit. Not only does this pest cause significant yield loss in many crops, but it’s a host for several plant pests that attack economically important crops such as alfalfa, winter wheat and canola — just to name […] Read more

Seed from Canada thistle can germinate eight to 10 days after flowering, but roots — not seeds — are the main way that this noxious weed spreads.

This quick-spreading weed gets an early start

Noxious weeds: Canada thistle

Spring brings lovely native flowers, but also noxious weeds. The aggressive perennial Canada thistle is a favourite of disturbed soils of all types. It starts sending shoots from horizontal roots to the surface of soil around mid-April, with flowers to follow in mid-June and continuing throughout the summer. Easy to distinguish from other weeds, this […] Read more


Weevil larvae offer up major damage to Canada thistle.

Canada thistle: Meet your worst nightmare

Every rancher hates this hard-to-control weed, but stem mining weevils just eat them up (from the inside)

Every year, Canada thistle takes a big bite out of the productivity of Alberta forage and grasslands. But an increasing number of producers is biting back — in a wholly natural way. In late August, the West-Central Forage Association will once again import hundreds of cartons of little black bugs from an insectary in Montana. […] Read more