GFM Network News


There are 75 regulated and prohibited noxious weeds in Alberta.

Weed-free forage program relaunched

Some counties are now offering inspections to ensure invasive weeds are not present in hay

Reading Time: 2 minutes A program aimed at preventing the spread of invasive and noxious weeds via hay is getting a second shot. Alberta’s first go-round with a Certified Weed Free Forage program a decade ago never fully took off but the Alberta Invasive Species Council has revived the initiative. “Use of certified weed-free forage is a best management […] Read more

Farming Smarter’s field day in early July had an unusual aspect — attendees — who heard from several speakers, including researcher Lewis Baarda.

Forget the silver bullet, bring out the arsenal against kochia

Study using multiple methods to control one of the most dangerous weeds on the Prairies

Reading Time: 4 minutes If it’s a one-on-one battle, put your money on kochia. The pernicious weed is not only a prolific seed producer, thrives in harsh conditions, and spreads its progeny far and wide, it’s also a master when it comes to developing resistance to herbicides. So producers are urged to use a variety of ‘best management practices’ […] Read more


The back side of a standard New Holland boom retrofitted with the WEED-IT Quadro. Retailer Croplands Equipment sells the Quadro in either a retrofit kit which allows it to be installed on most types of existing sprayer booms or as a 120-foot Millennium boom.

Ready for prime time? Spot-spraying tech advancing quickly

Spot spraying in crop has a ways to go, but pre-seed burn-off may soon be commonplace


Reading Time: 5 minutes Producers have been hearing about weed-targeting spot-spraying sensors for some time, but it’s always seemed to be the stuff of science fiction. In some cases, however, the future is now while in others it’s coming quickly — it all depends on the type of sensor tech you’re interested in. Well-known spraying expert Tom Wolf separates […] Read more

Weed seed bank is higher this year and late spring favours weeds, too, says federal research scientist Breanne Tidemann.

Wet fall and late spring a recipe for increased weed risk

Pre-seed burn-off will depend on what’s popping up in your fields, so scout early, says weed scientist

Reading Time: 2 minutes You won’t hear weeds complaining about the weather — which adds up to another headache for producers. “Because we were so dry last spring, there were quite a few fields that didn’t get a pre-seed burn-off because there was nothing growing yet. I don’t think that’s going to be the same circumstance this year,” federal […] Read more


Weed scientists say it’s a matter of when, not if, wild oat populations here will develop resistance to glyphosate —  as they’ve now done in Australia.

Glyphosate-resistant wild oats are in Australia, and that’s bad news here

Aussies usually see resistance first, with Canada close behind – and that means a ‘scary’ scenario for Prairie farmers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Glyphosate-resistant wild oats have been found in Australia and that should be a wake-up call to any farmer who thinks it couldn’t happen in Canada. “This is the first confirmed case of glyphosate-resistant wild oats in the world,” said federal research scientist Breanne Tidemann. “It’s something we’ve been concerned about but no one has ever […] Read more

The Harrington Seed Destructor has come a long way since it was first developed in 2012. Originally a tow-behind unit that attached to the back of the combine, the new weed seed management tool is now a mill that can be integrated with the combine — at half the price.

Is the weed seed ‘destructor’ ready for prime time in Alberta?

Invention is now cheaper and easier to use, but it's still ‘a hard sell’ for farmers

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the battle against herbicide-resistant weeds here in Alberta, the Harrington Seed Destructor might just win us the war — if farmers can justify the $100,000 price tag. “If herbicides are still working, it can be hard to convince producers to spend that kind of money to purchase this kind of equipment,” said federal research […] Read more


Kochia has taken over this abandoned well site and stands nearly as tall as Kevin Serfas. The Turin farmer says his calls to the energy companies that own several dozen similar sites on his family’s farming operation go unanswered. And managing the weeds would require “a full-time guy,” he said.

Farmers lose — and weeds win — when energy companies walk away

When well sites are abandoned, the rent cheques 
often stop while the noxious weeds flourish

Reading Time: 5 minutes “Kochia six feet tall and completely covering the whole leases. We have many that look like this. When I phone, no one even answers the phones.” This tweet from Lethbridge-area farmer Kevin Serfas in August likely could have been written by any one of hundreds of Alberta producers with abandoned well sites on their farms. […] 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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


Uneven boom height is one of several issues that can lead to “underdosing” when spraying.

Spray variability may be costing you big bucks

Several factors can cause uneven spraying — and they almost always come down to speed

Reading Time: 4 minutes In some parts of the field, as much as half of the herbicide you spray may not hit the target, says a spraying expert. And while there are a host of factors involved — including turns, boom height variability, and turbulence — more often than not, the culprit is speed, said Tom Wolf. The result […] Read more

These Manitoba Department of Agriculture photos show that weeds are more obvious when looking 
down at a wheat crop (r) than looking at it sideways.

It’s the time of year when crop scouting pays big dividends

Weed escapes, herbicide resistance, disease, and pests can all be assessed after spraying, says expert

Reading Time: < 1 minute Spray, then scout, says provincial crop specialist Mark Cutts. “It is very important to recognize that scouting after a herbicide application is vital to weed control, said Cutts. “In the majority of cases, producers will find that the chemicals have worked. However, in certain situations, field scouting may show the weeds weren’t properly controlled. Producers […] Read more