GFM Network News


Producer Steve Snider manages weeds the mechanical way, using mow tilling (pictured), harrowing, and plowing to tackle tough weeds like Canada thistle.

Three ways to manage tough weeds on organic farms

Using green manure, increasing seeding rates, and incorporating mechanical weed control can help organic producers manage weeds on their operations

Reading Time: 3 minutes The biggest challenge on Steve Snider’s organic farm is weeds — and killing them properly isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation. “The key to remember in organics is there’s no one answer,” said Snider, who has been growing organic grain on his farm near Edberg for 30 years. “It’s not like conventional agriculture. You can’t control weeds […] Read more

“These new harvest weed seed control options should be looked at seriously.” – Neil Harker

Herbicide resistance becoming the new reality in Alberta, says weed expert

Researchers in Lacombe are investigating mechanical ways to deal with resistant weeds, but there’s no ‘silver bullet’

Reading Time: 3 minutes Some Alberta farmers are in denial about weed resistance — and they’re in for a rude awakening, says a federal weed scientist. “We spend over $12 an acre on average, and about $500 million a year on wild oat control alone (on the Canadian Prairies),” said Neil Harker. “That’s the weed we put the most […] Read more


The basics of combating resistant weeds are simple — rotate herbicides by group; scout; employ good sanitation methods and diverse rotations, said Hugh Beckie.

Herbicide resistance is everywhere you look

This year it’s Alberta’s turn to be surveyed by Ag Canada — but researchers already know the news won’t be good

Reading Time: 3 minutes If you’ve found herbicide-tolerant weeds in your field, you’re not in the minority. Weed resistance is increasing worldwide, so it’s really important that Prairie growers understand growing herbicide tolerance, says one of the country’s top resistance experts. “Group 2 really overshadows all the other groups in terms of weed resistance,” said Hugh Beckie, a research […] Read more

This is not what you want to see — resistant kochia was thriving in this wheat field in southern Saskatchewan in 2015.

This is not good — triple-resistant kochia has entered Alberta

Glyphosate-resistant kochia was bad but there’s a new strain that’s much worse

Reading Time: 3 minutes Kochia, one of Western Canada’s most abundant and economically devastating weed species, has won another major battle in overcoming herbicide. This summer, the first known Group 4 herbicide-resistant kochia was identified in a durum wheat field in southwestern Saskatchewan. And samples currently being tested from a farm in southern Alberta are also suspected to be […] Read more


Is there a gardener on your Christmas shopping list?

The provincial Ag Department has handbooks on gardening, growing native plants, saskatoons, and weeds

Reading Time: < 1 minute Here are some Alberta Agriculture and Forestry publications for the gardener on your shopping list. Alberta Yards and Gardens ($15 plus GST) — an unbiased look at what grows best in Alberta, including ornamental trees and shrubs, small fruits and berries, flowers, vegetables, herbs and even water plants. Weed Seedling Guide ($10 plus GST) — […] Read more

EPA approves Monsanto’s dicamba weed killer

U.S. seeds and agrochemicals maker Monsanto Co. has secured approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a new dicamba-based weed killer designed for its next generation biotech soy and cotton varieties, the company said on Wednesday. While approval had been expected, it is seen as a major step forward for the company’s newest herbicide […] Read more


Controlling winter weeds now will pay off later

It’s cheaper to control winter weeds in the fall, and they won’t compete with your spring crop

Reading Time: 2 minutes You’ve been busting your butt during harvest and you’ve scouted your field many times during the growing season. But if you’re direct seeding, it’s worth scouting just one more time for winter weeds after you harvest. “It depends on what kind of production system a producer has,” said Mark Cutts, crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture’s […] Read more

The three worst forage weeds

The benefit of attending of Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Crop Diagnostic School at Swift Current last July was having the opportunity to get an up-close look at problems farmers face every season. One of the experts on hand was Rachel Turnquist, a regional forage specialist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture. Turnquist gave us a look at what[...]
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The barbs on the seed heads of Woolly Burdock allow them to easily attach to fur or clothing.

Noxious weed found throughout Alberta

Noxious Weeds: Wooly Burdock

Reading Time: < 1 minute Woolly burdock is found throughout Alberta and will grow in most soil types. It prefers moist, loamy, and well-drained soils which are in direct sunlight. This noxious weed is commonly found on disturbed sites, but has also been found growing in gardens for herbal use. Woolly burdock can only reproduce by seed, but is self-fertile[...]
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Four steps to managing herbicides

Cutting herbicide resistance risks comes down to managing herbicides, in part. Here are four tips for doing that better, courtesy of Kate Sanford Mitchell, who manages Bayer CropScience’s herbicide and insecticide portfolios for oilseeds.