GFM Network News


Using an invasive weed to help fill the feed gap

When feed is in short supply, producers may want to harvest kochia.

For Prairie cattle producers looking for alternative feed sources this year, one possibility may be kochia. Kochia is an invasive weed, often seen growing on marginal land or tumbling across the Prairies. It’s a prolific seed producer, growing in saline soil and in arid or semi-arid conditions. A recent news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food […] Read more

More than 1.2 million acres are infested with leafy spurge in Manitoba alone, with an annual estimate loss of over $40 million.

Spurge purge tests bovine palates

Goats and sheep can eat leafy spurge. Can cattle be trained to do the same?

Like a parent convincing kids to eat their vegetables because they’re good for them, Jane Thornton is trying the same approach with getting cattle to eat leafy spurge. “Contrary to popular belief, leafy spurge is a very nutritious plant, comparable to alfalfa in quality,” Thornton says. “If cattle can become accustomed to eating leafy spurge […] Read more


Six factors to consider if your soil moisture level is low

To date, all indications are pointing to a dry spring, given the below-average precipitation received in many areas of the Prairies this winter. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but a lot of farmers had relatively dry soils going into winter, so we asked some agronomists and provincial crop experts what factors could[...]
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My cover crop

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

There has been lots of excitement during the last few years over cover crops. The soil conferences and seminars have been full of cover crop talks and trade shows are full of salesmen. It is the latest craze in agriculture and I agree that there are a lot of situations where the cover crop is[...]
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Minnesota finds source of Palmer amaranth on CRP land

Reuters — An invasive weed likely entered Minnesota through seed planted on land in a U.S. conservation program, state agriculture officials said on Thursday, bringing to a close an official probe of a growing threat to agricultural production. Infestations of the weed, Palmer amaranth, have affected other states in the U.S. Midwest through seed planted[...]
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Some buyers refuse to take animals with burrs to avoid the risk of taking burdock seeds back to their ranch.

Beating back burdock

Invasive weed species can affect both pasture and profit

Burdock is an invasive plant that causes problems for livestock and crops, and is generally considered a noxious weed. The tall burdock plant, a native of Eurasia, is a biennial, which means it lives for two growing seasons. The first year, it merely grows leaves and accumulates food reserves in its roots, like a carrot.[...]
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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[...]
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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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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.

Rain holds up spraying as weeds thrive in Manitoba

CNS Canada –– A steady dose of rain to start the week has put a crimp on herbicide applications across Manitoba. While weeds weren’t noticeable a few weeks ago due to the relative dryness, they’re definitely becoming more noticeable, according to crop watchers. “We know that with the rain and warmer temperatures, both the crops[...]
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