Growers ponder plant growth regulators

Trials look at how PGRs respond to different cereal varieties, growing conditions and timing of application

Grain producers are already logging long hours in the sprayer, so the thought of making yet another pass over the same wheat field probably has limited appeal. But what if one more pass with the sprayer had the potential to reduce lodging and boost wheat yields by five, six or even seven bushels per acre? […] Read more


New canola promises breakthrough

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A canola breeder has developed a new trait that makes canola meal far more competitive with soybean meal. Until now, canola meal has traded at a 35 percent discount to soybean meal in markets around the world because of its inferior protein levels. Dow AgroSciences has spent the last 15 years developing […] Read more


Insect found in Alberta but disease not present

The psyllid story sets up like a good news-bad news scenario. The bad news is that the potato psyllid, a tiny insect that can carry zebra chip disease that is harmful to potato production and appearance, has been found in Alberta. The good news is that it isn’t carrying the disease. Dan Johnson, an entomologist […] Read more



Research centre junks paper library

Dumpsters were full of books, reports and other paper at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre two weeks ago when the centre’s library was dismantled and its materials discarded. The move was criticized by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada as further evidence of the Conservative government’s “war on science.” The union, which […] Read more


Employing healthy microbes key to better crop

Micro-organisms from host plants are used to improve germination, crop yield and ability to handle stress

A new discovery in the world of micro-organisms has potentially big implications for farmers. University of Saskatchewan microbiologists Vladimir Vujanovic and Jim Germida have discovered a natural way for many crops to better handle stressful conditions such as drought and heat. The agriculture scientists have found a new group of microbes within plant cell tissues […] Read more



Fast is buzzword in corn research

Its new research facility looks like a big red barn, but Dupont Pioneer expects to produce a whole lot of green from its Lethbridge site. Early maturing corn is the focus — corn that requires fewer heat units to reach maturity and can be harvested for grain before fall frost. “From a development standpoint, we […] Read more


Potatoes free of zebra chip — so far

The disease has caused huge potato losses in the U.S., but the insect hasn’t crossed into Canada yet

Negative results are a good thing for Canadian potato growers and entomologist and researcher Dan Johnson. The University of Lethbridge scientist is the lead on a project to watch for the potato psyllid, a tiny insect that can carry a pathogen causing a harmful condition called zebra chip in potatoes. Zebra chip causes black stripes […] Read more


Spore ID helps prevent late blight

Identifying the different genotypes will help growers select the right fungicide

Traps designed to identify potato blight spores could help potato growers prevent infection of their crops. Researcher and Lethbridge College instructor Melanie Kalischuk is in the second year of a three-year project to erect a network of volumetric traps that will help her and her students identify the presence of late blight spores. The information […] Read more



University eager to use donation to educate veterinarians, farmers

A major donation to support animal welfare research at the University of Guelph will be devoted to further education for veterinarians and producers. Dairy giant Saputo donated at total of $1 million to the Universities of Guelph and Wisconsin to develop more courses for those working with cows. Guelph plans to create an intensive rotation […] Read more


Resistant canola may be no match for new clubroot

Don’t panic yet | Cultivars still appear to be resistant in most fields, says agronomist

Alberta officials are investigating further evidence that existing clubroot resistant canola cultivars are vulnerable to a new strain of the disease. The strain was discovered last year after materials were collected from six fields in the Edmonton area that showed higher-than-normal disease incidence. From that, Stephen Strelkov of the University of Alberta was able to […] Read more