Entries by Deanna

Tackling Fusarium Head-on

Recently, I sat at the edge of my seat, staring at my computer screen in shock as I read a BBC news story about how scientists are battling to save my favourite fruit from extinction. The Panama disease that threatened to wipe out bananas in the 1950s had made an aggressive comeback. This current outbreak […]

Tapping into the benefits of tissue testing

Managing fertility in crop production is not the easiest thing to do. Nobody holds all the pieces of the puzzle. Many times, we are left to play with the pieces left behind after nature has done playing, and our success often depends on how well we play those pieces. When tissue testing was discovered more […]

Managing Herbicide Drift

There are very few things that can turn good neighbourly relations as sour as herbicide drift can. Whether it is on a large farm or in a small neighbourhood, there is no shortage of instances where friendships are strained because someone’s favourite grape tree or tomato plant was killed after a neighbour sprayed dandelions. But […]

Watch out for weeds

‘A weed is but an unloved flower’ – that’s according to popular author and poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. I guess she’s right…especially the ‘unloved’ part. They may be flowers, but as long as they are growing where they should not, they are weeds and we don’t love them. We don’t love them, and we don’t […]

What do plants need during a dry spell?

The current dry conditions across many parts of the Prairies have farmers keeping one eye on the sky and the other on their crop. Although it is heartwarming to know that dry soils in spring are not a sure sign of crop failure, it is important to be aware of a few things that happen […]

Early season fertility – Beware of ‘hidden hunger’

Plants need 17 essential elements for growth and reproduction. The main criterion used in designating an element as essential is that it must be required for a plant to complete its life cycle. Elements were accepted into the ‘essentiality’ clique at different times based on when somebody proved they had met the aforementioned criterion. For […]

Dealing with insect pests of seedlings

A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Where is the bar tender?” This joke right here is a witty reminder that insects love tender plant parts. Seedlings fit the profile perfectly. They are tender, succulent, close to the ground and are easy pickings for a host of insect pests. If left unchecked, these insects […]

Soil temperature and its implications for seeding

In many office settings, a request to adjust the temperature of the shared office space can be met with anything from a cold shoulder, to a lukewarm acknowledgement, or a heated argument. Out in the field, however, nature holds the thermostat and we do not get to make that request. So, when late April or […]