There is a secret society working to protect Western Canadian crops from diseases and insects. Ok, it’s not actually secret, but not too many know about it either.
The Western Forum on Pest Management (WFPM) meets each fall to get a preliminary handle on the threats that appeared in fields, orchards, and greenhouses during the preceding growing season. This year the meeting was held in Lloydminster, Alberta, October 18th and 19th. The group is made up of federal and provincial scientists, research directors from commodity groups, private sector agronomists, and students.
It is a very productive meeting. There are reports on disease outbreaks, insect flushes, and early indications of seed quality. In some cases, crop life companies make announcements about fungicides or new disease resistant cultivars, and then tell you you can’t tell anyone about them… yet.
I guess there are some secrets, but rest assured, your friends at RealAgriculture will keep you in the loop. We’ll be publishing some schools from the event and also be following up on other news and information that was just hinted at by some of the people in attendance.
A quick note needs to be made about the meeting itself. The atmosphere is collegial, the people are generous, and and there is a strong commitment to science and Western Canadian agriculture. Even though farmers might not know the meeting is taking place, the work done by the people at he WFPM is making a difference to their bottom lines.