University of Manitoba - Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences - AG e-news
AG e-news

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

September 26, 2013


A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Thursday, September 26 in Room 219 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Dr. David Walker, Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources, Department of Environment and Geography, Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS), will be presenting. Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, September 26 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Gary Martens, Department of Plant Science, will be presenting “From Theory to Practice”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

The 2013 University of Manitoba Homecoming has begun! The Faculty is hosting an Tea and Tour of the Agriculture Building on the Fort Garry Campus on Friday, September 27 at 1 pm in Room 252 Agriculture Building. Alumni, faculty and students are welcome to join us!

Join us for the special seminar "Debunking the 'Night-on Fan Strategy' for Grain Drying" on Friday, September 27 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 2 pm, with refreshments at 1:45 pm. Common practice in Western Canada for drying the high moisture, freshly harvested grain to safe storage moisture levels is to dry in-bin using low temperature natural air, or natural air with supplemental heat. Appropriate control strategies are required to optimize the drying performance to reach the target moisture without significant dry matter and quality loss prior to winter storage. Several fan/heater control strategies for in-bin natural air drying of grain were investigated and will be discussed. Dr. Chandra B. Singh is a Biosystems Engineer and Advanced Grain Management expert at the OPIsystems Inc., Calgary, AB. Dr. Singh holds a PhD degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Manitoba. Before joining OPIsystems he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Wheat Board Centre for Grain Storage Research, University of Manitoba. All are welcome!

Ford and the Faculty of Engineering invite you to attend a special presentation "Ford and the Future of Electrification" with Gilbert (Gil) Portalatin, Chief Program Engineer Electrified Powertrain Programs and Integration, on Ford’s award-winning engineering on Wednesday, October 2 at 5:00 pm in Room E3-270, EITC (Engineering & Information Technology Complex). 5 pm, meet and greet with light dinner served, 6 pm - Presentation. Cost is free - open to all students, faculty, alumni and industry. Please RSVP by Friday, September 27 to: Lisa Bernstein at

The Faculty of Agriculture Students Organization (FASO) is hosting a "Meet the Faculty BBQ" on Thursday October 3, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.  Location is in the courtyard outside of the Atrium in the Agriculture Building. We hope to have a great turn out by our Faculty and Instructors.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 3 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Mike McAndless and Rob Tisdale, Agriculture Committee for the Bicentenary of the Red River Selkirk Settlement, will be presenting “200 Years of Farming Experience”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. 

Happy Autumn!  It is time to start planting your bulbs - come learn how to grow garlic in our cold climate.  A Garlic Planting Workshop is being held at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre on Saturday, October 5 from 10:30 am -11:30 am.  Come out, have fun, learn and take home some Manitoba-hardy bulbs for your garden!  For more information on the Discovery Centre, please visit

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 10 in Room 219 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Martin Entz, Plant Science, will be presenting "Natural Systems Agriculture: A new approach for redesigning Canadian farming systems". Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 10 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm.  Dr. Steven Fox, DL Seeds, will be presenting “Factors Influencing the Biology and Business of Breeding Wheat and Canola”.  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. 

The 18th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference themed "Climate Change and Grain Transportation" will take place Tuesday, October 22 at the Delta Hotel. Despite weather extremes of heat, cold, drought and flooding, Canada has built a globally successful agricultural export base with a reliable transportation system. Extreme weather events aren’t new, and past major disruptions have been followed by drawn out and costly recovery. Recently though, such weather events have become more extreme and more frequent, a sign of a changing climate.  The annual Fields on Wheels Conference deals with a topical issue about Western Canadian agricultural supply chains that support the grain industry’s ability to compete in global markets. This year the event will consider the impact of climate change on agricultural output and on transportation service providers, with emphasis on how they plan to cope with new challenges and emergencies. You need to be a part of these important discussions if you are a stakeholder to this critical industry, as a producer, a carrier or logistics service provider, a policymaker, regulator, academic or a customer. Register now for the 18th Annual Fields on Wheels Conference and take advantage of the early bird rate of $295 plus GST per person - regular rate of $345 will apply after September 27.  Full details and view the agenda at

The second seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series for 2013-2014 will be held on Wednesday, October 23 in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building.  Brian Fristensky, Plant Science, will be presenting "Moving targets and millions of sequencing reads - Bioinformatics lessons from an international biofuels project".  The Genome Canada project “Microbial Genomics for Biofuels and Co-Products" provides a useful case study in how bioinformatics adaptation to changes in strategies, technologies, analytical methods, and software as a major international collaboration proceeds. As the project has evolved and data have proliferated, the challenges for analysis, integration, and management of this information has required the development of innovative analytical approaches and new software tools. One outgrowth of these efforts is the Bio Information Technologies Lab (Bit), with a core of expertise, servers and software, which are now being leveraged in new collaborations. The presentation will include a Q&A panel session.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

An Intergenerational Succession Planning Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, in Room 130 Agriculture Building from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Facilitating the workshop will be Mr. Terry Betker, President and CEO of Backswath Management Inc. The workshop includes instruction and material on important parts of succession planning, using ‘real farm’ examples. It will provide opportunities for students and parents to apply succession planning principles to their own farm and family situations.  The event is designed to promote active communication and related family discussions relating to succession planning issues. Workshop Cost is $500 per family or group (maximum number per group is 4). Registration details online at



Brian Amiro, Associate Dean (Academic), attended the Greenhouse-Gas-Europe Open Conference in Antwerp, Belgium, September 16-19.  He was on the organizing committee for the conference and has been on the External Science Advisory Committee for the GHG-Europe network for the past four years.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was a keynote speaker at the 15th International Sclerotinia Workshop held in Wuhan, China recently. Dilantha's presentation was in the Epidemiology, Forecasting and Management session. He also chaired the Ecology and Biological Control session at the same conference.

Dilantha Fernando, Sakaria Liban and Xuehua Zhang from Plant Science attended the 10th International Congress of Plant Pathology in Beijing, China. Dilantha chaired the Blackleg evening session and gave three oral presentations at the conference. Sakaria gave an oral presentation while Xuehua presented two posters. Sakaria was the recipient of the Morrison Travel Award (Department of Plant Science) which partially funded his travel to the conference. 

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was invited to participate in the Organic Valley Agronomy School in Wisconsin, September 18 and 19.  Organic Valley is a cooperative of farmers that produces organic dairy, poultry, beef, grain and forage products in 34 US states and has $1 billion of annual sales.  Martin's U of Manitoba-based organic team has recently received a research grant from Organic Valley to conduct nutrient balance studies on 12 Canadian prairie organic farms.

Earlier this month, Martin Entz presented an invited paper entitled " Natural Systems Agriculture: A new approach for redesigning Canadian farming systems" at the 4th International Farming System Design Symposium in Lanzhou, China.  His co-authors were Joanne Thiessen Martens (U of M) and Mark Wonneck (Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Calgary).

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented a paper entitled "Plant Location and Barley Procurement in the Malting Industry of North America" at the Economics of Beer and Brewing Conference in York, England, on September 19.

Crystal Jorgenson, Dean's Office, was elected to serve as the Manitoba representative on the board of the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation, a national association for agricultural journalists and communicators. Crystal is the past president of the Manitoba Farm Writers' and Broadcasters' Association.

Over 1000 students from Winnipeg and surrounding communities took part in Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Amazing Agriculture Adventure” last week.  Students in the grade 4 and 5 science curriculum learned about various agricultural topics at 18 interactive stations set up at the Glenlea Research Station, the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre and Richardson’s Kelburn Farm.  A number of Faculty staff and students volunteered at the event – thank you for making the event a continued success!


The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has a unique offer for members of the University of Manitoba community who wish to publish in RSC journals.  As part of U of Manitoba Libraries’ subscription to RSC journals this year, RSC has given us vouchers to cover open access publication fees for 8 articles published in RSC journals in 2013.  To take advantage of this offer simply submit your article as you normally would; once it has been accepted for publication you will be given the option of entering a voucher code.  At this point contact Jan Horner (  and she will provide you with a voucher code.  The voucher code will make your article available for anyone to read for free. If you have any questions please contact Jan Horner (



Adelakun, I.A. and R. Sri Ranjan. 2013. Design of a multilevel TDR probe for measuring soil water content at different depths.  Transactions of the ASABE. 56(4): 1451-1460.

Taylor, A.M., B.D. Amiro, and T.J. Fraser.  2013.  Net CO2 exchange and carbon budgets of a three-year crop rotation following conversion of perennial lands to annual cropping in Manitoba, Canada.  Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 182-183: 67-75.



Rob Currie, Entomology, was interviewed by CBC about honeybee winter losses, saying beekeepers are finding it harder and harder to manage the biggest risks — parasites and disease - Read it online.

Bill Guenter, Animal Science, was interviewed by Kelvin Heppner in the article "Egg Farmers Mandate Alternative Housing" in which he describes the features of the enriched cage system for laying hens. Read it online.

John Thoroski, Food Science, was interviewed on CBC's The Weekend Morning Show about some the interesting work they are doing with Dairy Farmers of Manitoba at the U of M dairy science facility. John and his team foster successful artisanal dairy products in the plant, like Cornell Creme ice cream and Oak Island Acres Goat Dairy cheeses, which are produced in small batches at the University and sold in local markets. Read it online.

Brian Amiro, Associate Dean (Academic) was interviewed by a number of media on the Faculty's jump in enrolment - "Strong sector sends students to ag classes" in Western Producer (September 19). Read it on page 18.

Rick Holley, Food Science, was interviewed for the article "Dubious processing led to meat seizure: expert" in the Western Producer (September 19). Read it on  page 16.


The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences invites applicants to apply for the position of Glenlea Operations Manager - deadline to apply is October 4, 2013.

What are you doing after work on Fridays this winter? Come curl with us in Aggie Row Curling, a friendly and long-running league with folks from the Faculty and from Agriculture Canada. We play Friday afternoons at 4:30 at the Pembina Curling Club - close by and easy to get to. The season starts in October 11 and runs til March. No experience is necessary and all are welcome. Full time or half time curlers welcome. For more information contact Paula Parks at

The 8th Annual Undergraduate Student Research Poster Competition sponsored by the University of Manitoba, Office of the Vice-President (Research) will take place October 30, 2013  from 1:00 - 4:30 pm in the Manitoba Room, University Centre, Fort Garry Campus. The posters may be set up after 11:30 am. This is a great opportunity for members of the university community and the general public to see the relevance, value, and outstanding calibre of research being conducted by young researchers at the University of Manitoba.  Students may wish to present the results of an undergraduate honours thesis completed in the previous academic year; present the results of a summer 2013 research project; or present an original research/scholarly/creative works project that was completed in an undergraduate course.  Posters will be judged by representatives from the university community, industry, government and community organizations. Awards will be presented at 4:00 pm.  Prizes of $500, $300 and $200 respectively will be awarded to the top three posters in each of the following five categories: applied sciences; health sciences; natural sciences; social sciences/humanities; and creative works.  An iPad (sponsored by the Faculty of Human Ecology) will be awarded by the Qualitative Research Group (QRG) to the top poster describing qualitative research. The application form is available at and is due Friday, October 18. You can contact Fred at 474-6689 or via email at if you have any questions.

The 2013 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards recognize and honour people, projects and ideas that successfully turn the principles and guidelines of sustainable development into lasting achievements. Any individual, business, institution, organization, community group and youth in Manitoba is eligible to apply or be nominated in a variety of categories. Nominate someone you know or apply yourself! For application/nomination instructions and forms, please visit: The deadline for submitting an application or nomination is 12:00 noon, Friday, November 29, 2013.

AG e-news > September 26, 2013