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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

June 19, 2014


The Plant Science Graduate Student Association will be holding their annual Charity BBQ on Friday June 20 from 11:30 to 1:30 at the Plant Science Atrium Courtyard  (Note:  If raining, the BBQ will be postponed to a later date).   The cost for food is $5 (pay at the door), which will get you a drink, chips and one of either a burger, hotdog or veggie burger. All proceeds will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest.  Donations of non-perishable items to be donated to Winnipeg Harvest are welcomed.   

The 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture is in Winnipeg June 22-25. This event is being sponsored by the North American Conservation Agriculture Systems Alliance (CASA), which was started back in 2007 through the convening efforts of the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) in Lafayette, IN.  The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) is a member of CASA, and it is through the hard work of SCCC and CTIC (the co-hosts of this Congress) that the event is taking place here in North America. In addition to a star-studded program, there are also two tours following the Congress that you may take part in. To learn more about the Congress, please visit the website at or contact Marla Riekman at directly for more details.

Thursday, June 26 marks the first regular season Blue Bomber game. The Event Day Parking Plan goes into effect at 6:00 pm, 90 minutes before kick-off. Complete details about alternate parking locations and other event dates are listed at

The 2014 Manitoba Crop Diagnostic School will be held the weeks of July 8-11 and July 14-18 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm near Carman.  The Crop Diagnostic School is designed to refine the diagnostic skills of agronomists and producers involved in field scouting and assessing crop health. For more information or to register, please call  (204) 745-5663 or visit When registering, indicate whether you are a student or staff member for special pricing on the Staff & Student Day on Tuesday, July 8.

The Natural Systems Agriculture program will offer the inaugural Advanced Organic Crop Diagnostic School on Friday, July 18, 8:30 am to 4 pm at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB. This is an advanced-level, all-day workshop that will feature in-depth sessions on nutrient management in organic systems, weed management, soil health, and more. If you are an experienced organic farmer, agronomist or extension agent wanting to expand your knowledge of the whys and hows of organic crop management, this workshop may be for you. Cost: $35/person (includes lunch). Pre-registration required - maximum 100 people. Call Monika Menold at 204-745-5663 to register. Visit for more details.

The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is pleased to present a Summer Day Camp that will be held from Monday, July 21, to Friday, July 26. Every day will be filled with many fun and exciting activities focusing on agriculture and food in Manitoba. This camp is open to children between the ages of 7 to 13. There are only 15 spots available so register soon! To learn more visit or contact the centre at or 204-883-2524.

Also mark your calendar for the Ecological and Organic Farming Systems Field Tour on the evening of Tuesday, July 22 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm.  Those who are just beginning in organic farming are encouraged to attend this tour, rather than the Advanced Diagnostic School.  This free evening tour runs from 6 pm to 8 pm and is open to all who are interested in learning about our research in the Natural Systems Agriculture lab or about ecological and organic farming in general. Visit for more details.

The University of Manitoba Transport Institute (UMTI) is pleased to present the Warming of the North Conference in Ottawa, Ontario from September 28-30. This major international transportation conference will bring together stakeholders from government, academia, private and public industry and business to discuss the impact of warming trends on transportation in the North.  The theme of the conference is Implications for Arctic Transportation, Supply Chain Management, and Economic Development.  With Canada in the role of Chair of the Arctic Council, it is vital that the country take the lead on presenting the issues facing the world as the passages in the North open up to shipping traffic.  The agenda is now available to view and registration is officially open for this event.  Please visit or go directly to the conference information page here


As part of the University of Manitoba’s Academic Structure Initiative, on May 14, 2014, Senate approved in principle and recommended to the Board of Governors the joining of the Faculty of Human Ecology’s Department of Human Nutritional Sciences to the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. On May 20, the Board of Governors approved this recommendation. Effective July 1, 2014, the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences will join the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.  Read more at

Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, is presenting a paper “Spatial Interactions in Habitat Conservation: Evidence from Prairie Pothole Easements,” at the World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists in Istanbul, Turkey on June 30. 

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was elected President Elect for 2014/15 of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society at the annual meetings May 30 to June 1 in Vancouver.  Janelle Mann (Economics) was elected as a director for 2014 to 2016 at the same meeting.

The 2nd Canadian Wheat Symposium was held in Saskatoon, SK, June 8-11.  Anita Brûlé-Babel, Plant Science, presented an invited paper entitled “Breeding for FHB Resistance: Progress and Challenges”.  Four of Anita’s graduate students - Alice Mwaniki, Zesong Ye, Branden Burns and Yang Lin - also attended the meeting.  Alice Mwaniki presented a poster entitled “Inheritance of Fusarium Head Blight Resistance in a Double Haploid Winter Wheat Population”.  Zesong Ye presented a poster entitled “Evaluation of Genetics and Fungicide Application for FHB Mitigation”. Branden Burns presented a poster entitled “Evaluation and Analysis of Crop Inspection Procedures to Maintain Genetic Purity in Pedigreed Wheat Triticum aestivum L. Seed”.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science was a guest of the Dean of the College of Plant Sciences, Prof. Hongyu Pan, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China for five days in May. Dilantha gave four lectures and participated in research discussions of mutual interest. Dilantha also visited Beihua University in Jilin City and gave a lecture on host-pathogen interactions.

Kees Plaizier, Animal Science, visited the University of Padua in Italy June 16 - 20 to discuss ongoing collaboration on reducing subacute ruminal acidosis in dairy cows and to give a seminar and work shop on diet formulation to reduce metabolic disorders in high yielding dairy cows. While in Europe, Kees will also attend the International Scientific Conference on Prebiotics and Probiotics in Budapest, Hungary, on June 23-26.

Kees Plaizier and Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, have received funding from Growing Innovation ARDI and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba for the project “Optimizing phosphorus utilization and bedding management to enhance environmental sustainability, cow health and food safety on Manitoba dairy farms” for $280,000 over three years.

Ehsan Khafipour and Martin Nyachoti, Animal Science, have received funding from Growing Innovation ARDI and Manitoba Pork Council for the project “Impact of in-feed and intra-vaginal administration of probiotics during the last stage of gestation on reducing the risk of neonatal diarrhea in piglets” for $160,000 over three years.

Peris Munyaka and Hooman Derakhshani, Ph.D. students, and Hein Min Tun, postdoctoral fellow with Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, presented at Canadian Student Health Research Forum, which was held in Winnipeg, June 10-12. Hooman won the prize for excellence in Manitoba Health Research Poster Competition awarded by the Faculty of Medicine and Manitoba Medical Service Foundation.

Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, and several of his graduate students and postdocs are presenting at different conferences during the month of June. Ehsan is speaking at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich on "Vaginal microbiome and development of the intestinal microbiota of newborn calves", on June 23. Peris Munyaka, Ph.D. student, is presenting at "Gut Microbiology: From sequence to function" which is held in Aberdeen, Scotland, June 16-19. Ehsan, Peris and Elnaz Azad, Ph.D. student, are all presenting at "International Scientific Conference on Prebiotics and Probiotics", which will be held in Budapest, Hungary, June 24-26. Hooman Derakhshani, Ph.D. student, will be presenting in the "12th International Colloquium on Paratuberculosis" which will be held in Parma, Italy, June 22-26. Hein Min Tun, postdoctoral fellow, will be speaking at the School of Biological Science, University of Hong Kong on a new collaborative project on "Whole genome sequencing of lactic acid producing bacterial strains involved in galactose reduction in fermented dairy foods" on June 18.

Terry Galloway, Entomology, gave a workshop on aquatic insects for the volunteers at Fort Whyte Alive on May 21.  They had about 30 volunteers for the two-hour workshop, which involved sampling in the wetland and then bringing samples back inside to look at under the microscope, followed by discussion.

Rob Currie, Entomology, is away June 27-29 traveling as an invited speaker at the New Zealand Apiculture Industry Conference in Wanganui, NZ.

The Faculty held its annual student field day at Kelburn Farm on June 5 with about 70 Grade 10s from Fort Richmond Collegiate.  Students explored topics in soil and crop science and environmental management. Session facilitators were Mario Tenuta, Jehn Francisco and Oscar Molina Tirado in Soil Science, Doug Cattani in Plant Science, Christine Rawluk from the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment and MARFD’s John Heard and Mitch Timmerman

The Faculty hosted the Red River Exhibition Association Farm Family of the Year on Monday at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre. Phil Veldhuis and Vona Guiler are beekeepers from the Starbuck area who own and operate Phil's Honey, a mainstay at the St. Norbert Farmers' Market.  A banquet on Monday evening further honoured the family, along with the Red River Exhibition Foundation agriculture and agri-food industry scholarship winners. High school students Joseph Holtmann, Zack Koscielny, Devin Boitson, Bradley Wright, Sheena Meggison, Hayley Schuddemat and Katie Nolan all plan to attend the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences in the fall. Current agronomy student Haley Ostberg received the Cam Brown Agricultural Scholarship for National and International Study.


Messing, P., Farenhorst, A., Waite D.T. and Sproull, J.F. 2014. Air concentrations of currently used herbicides and legacy compounds in the Canadian prairies, subarctic, and arctic. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B. 49 (5), 338‐343.

Fu, D., B. Chen, H. Zhang, J. Wang, T.A. Black, B.D. Amiro, G. Bohrer, P. Bolstad, R. Coulter, F. Rahman, A. Dunn, J.H. McCaughey, T. Meyers, and S. Verma. 2014. Estimating landscape net ecosystem exchange at high spatial–temporal resolution based on Landsat data, an improved upscaling model framework, and eddy covariance flux measurements. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 141: 90‐104.


Digvir Jayas, Biosystems Engineering and VP (Research), was quoted in the article "Storing higher-oil canola" in Grainews (June 10). He provided some recommendations on how to store the higher oil canola hybrids to prevent spoilage. Read it on page 10 at

Terry Galloway, Entomology, was quoted in the article "Fewer mosquitos than normal... for now" in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 5). He talked about how the hard winter may have killed off the adult overwintering mosquitoes, but he (accurately) noted that a heavy rainstorm would cause a massive hatch of overwintered eggs. Read it on page 7 at

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, has been busy with interviews with the Manitoba Co-operator and with CBC/Radio-Canada (TV and radio) regarding ticks and forest tent caterpillars.

Michael Eskin, Human Nutritional Sciences, was highlighted by CTV for his nutrition lectures done in rap form and found on YouTube. Watch the story at


The Churchill Northern Studies Centre is looking to fill volunteer positions for this summer. They are in need of one person starting mid-July, and at least 2, (preferably 3) for August. All ages accepted from 19 years to retirement age and beyond! If you or anyone you know might be interested, please visit to see a description of the position.

The U of M Campus Food Bank is hosting a fundraiser with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on June 26. All staff (and family and friends) can get 15% off of tickets in the North End Zone – a portion from each ticket sold using our unique promo code will be donated back to the Food Bank. If you are interested in supporting a great cause and being a part of the action at the Blue Bomber Season opener please follow the link below and purchase your tickets online. The regular price of these tickets are $ 41.75 and we will be offering them at $35.00/ticket.

AG e-news > June 19, 2014