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

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

June 23, 2015


The 2015 Manitoba Crop Diagnostic School will be held July 7-9 and July 14-16 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. Staff and Student Day will be July 7 and will only cost participants $35. This is a nominal fee compared to the regular rate of $175. Contact to reserve your spot for July 7. For more information visit

The Glenlea Long-Term Study Field Day will be held Wednesday, July 8, at the Glenlea Research Station at 1:00 pm (please note time change).  Tour begins at 1:15 pm sharp. The focus of the day is “Designing productive farming systems that require fewer fertilizer and herbicides”. Topics include lessons from the 24-year-old Glenlea crop rotation study including alternative weed and soil fertility management practices, direct seeding wheat using mulches instead of glyphosate, inter-row tillage for small grain production, making nutrient-rich compost from farm and urban waste, soil health measurements, and oat variety development for organic and ecological production. Visit for all tour details.

Check out the summer family events at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre, beginning with Incredible Insect Investigation on Saturday, July 11. Search for insects in the tall grass and study their body parts under a microscope. Make a 'buggy' vegetable snack. For children aged three to ten. Spaces limited. Please RSVP to reserve your child's spot at 204.883.2524. See the entire summer schedule at

The Ecological and Organic Farming Systems Twilight Tour will take place Wednesday, July 15 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB.  At 5:30 pm there will be a free BBQ and meet and greet and then 6:30-8:30 pm is the tour. Topics include new organic seed quality research, organic soybean variety test, organic food grade corn production (a first in Manitoba!), evaluation of farmer-selected wheat and oat varieties - see how farmer-bred varieties compare to popular wheat and oat check varieties, and tools and ideas on how to conduct inter-row tillage for weed control in small grain production. Visit for all tour details.

The 2015 CAOCS/CRIBIQ joint congress will take place in Quebec City October 4-6. It is a joint event run by the CAOCS (Canadian section of the American Oil Chemists’ Society ) and CRIBIQ (Consortium for Research and Innovation in Industrial Bioprocesses, Quebec).  The meeting will consist of two parallel tracks, one focused more on academic research and other on more industry-relevant research.  The academic track consists of 4 sessions including healthy developments in fats and oils; innovations in oilseed crops; physical properties of fats and oils; and new trends in oleochemistry. Abstracts are due now. Visit for more details.


The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is pleased to welcome Myrna Grahn to the role of Assistant Manager at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and the Glenlea Research Station.  Myrna’s previous experience includes over 18 years with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development where she served in multiple roles related to agri-food program management, business innovation and development, and most recently focused on value-added partnerships in functional foods and nutraceuticals. Myrna, who has a Bachelor of Human Ecology with a minor in Marketing from the University of Manitoba, also served as a 4-H and Youth Specialist with MAFRD and has strong experience in youth development programs. Myrna began on June 15 and is located in the Discovery Centre. She can be reached at 204-883-2524 or

Corn and soybean research at the University of Manitoba under the guidance of Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, will benefit from a $1.2 million investment announced June 6 by the Western Economic Diversification.  Agricultural trials will be undertaken to increase production in Western Canada and benefit producers seeking to access growing domestic and global market opportunities. WD's investment supports the purchase of equipment to bridge the gap between current equipment capacity and the agronomy research needs identified by both the industry and producers.  Full release available at

A bioactive peptides review article written by Rotimi Aluko, Human Nutritional Sciences, and his then Ph.D. student (now Dr. Udenigwe) has won the first place prize for the most cited 2012 Journal of Food Science article. Details at  Dr. Udenigwe now holds an Associate Professor position at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. The award will be presented to the authors during the annual conference of the Institute of Food Technologists, July 11-14, Chicago, IL.  --  Udenigwe, Chibuike C; Aluko, Rotimi E. January 2012. Food Protein-Derived Bioactive Peptides: Production, Processing, and Potential Health Benefits. J Food Sci 77(1):R11–24. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02455.x. Cited 47 times.

Last week the joint conference of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association – Manitoba Soil Science Society was held in Winnipeg. It was an excellent event with lots of Soil Science students presenting their research. The MSSS student presentations went to Inoka Amarakoon (1st prize oral presentation), Amanda Taylor (2nd prize oral presentation), Abolfazl Hajihassani (1st prize poster presentation) and Surajum Munira (2nd prize poster presentation).

The Society of Nematologists (SON) Honors and Awards committee have awarded the Bayer CropScience travel award to Soil Science student Abolfazl Hajihassani to attend the 2015 annual SON meeting to be held in Michigan. SON reported that there were a large number of entries received this year and they were of high quality.

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, participated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the University of Manitoba and the Chinese‎ Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing June 17. He also presented a talk at the Institute of Food and Nutrition Department entitled "Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network: Facilitating Functional Foods of the Future".

As part of our ongoing cooperation with universities from China, Food Science’s Arnie Hydamaka delivered a two-week credit course in Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at Huazhong Agricultural University May 4-16, and spent one week as a guest lecturer at Nanjing University of Finance and Economics. Arnie also spent one day at China Agricultural University visiting the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering.

Erik Nielsen, a Spring Diploma graduate, submitted a video to the YouFarm International contest and is in the running for the top prizes. From now until June 30, visit the link and vote for his video, as well as share it on Facebook, Twitter and so on. The more votes and views he has, the better his chance at winning. Check it Erik’s great video at

Erin Goldberg, Human Nutritional Sciences Ph.D. student, was invited to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 8 to attend an NSERC event entitled “Get the Full Picture: Women, Diversity and Research Excellence”. Twelve other women researchers across Canada were invited, including Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science. The event was hosted by The Honorable Dr. Kellie Leitch, The Honorable Ed Holder and Dr. Mario Pinto and the visitors were able to meet Senators and MPs.

The Faculty hosted the Red River Exhibition Association Farm Family of the Year on June 15 at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre. The Friesen Family of Kleefeld, MB, are the owner/operators of Friecrest Holsteins, and include Ed and Kathy Friesen along with their four daughters Alyssa, Loralie, Janelle and Jocelyn.

The Faculty was also pleased to host the Diploma Class of 1965 for their 50th reunion on June 20. The group had lunch and toured campus before travelling out to the Discovery Centre for a visit.


Ojo, E.R., Bullock, P.R., L’Heureux, J., Powers, J., McNairn, H. and Pacheco, A. 2015. Calibration and Evaluation of an Frequency Domain Reflectometry Sensor for Real-time Soil Moisture Monitoring. Vadose Zone 14(3) doi:10.2136/vzj2014.08.0114


Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, has been taking YouTube by storm with some new videos produced by the UMToday team.  Check out her videos on tick myths, how to remove ticks from your pets, how to identify different types of ticks and a primer on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was interviewed for the article “What organic soils and teenagers have in common” on the UM Today site. The story is partly in recognition that 2015 has been declared International Year of Soils by the United Nations. Read more about it at


Birtle area grain and oilseed producers Mark Pawluk (B.Sc.Agrbus/99) and his wife Cori have been selected as the winners of the 2015 Manitoba Outstanding Young Farmers Award.  Read their whole story in Manitoba Farmers Voice (June 11) on page 20 at

Another alum, Matt Plett (B.Sc.Agrbus/99) and his wife Tanya are featured in the Western Producer (June 11) for their family’s perseverance in dairy farming. Read their story on page 21 at

Textile Sciences Research Survey - Please consider participating in a survey being conducted by Textile Sciences graduate student Marjia Khanom. The purpose of this research is to measure Canadian consumer knowledge about the health risks (cancer), physical injuries (limb loss) and deaths to over 60 million textile and apparel factory workers who are making apparel items for Western consumers in developing countries, such as Bangladesh. Visit

AG e-news > June 23, 2015