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AG e-news June 23, 2016

June 23, 2016 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba.

AG e-news is now on summer schedule and will publish once in mid-July and once in mid-August.


The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will have a special seminar on Friday, June 24 at 10:30 am in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, Room 130 Agriculture Building. Dr. Ismail Cakmak, Professor, Biological Sciences and Bioengineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey will present “Fertilizing Food Crops to Improve Human Nutrition and Health”. Refreshments will be served at 10:00 am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

On Friday, June 24, the Event Day Parking Plan goes into effect at 6:00 pm as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers kick off the season vs the Montreal Alouettes at the Investors Group Field. Complete details about alternate parking locations and other event dates are listed at

There is still time to register for the organic nutrient management webinar entitled “Whole Farm Nutrient Management Planning for Organic Farmers: Part 1 – Sampling in the green manure crop” scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. The webinar will focus on the theory, methods and interpretation of a green manure sampling procedure for assessing soil fertility and identifying soil nutrient deficiencies on organic farms.  This webinar, led by Joanne Thiessen Martens, is for organic farmers and crop advisors in the prairies. It is part 1 in a series on nutrient management planning tools for organic cropping systems and will explore the place of green manure sampling and analysis to help assess soil fertility on organic farms. Webinar times are 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM Mountain Time (AB and SK); 09:30 AM – 11:00 AM Central Time (MB). To register, please send your name and email address to Joanne Thiessen Martens:  J [dot] ThiessenMartens [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

The 2016 Manitoba Crop Diagnostic School will be held July 5-7 and July 12-14 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. To register or for more information, call 204-745-5663 in Carman or email monika [dot] menold [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca. For more information visit

Check out the summer family events at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre, beginning with an Ice Cream Party on Saturday, July 9. General admission rates apply and you are asked to RSVP to reserve your spot. Call 204-883-2524 or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. See the entire summer schedule at

The Ecological and Organic Farming Field Tour will take place Friday, July 15 at the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm in Carman, MB.  The tour runs 9:00 am to 12 noon, followed by lunch. RSVP by Monday, July 11 to Bev at bev [dot] godard [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-8563. For more information, visit the Natural Systems Agriculture website at

In this, the Year of the PULSE, Winnipeg will be host to the 10th Canadian Pulse Research Workshop. This workshop includes sessions on Genetics and Plant Breeding, Agronomy and Pathology, Environment and Nutrition and Food.  The workshop will be held at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg October 25-28.  There will be an additional workshop pulse protein quality on the afternoon of October 28.  To get more information and register go to



The Faculty was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Laurie Evans, retired professor and former head of the Department of Plant Science, on Sunday, June 19 at the age of 82. His funeral is Friday morning (June 24) at 10:00 a.m. at Glen Lawn Funeral Home, 455 Lagimodiere Blvd. His obituary can be found at

The Red River Exhibition Foundation Inc.’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry Scholarships were presented at a banquet on June 20 and most of the recipients are current or soon-to-be students in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.  Bailey Gitzel will be studying plant biotechnology this fall and received the Farm Family of the Year Scholarship.  Kasidee Dunn received the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame Scholarship and will start University 1 this fall, with intentions to enter the Faculty. Hendrik Jonk, who will enter the Diploma program this fall, received the Red River Co-operative Scholarship. Mark Carlson, Agribusiness student, was awarded the Cam Brown Agricultural Scholarship for National and International Study to attend the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Mikayla Rouire, who will also enter the Diploma program this fall, received the 4-H Centennial Scholarship. Chantal Boonstra will join the Faculty this fall to study Human Nutritional Sciences and received the 50th Anniversary Farm Family Scholarship. The banquet also honoured the Farm Family of the Year – Cal and Cathy Penner and their children Nikki and Eric. Cal is a Diploma graduate from 1986, and the family operates Calvern Farms, which features a 425-sow farrow-to-finish hog operation and wheat, canola, soybean and oat production. Karin Witttenberg, Tracy Gilson and Myrna Grahn hosted the Penners at a luncheon at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre on June 20.

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was announced as an inaugural Chair of the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s (CIHR) College of Reviewers. In his role as Chair, Peter will oversee strategies aimed at attracting and retaining outstanding peer reviewers. Peter is one of only two University of Manitoba professors appointed to the 15 College Chairs, selected from over 100 candidates from across Canada. Read more at

Members of the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences attended the 2nd Annual Northern Great Plains Lipids Conference June 11-12 in Grand Forks, ND where they had great attendance and engagement with colleagues in the US.  Many of the Department’s students presented talks.

Michael Eskin, Human Nutritional Sciences, was recently contacted by Dr. Oleg Medvedebv, Chair of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine, Lomonosov Moscow State University for permission to use his lipid raps. Dr. Medvedev established a Non-Govermental Organization-National Research Center “Healthy Nutrition.” The main goal of the NGO Center  was to publicize scientific data  about healthy foods to the general public. The lipid raps were considered to be a very creative  way of sharing scientific information and would be shown with Russian subtitles. The following link shows one of the raps adapted to Russian viewers.

Amy Henderson (Goulet), Human Nutritional Sciences M.Sc. student, presented her thesis project “Growing Roots: An Action Research Project to Build Newcomer Food Security in Winnipeg’s North End” at the North American Refugee Health Conference in Niagara Falls NY on June 13.She also recently received the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF) and Marian Campbell Scholarship in Community Nutrition.

A number of Human Nutritional Sciences faculty members and students attended the attended the national Dietitians of Canada conference in Winnipeg, June 9-11. Joyce Slater presented on her research “Critical Food Literacy Competencies for Youth” and chaired a panel on Indigenous Food in Urban Settings. Miyoung Suh presented “Fetal Alcohol Specturm Disorder-Can dietitians help a prenatal nutrition strategy?” and chaired two sessions for Canadian Foundation for Dietetics Research presentations.

Harunur Rashid, Ph.D. student in Plant Science, received the Taylor and Francis Publishers Travel Award to attend the Canadian Phytopathological Society annual conference held in Moncton, NB last week. Harun is a doctoral student in Dilantha Fernando’s lab. Harun’s presentation was on understanding the breakdown of resistance and emergence of virulence in the canola-blackleg pathosystem.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was elected to serve as Vice President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society for the 2016-2017 period. Dilantha will serve as President-elect for 2017-2018 period, and then as President of the Society from June 2018 through June 2019.

Dilantha has also been appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. Dilantha will work with scientists at University of Ruhuna in establishing farmer-friendly sustainable cropping practices related to plant health. He will also co-supervise graduate students.

Argenis Rodas-González, Animal Science, attended the American Meat Science Association 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference in San Angelo, TX, June 19-22.  He presented a poster on “Establishing the relationship between mineral content and palatability attributes of ribeye steaks from savannah-fed Brahman-influenced cattle”.

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented a paper at the 153th EAAE Seminar Gaeta,  in Italy, June 9-10 – New Dimensions of Market Power and Bargaining in Agri-Food. The title was “Firm Behavior in Canada’s Grain Handling and Transportation Sector after the removal of the CWB Single Desk” by Derek G. Brewin, James F. Nolan, Andrew Schmitz and Richard S. Gray.



A study by Inoka Amarakoon and Francis Zvomuya, Soil Science, that was published in the Journal of Environmental Quality was featured on UM Today “Rethinking stink about antibiotics in manure” and on a variety of websites, and was featured in the Manitoba Co-operator (June 23).

The struvite research of  Joe Ackerman, Biosystems Engineering, and Yeukai Katanda, former research assistant in Soil Science and M.Sc. grad, was highlighted in the June issue of the SCOPE newsletter. See the seven-page feature article, beginning at page 5 in

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, was quoted in the article “Sector eager to find ways to add pulses into diet” in the Western Producer (June 23). Read it on page 33 at



Birinchi Kumar Sarma, Harikesh Bahadur Singh, Dilantha Fernando, Roberto Nascimento Silva, and Vijai Kumar Gupta. 2016. Enhancing Plant Disease Resistance without R Genes. Letter. Trends in Biotechnology (in press).

Chami C. Amarasinghe, Senay Simsek, Anita Brûlé-Babel and W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2016. Analysis of deoxynivalenol and deoxynivalenol-3-glucosides content in Canadian spring wheat cultivars inoculated with /Fusarium graminearum/. Food Additives & Contaminants (in press).

Xiaoyang Hou, Xiaoning Yu, Binghai Du, Kai Liu, Liangtong Yao, Sicheng Zhang, C. Selin, W.G.D. Fernando, Chengqiang Wang, Yanqin Ding. 2016. A single amino acid mutation in Spo0A results in sporulation deficiency of /Paenibacillus polymyxa/ SC2. Research in Microbiology. (in press).

Girard, Ian,  Austein G. Mcloughlin1, Teresa R. de Kievit, Dilantha W. G. Fernando and Mark F. Belmonte. 2016. Integrating large scale data and RNA technology to protect crops from fungal pathogens. Frontiers in Plant Science. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00631

Fernando, W.G.D., Zhang, X., Amarasinghe, C. C. 2016. Detection of /Leptosphaeria maculans/ and /Leptosphaeria biglobosa/ causing blackleg disease in canola from Canadian seed lots and dockage. Plants 5, 12; doi:10.3390/plants5010012



Freedman Crescent Closure: June 20 to September 1, 2016

Are you a young farmer in Manitoba? You could be eligible for 75% off registration to attend AGEX 2016. Through Growing Competitiveness – Next Generation, Manitoba Agriculture has cost-share funding available for young farmers (ages 18-39) to attend the Agricultural Excellence Conference November 22-24 2016 in Calgary, Alberta and enhance their farm business management skills. Application intakes start June 1 and September 1. To apply online: Step 1 – Go to the Manitoba Agriculture website:; Step 2 – Read the ‘Who Qualifies’ and ‘How to Apply’ sections; Step 3 – Complete and submit the e-Application form:

The Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba invites applications for a tenure track position at the rank of Assistant Professor, commencing September 1, 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter, to teach and conduct research in Insect Systematics and Taxonomy.


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