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Your Farm Voice: Pam Bailey – Pest Surveillance Initiative

Raised in Nova Scotia, Pam Bailey moved to Manitoba five years ago to learn more about Canadian agriculture, and stayed for love. Pam and her husband along with his parents farm nearly 1000 acres of canola, wheat and soybeans near Dacotah, Manitoba.

Pam joined the MCGA board of directors in 2018 and serves on the grower engagement & extension and market development committees. Outside her role as a farmer and MCGA director, Pam works full time and in her spare time she enjoys volunteering and playing with her dog, Ruby.


Q&A with Pam

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

A: Probably the best piece is a very familiar one: “Learn to do by doing” – the 4-H motto.


Q: How do you celebrate agriculture?

A: I’m privileged enough be able to access to such a variety of Canadian agricultural products which are often of the highest quality in the world, so I try to share and encourage others to share in the bounty we have in Canada. Whether it’s wild blueberries, maple syrup, Christmas trees, cheese, wool, meat, wheat or canola oil, sharing their farmer’s story makes everyone appreciate Canadian agriculture that much more.


Pest Surveillance Initiative

The Pest Surveillance Initiative (PSI) Lab was established because farmers in Manitoba were concerned and interested in learning about clubroot and how big of a problem it was going to be.

Working together with Manitoba Agriculture, MCGA set up the PSI Lab so farmers could have the capability to look at the DNA of clubroot and document how much clubroot is in the province.

The PSI Lab began by mapping low levels of clubroot in Manitoba, and today capabilities have expanded to include testing and mapping for glyphosate resistant kochia as well as testing for blackleg and identification of different blackleg races.

“The goal of the PSI Lab is to help growers identify pests as they are emerging,” says Leanne Murphy, CEO of the PSI Lab. “We believe that if you’re seeing dead plants in the field, economic losses have already occurred. The technology at the PSI Lab allows us to catch pathogens as they start to emerge.”

The vision for the PSI Lab has always been to provide testing for members as well as be able to determine what pests are in our province so members benefit from this knowledge. The PSI Lab can look at the DNA from any crop or any pest and determine its applicability to Manitoba.

“The PSI Lab is a farmer-led initiative that provides science-based and factual research farmers in Manitoba need,” says Pam Bailey, Director MCGA. “The growth of the PSI Lab and its testing capabilities verifies that it is a valuable resource for farmers to get un-biased facts and information relevant to their farm.”

The PSI Lab is able to assess the DNA of different diseases and threats for canola producers. This is crucial in understanding more about each pest and how challenging they may be for farmers in particular areas. “These results give farmers the knowledge to make informed decision on the canola varieties and best-practices they incorporate on their farm,” adds Bailey.

MCGA is pleased to offer members one free clubroot, glyphosate resistant Kochia and blackleg race test per year, a $450 value. To claim your free tests follow the directions and sampling procedures found on our website.

We hope getting tested helps you maximize net income on your farm.