Canola School: Do We Need to Worry About the Cabbage Seed Pod Weevil in 2010 - Hector Carcamo


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With canola being one of the only crops in Western Canada that will enable a profit on the farm this year we need to do our best to protect it.  One of the largest threats to canola yields is the cabbage seed pod weevil.  The cabbage seed pod weevil mainly affects areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan and can in the worse case scenario reduce yields by 25%.  Scouting is incredibly important with this insect to ensure proper management and control.  This is one of the reasons that canola requires more attention and management in the field.

Figure 1. Adult cabbage seedpod weevil on canola


The cabbage seedpod weevil (Ceutorhynchus obstrictus) was introduced to North America from Europe about 70 years ago (Figure 1). The weevil was discovered in British Columbia in 1931, and from there, it dispersed south and eastward, so it now occurs throughout most of the United States.

It was first found infesting canola in southern Alberta in 1995, and since then, the weevil has spread to central Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. In 2000, it was found in Québec for the first time. Host plants of the cabbage seedpod weevil all belong to the mustard family (Brassicaceae), and include canola, brown mustard, cole crops (e.g. cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) and cruciferous weeds (e.g. wild mustard, flixweed, stinkweed).

I talked to Dr. Hector Carcamo from the Lethbridge Research Station about the cabbage seed pod weevil forecast for the coming 2010 growing season.  Dr. Carcamo shares with us his analysis of the pest and how we can be proactive to manage it.

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