Wheat midge is something that traditionally, farmers in Alberta have not been too concerned about. It was always more of a Saskatchewan issue. Over the past few years however, as we have moved to wetter springs and summers, conditions have changed enough for the pest to become a greater concern. Wheat midge is a pest that has the potential to result in grade reduction of wheat or in extreme cases, complete loss of crop. It is the wheat midge larvae that are the problem. After eggs are laid, the maggot feeds on the developing kernel. Depending on when the eggs are laid and how many there are, the results can be devastating.
Farmers have to be aware of wheat midge in their area and options in prevention and control. Scott Meers is with the Government of Alberta – Pest Surveillance Branch. I spoke to him about the movement of wheat midge and the prevention and control measures farmers can take to combat the bug.
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