Wheat School: Twilight scouting for wheat midge

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What’s good for wheat growth is good for wheat midge, says research scientist Tyler Wist, of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, based at Saskatoon, Sask. What’s more, these tiny pests can cause big issues, even in very low numbers, so scouting is one key aspect of management.

In this edition of RealAgriculture’s Wheat School, Wist also discusses variety selection and economic thresholds of the wheat midge, adding that it’s important to understand the insect’s behaviour in order to properly scout.

Economic damage can occur with as few as one midge on 10 wheat heads, and beyond yield loss, the midge larvae feeding can also cause significant grade loss, as well.

Wist explains that we do have genetic resistance to the midge — the SM-1 gene — but it is a single gene and a single mode of action: stewardship of this trait is key to maintaining its efficacy for as long as possible.

Watch below for scouting tips, identification, threshold levels, and trait stewardship:

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