RealAg LIVE! with Jennifer Otani with early pest scouting alerts


Some insect pests overwinter in or near fields, while others blow in later in the season. For those that overwinter, early scouting is especially important.

Following a relatively mild winter, some insect pests are making the most of dry conditions on many parts of the Prairies and are beginning to emerge and feed. For this RealAg LIVE! host Kara Oosterhuis is joined by Jennifer Otani, with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to talk cutworm risks and scouting, wireworm complexities, early indications of flea beetle, and more.

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  • Early season pests!
  • Relatively mild winter does favour overwintering of some pests
  • Cutworms could be an issue, as they do overwinter
  • Wireworm
  • Flea beetles is the next one we worry about
  • There is some seed in the ground already
  • Cutworm pest species overwinter as larvae and pupae and so get digging! You can find them
  • Overwintering cutworms might eat dandelion roots first, can be the first indication of an issue
  • Beneficials for cutworms? Some predatory beetles are active now
  • There are some cutworm diseases, too
  • Early season scouting is less about control and more about fact finding (which species? how many? where?)
  • Bertha armyworm tend to run in 3-year outbreak cycles, so if they were a problem last year, be wary and perhaps get some traps
  • Live reporting maps! Use them! Report! (Check them out here)
  • When to put out traps? Usually by end of June. Tied to degree day heat units.
  • Mmmm, recipes for wireworm bait balls
  • Otani suggests more value in scouting, as success with bait balls has been ho-hum
  • Pheromones show promise
  • Keep an eye on that germinating seed, please
  • Flea beetles overwinter as adults
  • Active as soon as the weather warms up
  • Important to be aware that if you see flea beetles on weeds/volunteers
  • But sometimes there’s a distance/disconnect between the beetles are and where your canola ends up
  • Two main species, crucifer and striped
  • Cool, dry, windy springs may mean the feeding happens on the stem and underside of the leaf
  • And not the year to skimp on seed
  • Favourite pest? Lygus! Favourite predator? A big fan of carabid beetles. So pretty. Photogenic, y’all.
  • Beneficials, are pollinators, parasitoids, and some are predators — some amazing hymenoptera species
  • Peace Region: watch for grasshoppers in June. You heard it here first.

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