Category: Beneficial Insects

Reduce Runoff with Reservoir Tillage

There’s a new conservation tillage practice in town. Move over no-till, reduced till and strip till, here comes reservoir tillage. The RT850 reservoir tillage tool from Minnesota-based Willmar Fabrication is designed to run between crop rows and make depressions in the ground using 10-inch teeth to create better water infiltration and reduce runoff. “You’re just… Read more »

Soybean School: Refining the Soybean Aphid Threshold to Factor in Friendly Bugs

When soybean aphids start multiplying in soybean fields, the decision to spray is typically triggered by the number of aphids found on each plant. The threshold for growers in Western Canada is usually reached when there are an average of 250 aphids per plant on 80 percent of the plants. The population should still be… Read more »

Corn School: How Do Tillers Impact Yield?

When you see two tillers growing out of a corn root you may suspect the wannabe plants are stealing nutrients from the main stalk, along with yield potential. But that’s not the case, explains Pride Seeds’ market agronomist Aaron Stevanus on this episode of Real Agriculture Corn School. “Tillers are actually a good thing. It… Read more »

Honey Nut Cheerios’ Buzz is Disappearing, But Honeybees Are Not

“The world’s bee population is in crisis and Honey Nut Cheerios is coming to the rescue, minus its perky mascot.” — Toronto Star, March 15, 2016 Move over Kathleen Wynne and Glen Murray. There’s a new saviour of bees in town. General Mills Canada announced last week “Buzz” the honeybee will disappear from its Honey… Read more »

Entomologist Recommends Proactive Approach to Neonics on the Prairies

Regulatory restrictions are not on the radar in Manitoba, but the province’s agriculture entomologist suggests farmers in Western Canada should ask themselves “why?” before using neonicotinoid seed treatments. The Ontario and Quebec governments are restricting the use of insecticide-treated seed in response to concerns about neonics hurting bee health, but there haven’t been the same problems with pollinator populations… Read more »

Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Request of Stay Regarding Neonic Regs Gets Court Date

The Grain Farmers of Ontario have received a court date regarding its case requesting a stay of the Ontario government’s new regulations limiting access to neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed. The regulations came into force as of July 1, 2015. The case will be heard September 28th, 2015, says GFO. If a stay is granted,… Read more »

Bee Health Bounce: Canadian Overwintering Losses Average 15.9% for 2014/15

Canadian honeybee overwintering numbers are in for the 2014/15 season, and the results show a strong start to the 2015 year. Representing over 360,000 honey colonies (over half of all colonies in the country), the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) says that its survey of 443 beekeepers pegs the Canadian average of overwintering loss… Read more »

Canola School: When a Better-Safe-Than-Sorry Insecticide Pass Makes Matters Worse

As a diverse set of volunteers in the agriculture industry, it’s hard to assign a worth to the work beneficial insects accomplish, but their absence can speak volumes, if you’re listening. To showcase that, Jim Broatch, pest management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, talks root maggots in this Canola School, and how an insecticide application… Read more »

Did Farmers Just Save the Bees Before Glen Murray Could?

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has tallied up the in-season bee death numbers for both 2014 and 2015 (planting only), and the numbers are nothing short of staggering. The PMRA recently reported to the federal bee health roundtable that during the planting period there was roughly a 70% decrease in the number of reported… Read more »

Grain Farmers Urged to Seek Signed Agreements with Beekeepers in Effort to Reduce Liability

The Grain Farmers of Ontario have sought legal advice on behalf of its members and have words of caution for farmers: do not allow beekeepers on your land without a waiver of liability. GFO has contacted members with guidance following concerns that surround possible liability issues with hosting beekeepers’ livestock on their land, the group… Read more »

Here Comes the Red Tape: Ontario Rolls Out Final Regulation on Accessing Neonic-Treated Soy and Corn Seed

Ontario’s government today unveiled the final version of the regulations governing the use of neonicotinoid-treated soybean and corn seeds. If you can hardly tell the difference from the proposed regulation launched late in 2014, you can be forgiven — the final regulation is only slightly tweaked from the original proposal. Ontario’s Ministry of Environment of… Read more »

It’s Good to Be a Bee, When You’ve Got Plenty to Eat

I’ve often wondered what would happen if I moved my dairy farm to Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton. I’d take some floor space out in a nearby building and then open the doors to let the cows come and go as the please. Free-range is all the rage, anyway. I wouldn’t feed them myself though, I’d… Read more »

Buzzing Gardens Set to Adorn Canadian Landscapes

Bee health is top of mind for many, but seeing as it’s such a complex issue, it can be hard to know what to do to help. A new national program, “Buzzing Gardens,” launched by Bees Matter, is making it easier for all Canadians to provide bees and other pollinators with the nutrition they need,… Read more »

Ontario Neonic Rules Going to Cabinet Wednesday

Two independent sources familiar with the workings of Ontario’s legislature have confirmed that the impending regulations regarding access to neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed will go to cabinet on Wednesday, June 3rd. This final version of the regulations designed by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) will take effect July 1. First announced… Read more »

Ontario Farmers Rally at MPP Offices, Protest Handling of Neonic Regulation Process

Farmers from across southern Ontario rallied at two MPP offices today, May 29, to demonstrate their frustration over the Ontario government’s handling of impending regulations regarding the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed. Grain Farmers of Ontario put the call out earlier this week for farmers to show up between 10 am and… Read more »