Category: Insects

Corn School: Could 2017 be another vomitoxin year?

A late-maturing crop, difficult environmental conditions, significant insect pressure and potential for late-season leaf disease…although too early to tell – this growing list of factors could lead to another year of high vomitoxin levels in the Ontario corn crop. In this episode of RealAgriculture Corn School, OMAFRA plant pathologist Albert Tenuta takes a look at the… Read more »

Wheat Pete’s Word, June 3 — A Billion Dollar Rain, Re-Scouting Frost-Damaged Fields, and Haying Kicks Off

The rain came, but was it in time? For those crops that escaped frost damage, this last week’s weather has been well worth the wait. For those anticipating new corn and soybean growth, however, the last week has led to more disappointments than expected. What’s going on? Peter Johnson kicks off this week’s Word with… Read more »

Genetic Engineering Keeps Pest Populations in Check — For Human and Crop Health

Genetically engineering insects is no longer a vision for the future. In fact, one group of GE mosquitoes, Oxitec Ltd’s OX513A, have moved from proof of principle to deployment, and have been used in open field trials in Malaysia, Grand Cayman, and now in Brazil. The mosquitoes are hoped to control their non-modified counterpart, Aedes aegypti, the… Read more »

Soybean School: Mid-Season Insect Scouting, Weed Escapes & Planning for Harvest

If soybean yield is made in August, what, if anything can farmers do to achieve those big yields? It starts with scouting, and leads to planning ahead, says Shawn Brenneman, with Syngenta. In this Soybean School episode, Bernard Tobin joins Brenneman in the field to talk weed escapes, the possibility of a pre-harvest application to… Read more »

Canola School: A Prairie Swede Midge Update

Since being found in Ontario in 2000, swede midge has had a rather hasty spread, with adults being found as early as 2007 in some areas in Saskatchewan. Until the past couple of years, however, western Canadian farmers reported finding few symptoms of swede midge damage, which can include anything from fused flower petals to… Read more »

Pulse School: Scouting the Elusive Pea Leaf Weevil

The pea leaf weevil can cause devastating economic losses to both peas and faba beans. Though the adult beetles feed on these crops after overwintering in perennial legumes, it is actually the larvae that cause the greatest damage. Larval feeding occurs on Rhizobium nodules for roughly six weeks. This may limit or completely inhibit nitrogen-fixation… Read more »

Canola School: Getting to Know Swede Midge

Swede midge larvae and symptoms were spotted in much of northeastern Saskatchewan this summer, concerning producers and agronomists alike. This isn’t the first time there has been concern over their movement, however. Three adult midge were found in Saskatchewan in 2007, only seven years after first being identified in Ontario, where their spread has been… Read more »

Canola School: The Basics of Insect Sweeping

By now you’re fully aware of the importance of monitoring insect pests in your canola. So, you’ve collected and assembled your sweep-net, now what? The standard technique for sweeping is one 180 degree sweep for every quick step through the canola field (accompanied by the odd fall, of course). Sounds simple (and perhaps slightly embarrassing), but… Read more »

Canola School: Bertha Armyworm Monitoring, Scouting and Control

Have you been keeping an eye on the bertha armyworm monitoring trap numbers in your area? As we crawl closer to mid-July, it’s important to be aware of regional risks, and have a good understanding of proper scouting techniques and spray timing. “You’re going to have your best success spraying at night,” says John Gavloski, provincial entomologist with… Read more »

The Alfalfa Weevil Watch — Scout, Shake and Count

This spring I listened in on the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s Alfalfa Weevil Webinar.  I assume I’m not the only farmer out there who had little knowledge of the alfalfa weevil before the webinar, let alone any idea of how much of a problem it is becoming. Let’s just say that if you have yet… Read more »

Tomorrow’s #AbBugChat — Early Season Pests

Tune in to Twitter tomorrow at 10 a.m. (mountain) to participate in the second #AbBugChat. Hosted by Scott Meers, tomorrow’s #AbBugChat will cover reports of early cutworm damage, what to scout for with wireworms and a caution on pea leaf weevil and flea beetle. Anyone with a Twitter account can participate in a chat. Simply… Read more »

Meet the Bees — What’s the Buzz All About?

If you are aggravated by puns or organisms belonging to the family Apidae, a warning: this article may bug you. But honey, I’ll try not to drone, if you promise to bee open-minded. There has been a lot of media coverage on the recent and very controversial propesed two-year suspension of neonicotinoids in the European… Read more »

Canola School: Send us Your Cutworms!

Alberta Agriculture wants your worms — cutworms, that is. In an effort to map out changing populations of various cutworms and to pinpoint cutworm feeding in new areas or at non-traditional times of the year, the Canola Council of Canada in concert with various provincial pest monitoring agencies and research scientists are asking for cutworm… Read more »

Cutworms Turn Up in Southern Alberta — Which Fields to Check First

The first few days of May brought a surprise! The Twitterverse lit up with reports of cutworms in southern Alberta. The first report came in on a new alfalfa stand. In alfalfa we normally expect that the cutworms will be redbacked but in this case they were army cutworm. The second field was a winter… Read more »