Our collective knowledge of a particular pest, and also its enemies, builds over decades of observations, questions, and sound research. Sometimes, such as is the case with lygus in canola crops, research has to wait for the right person or timing to really get rolling forward. In this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast,… Read More

Although spiders can sometimes get a bad rap, when we are talking about beneficials and crop health, the eight-legged creatures actually can go a long way in protecting plants from hungry pests. For this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast, brought to you by Field Heroes powered by the Western Grains Research Foundation, host… Read More

Usually a pest of canola, but sometimes a pest of faba bean and other pulses, the bertha armyworm is a significant eater of crop yield in Canada. For this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast, brought to you by Field Heroes powered by the Western Grains Research Foundation, host Shaun Haney discusses a fascinating… Read More

If your idea of a beneficial insect is one that sits back and waits for dinner to crawl on by, you’ve likely never heard about the secret lives of lacewings. Green lacewings are nothing short of ferocious, and, as Dr. Tyler Wist of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada explains, they’re more like aphid-hunting lions than laid-back… Read More

Can you tell an armyworm from a hover fly larva? What about a helpful pirate bug from a lygus? The trouble with insect identification is that it’s actually incredibly difficult, especially when you’re looking for adults but find nymphs, or are nervous about a pest species and a look-alike pops up. John Gavolski, entomologist with… Read More

Mitigating pests will always be a top priority for many, but how much of a role can Mother Nature play in that process? In our season premiere of the Pests & Predators podcast, we’ll be talking about the relationship between unwanted pests and insects. This time we’re adding in a third element: weather. Host Shaun… Read More

Environmental conditions this year are certainly conducive to grasshopper population growth, and some areas of the Prairies are finding this pest a major cause for concern. Dr. James Tansey, provincial entomologist for Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, joins host Shaun Haney in this episode of the Pests & Predators Podcast, to chat about the common species… Read More

Why is it important to conserve beneficial insects? When is it time to “pull the trigger” on an insecticide application, and how does choice of insecticide influence populations of beneficial insects? John Gavloski, provincial entomologist at Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, says that to farm most economically and efficiently, the way insects are viewed and reacted… Read More

In an ideal situation, farmers could identify field pests, look up a predator or parasitic foe of that pest, and make an order for delivery. While that isn’t exactly the case currently, bringing predatory or parasitic insects into an area does happen, and the practice is likely to gain traction as the knowledge of beneficial… Read More

There are secret, mysterious agents lurking in crop stubble. But have no fear, they’re on your side. Many are familiar with wheat midge and the damage the insect can cause, but you might be less familiar with the parasitoid that attacks this crop pest. Host Shaun Haney is joined by Jennifer Otani, pest management biologist… Read More

Pea leaf weevil is an invasive pest of Western Canada and attacks field peas and faba beans. The larval stage damages nodules on roots of both these crops, which can hinder biological nitrogen fixation happening in those nodules. In this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast, host Shaun Haney is joined by Dr. Meghan… Read More

Wheat head armyworm doesn’t only affect wheat; it can also affect barley, rye, oats, native and forage grasses like timothy, and even gets into wild oats — it’s got a wide host range to say the least. The impact of wheat head armyworm isn’t well documented, and part of the problem with researching them is… Read More

A good parasite doesn’t kill its host, but a good parasitoid does. What’s the difference and why? In this episode of the Pests & Predators podcast, host Shaun Haney is joined by Tyler Wist, research scientist and field crop entomologist with Agriculture Agri-food Canada at Saskatoon, Sask., to explore the role of parasitoids in field… Read More

Wheat stem sawfly can cause a lot of damage to a wheat yield, and there aren’t a lot of options to control it. Enter: Bracon sephi, an orange wasp that is less than a quarter inch long. The way that this small wasp attacks wheat stem sawfly sounds like something out of science fiction, but… Read More

Not all grasshoppers are pests, though few farmers would likely say they enjoy seeing them when they walk a field. Grasshoppers can, and do cause significant economic damage to crops in high population years, sometimes wiping out entire fields, but these insects also play a large role in the insect world as food. Dr. John… Read More


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