GFM Network News


Insecticide-resistant alfalfa weevils have been found in some fields in southern Alberta.

Resistant insect populations growing in southern Alberta

Insecticide-resistant alfalfa weevils are cropping up in alfalfa seed-growing regions, and beneficial bugs may be the answer

Insecticide-resistant insects have flown under the radar on the Canadian Prairies — but researchers are keeping an eye on a growing population of them in southern Alberta. “We don’t have very many insects that are resistant to insecticides here on the Prairies, so luckily, it’s not that widespread of an issue,” said Boyd Mori, researcher […] Read more

Diamondback moths typically arrive in early spring after being carried by wind currents from the U.S. or even northern Mexico. Their larvae will feed on canola and mustard.

Crop pest survey tools up and running

The Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network has “live feed maps” up and running for the province. The maps show results from traps around the province set up and overseen by co-operator farmers. As co-operators post results from the traps, they are posted immediately to the map. The five insects covered by these maps are bertha […] Read more


More farmers are requesting permits to use pesticides to kill grain beetles in their bins. But the fumigant Phostoxin doesn’t work when temperatures are below 12 C.

Grain beetles on the rise after wet harvest

Requests for pesticide certificates are up, likely because more grain is being turned away at elevators

Farmers are finding more grain beetles and that has provincial ag officials fielding more requests for renewals or issuing new certificates under the Farmer Pesticide Certificate Program. “We see it almost every year in southern Alberta, but it’s creeping up to central Alberta, too,” said provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “After the very difficult harvest, […] Read more

Boyd Mori.

New insect expert introduces himself and advises on key pests for 2020

Cabbage seed pod weevils, bertha army worms and pea leaf weevils the insects to watch for in 2020

The province has gained one new entomologist but has lost its best-known bug specialist. Boyd Mori, a new assistant professor in the University of Alberta’s agriculture department, paid tribute to provincial insect management specialist Scott Meers in his presentation at FarmTech — and urged his audience to lobby the government for a replacement. “Scott Meers […] Read more


Aphids on winter wheat leaf.

Smartphone app for aphid control in cereal crops

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has released a smartphone app called the Cereal Aphid Manager to help producers control the pest. Producers count both aphids and beneficials that eat them (at a minimum of five locations), and the app predicts what the aphid population will be in seven days and recommends whether to spray or not. […] Read more

The rusty grain beetle is ranked as the No. 1 pest most often found 
in stored grain.

Grain beetles appear to be on the rise this winter

A jump in inquiries about pesticide certificate program is a sign that grain pests are an issue, says crops specialist

Provincial officials have been fielding more requests this winter for the Farmer Pesticide Certificate Program for renewals or issuing new certificates, and grain beetles are the reason why. “We see it almost every year in southern Alberta, but it’s creeping up to central Alberta, too,” said crop specialist Harry Brook. “That is telling me that people are […] Read more


The extreme cold that gripped Alberta last month will kill some pests, as long as they don’t have a nice blanket of snow to protect them.

There could be some gain from the bone-chilling pain

Record cold temperatures provide silver lining by killing off bertha army worms and alfalfa weevils

Last month’s cold weather snap could pay some dividends for crop producers. “It could be good news. The bad news is that we got snow at the beginning of it, so snow tends to insulate,” said Scott Meers, insect pest management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The deep freeze gripped the entire province, with […] Read more

Pea leaf weevil.

Pea leaf weevils an issue in 2018

Three insect forecast maps are now available at the Alberta Agriculture website. Wheat stem sawfly and wheat midge forecasts help producers make varietal decisions, said insect management specialist Scott Meers, adding, “we’ve also released the pea leaf weevil maps early because a lot of producers are seed treating for that pest.” Pea leaf weevils are […] Read more


White pine weevils have been infesting young spruce trees in Alberta.

Keep watch for these tree-attacking insects

Provincial woodlot management specialist offers tips for controlling pests and improving tree health

When it comes to trees, there are a few different insects to keep an eye out for this year. “The yellow-headed spruce sawfly has been a problem for spruce the last few years, as well as spider mites,” said provincial woodlot management specialist Toso Bozic. “White pine weevil has also been a problem for young […] Read more

Prevention is the best cure when managing greenhouse pests

Greenhouse crop growers need to start with clean cuttings, prevent infestations, 
and monitor pest levels to guarantee a successful biocontrol program

For greenhouse crop growers, moving away from chemical pest control to biological controls can be a big investment — but one that’s worth it, if done right. “You have to change your mindset from pesticides to biocontrol,” said Veronica Cervantes, technical adviser at Biobest USA. “The first year you start your biocontrol program is the […] Read more