GFM Network News


With slower growth in a dry year, pests like cutworms feed on a larger percentage of plants.

Mild winter and dry spring create perfect storm for some problem insects

Insect damage is ‘amplified’ in a dry year because plants aren’t as big and so insects consume more of them

Some bug troubles are in the past for Alberta growers, but others are just getting started. “We already had a big run on flea beetles. That’s probably going to be one of the big stories of the year,” said Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “There’s also been way more cutworms […] Read more

Getting the good bugs on your side

Tweaking your pesticide applications and field management can boost the populations of beneficial bugs

Encouraging and protecting natural enemies can be an excellent way to control pest populations. “Everybody is familiar with ladybugs and lacewings as voracious, pest-consuming beneficial insects,” said Dustin Morton, commercial horticulture specialist with the Alberta Ag-Info Centre. “But fewer are familiar with how natural enemies such as hover flies, ground beetles, and even yellow-jacket wasps […] Read more


“Nature is awful sometimes,” says Vincent Hervet, who captured these two beetles fighting over a cutworm.

Cutworms bug off when beneficial insects come calling

It’s a bug-eat-bug world when you’ve got beneficial insects in your field

Producers looking to cut spray costs this year may want to think about a different type of pest control. “(Predatory insects) can be really effective, with cutworms especially,” said Vincent Hervet, PhD candidate at the University of Lethbridge. Cutworms have “cyclic outbreaks” on the Prairies lasting three to four years, and right now Alberta is […] Read more