GFM Network News


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



Female parasitic wasp with midge eggs.

Good bugs save you big bucks when wheat midge arrives

Wheat midge has moved into Alberta. but two natural predators will be on your side if you foster their populations

Wheat midge, a non-native pest that feeds on developing wheat kernels, is a serious economic threat to farmers, especially in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. But the pest is now a growing problem in Alberta, including Peace River country, and starting to attack Montana’s wheat crops. However, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers know ways to reduce its […] Read more

Alberta weekly pest update

Crop insect conditions as of June 25

Conditions have been hot and dry across much of Alberta. What has this meant for insect populations and their pressure on crops? Insects that like the dry heat such as flea beetles and grasshoppers comprise the usual suspects, but there are several others as well. In his weekly ‘Call of the Land’ broadcast, Scott Meers offers […] Read more


Weather has always offered its fair share of risk when it comes to farming.

Things not going as hoped? That’s normal, says crop specialist

Whether it’s production conditions or markets, producers need to have a Plan B

Preparation is key when dealing with the unexpected, says provincial crop specialist Harry Brook. “There’s always a lot of talk about ‘normal’ when talking about cropping and agriculture,” said Brook. “Advanced planning and adjustments are needed to avoid possible devastating results when ‘normal’ doesn’t occur. Whether it applies to spring weather conditions or markets or […] Read more

Alfalfa weevil can cause significant yield loss and their 
territory is getting larger.

They’re nasty little critters — and alfalfa weevils are on the move

Previously deemed a southern Alberta problem, alfalfa weevils have been spotted as far north as Stettler and Provost

Well, it turns out alfalfa weevils can’t read road signs. “We thought it was a southern Alberta problem that doesn’t go beyond Highway 1 — most weevils don’t like it beyond Highway 1 — but lo and behold, we found it all the way through Stettler and Provost,” said Shelley Barkley, insect research technologist with […] Read more


Weekly Alberta insect report

Heavy wheat midge pressure in the Peace

In his weekly Call of the Land radio interview, Alberta Agriculture insect management specialist Scott Meers reports from the Peace River area, where wheat midge are coming “en masse.” He has recommendations for monitoring and whether to take control measures. Meers says root maggot damage in canola is more extreme this year with insects girdling […] Read more