GFM Network News


Nine pests to watch for if you’re growing flax

Dr. James Tansey, Saskatchewan Agriculture’s insect specialist, reminded farmers at a Saskatchewan Agriculture conference in Weyburn, Sask., that “plants are not a passive part of the environment.” Flax produces poison in the form of cyanogenic glycoside (cyanide) that is toxic to several insects. However, your flax crop may still need some help protecting itself from[...]
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Bertha armyworm.

Keep watch for army worms in fields

The province’s extensive network of bertha army worm traps isn’t sounding any alarm bells yet, but producers should keep watch, says insect management specialist Scott Meers. Results from the traps are posted on the Alberta Agriculture website. If the cumulative count reaches 300 moths, Meers strongly recommends scouting starting in late July and progress through[...]
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Five insect pests for Manitoba farmers to watch

Cutworms, grasshoppers, flea beetles and bertha armyworm are all on top of the watch list for 2019, as numbers were higher in 2018. All four overwinter well in Manitoba provided there’s enough insulation for them.

Provincial pest specialist Scott Meers scouting for wheat midge. That pest isn’t expected to be a major
problem this year — bertha army worm, grasshoppers, and wheat stem sawfly are Meers’ top threats.

There’s a time of year when it pays to go looking for a fight

To combat the hordes of bad guys looking for a free meal, you need to plan your attack

Looking for trouble? You should be when it comes to insects that might be a threat to your crops. The “big three” this year are bertha army worm, grasshoppers, and wheat stem sawfly, says provincial pest specialist Scott Meers. But it depends where you farm, so Meers recommends you bookmark the website of the Alberta[...]
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The three types of flea beetles: crucifer, hop and striped. Crucifers have been dominant so far but more stripes have been seen in recent years.

Flea beetles: more species, more territory

Control options include seed treatment, seeding early and a higher seeding rate

They have been a voracious pest in canola for many years, but their pattern of infestation is changing. “Flea beetles can be a huge economic problem; pervasive and unpredictable,” Jennifer Otani, a pest management biologist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge said during a session at FarmTech. Adult flea beetles can move in and out[...]
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In a hot, dry year, you expect a lot of heat-loving pests, but that wasn’t the case this year in much of Alberta — although these fellows were more numerous south of Highway 1.

Hot, dry conditions drove down insect and disease pressure in 2018

By and large, producers didn’t see as much insect damage or disease loss this year

Crop yields in Alberta took a hit this year because of the hot, dry conditions — but the blow wasn’t as big as it could have been, thanks to decreased disease and insect pressure. “Across the province, we’re trending close to the five-year average, and the lack of disease and insect pressure may have helped[...]
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The stem-mining weevil larvae live up to their name, burrowing down the length of Canada thistles and feeding on their leaves after becoming adults.

There’s a reason why stem-mining weevils are the priciest livestock in Alberta

The insects are mowing down Canada thistle across the province, and attracting lots of eager buyers

Tens of thousands of weevils have been pouring into Alberta from Montana — and producers are clamouring for more. “It’s a biological control and it’s been going great,” said Rachael Nay, conservation agriculture extension co-ordinator with the West-Central Forage Association. The association began the project to import stem-mining weevils four years ago as a way[...]
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Top four pests to watch in canola

There are a lot of insects out there, but damage-causing pests are actually in the minority. Even a few “bad” bugs can be beneficial. “Crops can tolerate a certain level,” said Keith Gabert, agronomy specialist, for the Canola Council of Canada. “And even in some cases, it can benefit from a little bit of insect[...]
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Seven beneficial insects on your farm

When making crop production management decisions, consider beneficial insect populations. These harmless bugs can provide adequate control if their populations are high enough. Some beneficial insects are hard to identify, but with some basic training producers should be able to spot them in the field. The following beneficial insects are found in most crops in[...]
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