GFM Network News

This fellow’s ancestors hailed from Serbia, but the Rhinusa pilosa — a.k.a. stem-galling weevil — now makes its home in Alberta and B.C., where it feeds on yellow toadflax, a weed that infests pastures.

There’s foreign workers in the bug world, too — and they attack weeds

Bringing in weed-attacking pests is a laborious process but it’s often the only option for pastures

Reading Time: 3 minutes There are many ways to control weeds. Rose De Clerck-Floate’s favourite is to reunite them with their longtime enemies from the old country. “All of the weeds here can come from other parts of the world, mostly Europe and some from Asia, and establish here without the organisms that keep them in check in their […] Read more

Got bugs in your bins? Researchers want to hear from you.

Crop disease, pest survey needs farmers

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ag Canada’s Prairie Biovigilance Network needs farmers for two surveys, one for leaf disease in wheat fields and another for insects occurring in grain bins. The network is a multidisciplinary group seeking ways to reduce pest problems, insects, weeds, and diseases in western Canadian crops and to raise awareness regarding the prevalence, variability and impact […] Read more

Little brown bats, also known as Little brown myotis, are one of two species more likely to roost in buildings.

They’re more creepy than cuddly — but bats need your help

The insect-gobbling critters can eat their own weight in bugs each night, including farm pests

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bats aren’t pretty and their reputation isn’t either. But the insect-gobbling critters are friends of farmers — and they need help from producers, says the co-ordinator of the Alberta Community Bat Program. “In Canada, all of our bats are eating bugs — insects and spiders,” said biologist Cory Olson. “Their diets are fairly diverse, but […] Read more

Cutworms. (Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Prairie growers on lookout as insects seize opportunity

Dry conditions, delayed seeding lift pest counts

MarketsFarm — With most Prairie growers’ newly seeded crops already up against dry conditions, growers remain on the lookout for insects which further threaten the health of those seedlings. Considering the high prices of many crops this season, the potential damage would be more costly. John Gavloski, entomologist for Manitoba Agriculture, said there is a […] Read more

We know beneficial insects eat crop pests — ladybugs, for example, love aphids — but now Alberta researchers armed with advanced DNA tools are taking a deep dive into their eating habits. The goal is to identify top pest predators and find ways to enhance their numbers in fields.

Next-gen DNA sequencing aims to find the best beneficial bugs

U of A researchers using advanced tech to find what’s on the menu of your insect allies

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s like a scene out of the movie “Jaws.” The intrepid scientist reaches his hand into the gut of a shark and pulls out what it had for dinner — a different fish or maybe, in the case of sharks, a tin can. He knows, just by examining those contents, what this predator likes to […] Read more

Business is hopping for Ontario cricket farms

Business is hopping for Ontario cricket farms

Two Ontario enterprises that raise crickets and turn them into protein powder are expanding

Reading Time: < 1 minute Turns out Canada is a happening place for cricket farming. Two Ontario companies that raise crickets for food announced new funding last month for their expansion plans. Entomo Farms, one of North America’s leading cricket producers, announced it closed a round of fundraising totalling $3.7 million to support growth and expansion. Founded in 2014 by […] Read more

This year you’ll want to keep an eye out for three particular crop pests but overall, bertha army worms may be the bigger threat than cabbage seedpod weevil and grasshoppers.

Here’s what pests might be waiting for you in your fields

Bertha army worms get the biggest red flag in three new pest monitoring reports

Reading Time: 3 minutes There could be a bertha army worm outbreak in parts of the province this year, but cabbage seedpod weevil survey numbers are down, and, save in the south, grasshoppers aren’t a big worry, according to new provincial pest forecasts. Bertha army worm Keep watch is the take-away from last year’s survey, which consisted of 350 […] Read more

Pea leaf weevil can be a problem anywhere in Alberta, but a survey done this year only found significant numbers in the south and in the Edmonton area.

Weevil and plot trial lessons from the past year

Results from the 2020 pea leaf weevil survey and the Plot2Farm trials are now available

Reading Time: 2 minutes Producers in the area around Edmonton as well as in southern Alberta may be at greater risk of seeing pea leaf weevils this spring. In a recent blog post on the Alberta Pulse Growers website, provincial insect survey technologist Shelley Barkley provided a summary of the annual survey for the pest. The survey, taken in […] Read more


ADM, InnovaFeed to build world’s biggest insect protein plant in Illinois

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grain trader and processor Archer Daniels Midland and French biotech company InnovaFeed announced plans on Thursday to build the world’s largest insect protein plant at Decatur, Illinois. The announcement comes amid rising global feed grain prices and tightening supplies, and as more companies work toward reducing the carbon footprint of […] Read more