GFM Network News

Wheat stem sawfly.

Fields wanted for insect survey

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is looking for pea and wheat fields for its 2018 insect survey. Teams will survey for pea leaf weevil in late spring, and for wheat midge and wheat stem sawfly in the fall after harvest. “We are looking for fields that producers would be happy to have us check. For allowing […] Read more

All of these bugs are your friends. Clockwise from upper left are a lacewing on a canola flower, hoverflies on a flower, a ground beetle, and the alligator-like larvae of an Asian lady. 

In a bug-eat-bug world, farmers should help out their insect friends

Beneficial insects are tiny killing machines that can significantly reduce crop pests, says entomologist

Beneficial insects can be an unpaid workforce on your farm by killing pest species. And if you don’t help out the good ones, then you’re favouring those you don’t want, says an entomologist with Manitoba’s Agriculture Department. “Nature does not like a void,” said John Gavloski. “If you had no insects in a field or […] Read more

Six tips for managing wheat stem sawfly

As with most pests, wheat stem sawfly populations rise and fall, depending on weather and the presence of natural predators. Economic losses arise when wheat stem sawfly larvae feed inside the stem. While some of those losses are due to decreased seed weight, much of it occurs when the stems are cut and the plant[...]
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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[...]
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This little fellow breaks a lot of hearts at elevators every year. The rusty grain beetle is ranked as the No. 1 pest most often found in stored grain.

It happens too often — loads of grain rejected because of insects

It’s not uncommon for elevators to find insects in grain — but it’s entirely preventable by aerating properly

Loads of grain across the Prairies are being rejected as a result of insect contamination — but that’s pretty much par for the course at this time of year. “It’s something that’s actually pretty commonplace, so it’s not too surprising to hear,” said Brent Elliott, infestation control and sanitation officer with the Canadian Grain Commission.[...]
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U.S. senators seek ban on pesticide chlorpyrifos

New York / Reuters – A group of Democratic senators hopes to ban a pesticide the U.S. government has greenlighted for use, according to a bill unveiled on Tuesday in a challenge to Republican President Donald Trump’s push to loosen environmental regulations. The bill, introduced by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, would outlaw chlorpyrifos,[...]
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Swede midge larvae.

Swede midge numbers low in Alberta

There is good news from a survey of swede midge larvae this summer. The survey was conducted at 42 canola sites in central Alberta in July. “Bottom line is that the survey found very low numbers of swede midge,” said insect management specialist Scott Meers. “As an example, we would typically find between one and[...]
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Grasshoppers thrive in hot, dry conditions and are expected to be a problem in some areas of the province this year.

Keep watch because pests got an early start

The mild winter and warm start to spring have given pests an ideal start

Here’s the bad news: The dry, hot start to spring means more insect pests this year. And even the bit of rain received during the May long weekend won’t make a difference. “Insects respond to the heat and it’s been hot — their life cycles are all moved forward and the crops are not thriving under[...]
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Blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks) are most commonly found within and along the edge of forests 
and in areas with thick, woody shrubs.

Take precautions to minimize risks of tick exposure

Blacklegged ticks are known to carry three serious illnesses

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and people need to remember that tick-borne diseases are completely preventable. People can protect themselves by performing regular tick checks after spending time outdoors, knowing where blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks) are located, minimizing the risk of exposure, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases.[...]
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Wheat stem sawfly

Hot spots for wheat stem sawfly in 2016

Only a few areas are at high risk but one of them is much farther north than usual

The risk of economically significant sawfly populations in 2016 will be limited to only a few areas, according to the province’s new wheat stem sawfly forecast map. “For the wheat stem sawfly, we go into the wheat fields after harvest, look at four spots and count the number of stems that is intact and the[...]
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