GFM Network News


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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White pine weevils target the leader, or top branch, of young spruce trees.

Keep watch for insects that attack trees

There are a number of pests that harm trees, including yellow-headed spruce sawfly, spider mites, and white pine weevils

There are several insects that affect trees that you should keep an eye out for this year. “The yellow-headed spruce sawfly has been a problem for spruce the last few years, as well as spider mites,” said provincial agro-forestry specialist Toso Bozic. “White pine weevils have also been a problem for young spruce trees, as[...]
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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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Not having a refuge for wheat midge in a midge-tolerant crop could quickly cost growers resistance that saves them $60 million annually.

Safeguard wheat midge tolerance or lose it, growers warned

A single gene that protects wheat from this costly pest could quickly be lost if there’s no refuge in fields

Planting saved soft white spring wheat that’s tolerant to wheat midge comes with a multimillion-dollar risk. If tolerance is lost, it could cost growers $60 million annually and up to $36 per acre, said Mike Espeseth, co-chair of the communications committee of the Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Team. A single gene, called Sm1, provides midge[...]
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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[...]
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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[...]
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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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