GFM Network News


Scott Meers.

Insect specialist Scott Meers retires

Reading Time: < 1 minute The man known as the ‘bug counter’ is stepping down. In an email he wrote to the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring network newsletter, Scott Meers said that it has been an honour to work in this role, but it is time to move on. He also stated that he has made the decision independent of […] Read more

Swede midge larvae.

Swede midge numbers low in Alberta

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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 […] Read more


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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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 […] Read more


Good news on berthas but watch for hoppers

Reading Time: < 1 minute In his weekly Call of the Land report, Alberta Agriculture insect management specialist Scott Meers says there is good news on bertha armyworm in the province this year. “We’re finding very few bertha armyworm moths, which means we’re not expecting any trouble with them this year,” he said. Only three traps have been found with […] Read more

Alberta weekly pest update

Conditions as of July 16, 2015

Reading Time: < 1 minute Grasshoppers love the heat and so far this summer they’ve had more than their share. According to Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, all the additional heat has allowed grasshoppers to reach their adult stage two weeks earlier than normal. If grasshoppers are attacking your crop, Meers offers some advice about […] Read more


Alberta weekly pest update

Conditions as of July 9, 2015

Reading Time: < 1 minute Grasshoppers and thrips are just two of the insects enjoying Alberta’s hot, dry weather. Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, talks about these and other insect issues on his weekly ‘Call of the Land’ podcast. To listen to Scott’s July 9 ‘Call of the Land’ broadcast, visit the Alberta Agriculture website.

With slower growth in a dry year, pests like cutworms feed on a larger percentage of plants.

Mild winter and dry spring create perfect storm for some problem insects

Insect damage is ‘amplified’ in a dry year because plants aren’t as big and so insects consume more of them

Reading Time: 2 minutes Some bug troubles are in the past for Alberta growers, but others are just getting started. “We already had a big run on flea beetles. That’s probably going to be one of the big stories of the year,” said Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “There’s also been way more cutworms […] Read more


Alberta weekly pest update

Update as of June 11, 2015

Reading Time: < 1 minute In this week’s Call of the Land update, Alberta Agriculture pest management specialist Scott Meers talks about bertha armyworm traps, flea beetles, cutworms, and barley thrips. To hear Scott’s interview on the Alberta Agriculture website, click here.

Blister beetles look like they could do a lot of damage to canola, but they generally move on within a couple of hours.

Weekly Alberta insect report — a few bertha hot spots

Reading Time: < 1 minute In his weekly Call of the Land broadcast, Alberta Agriculture insect management specialist Scott Meers says bertha armyworm levels are fairly low across the province with the exception of some hot spots, with the highest numbers in a trap east of Lacombe and another west of Stettler. Meers says there have been reports of skippers, mostly […] Read more