GFM Network News


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 […] Read more

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 […] Read more


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



Female parasitic wasp with midge eggs.

Good bugs save you big bucks when wheat midge arrives

Wheat midge has moved into Alberta. but two natural predators will be on your side if you foster their populations

Wheat midge, a non-native pest that feeds on developing wheat kernels, is a serious economic threat to farmers, especially in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. But the pest is now a growing problem in Alberta, including Peace River country, and starting to attack Montana’s wheat crops. However, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers know ways to reduce its […] Read more

Dry weather reducing Prairie wheat midge problems

CNS Canada — Wheat midge hasn’t been causing as many problems as first anticipated in Western Canada this year, as a dry spring hindered the pests’ emergence. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s wheat midge forecast, released earlier this year, initially showed high risk levels for the insect, but the dryness is hampering their effects on […] Read more






Bugs helping control bugs in Alberta

In his weekly Call of the Land interview, Alberta Agriculture insect specialist Scott Meers says wheat midge are now emerging across the province. “Interestingly enough, they’re actually coming out first in the Peace and just this week they’re starting to come out across the rest of the province,” Meers said. Recent warm weather should mean […] Read more