GFM Network News


Wheat midge is an “insidious” thief of both yield and quality, says entomologist Tyler Wist, seen here demonstrating how to sweep for the pest.

Keep watch for wheat midge this growing season

This silent killer is a ‘big bad’ threat and may be out in force in some areas this year

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ask any wheat farmer about orange blossom wheat midge and they may tell you it’s the ‘big bad’ of crop insects and comparable to fusarium in terms of pure destructive power. “It’s kind of insidious,” said AgCanada entomologist Tyler Wist. “Often if you’re not out looking for it you don’t even know it’s there. Then […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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


Wheat midge.

Get the facts on wheat midge

Reading Time: < 1 minute Wheat midge is about half the size of a mosquito and bright orange, but is commonly confused with lauxanids, which are a little bigger and yellowish brown. Wheat midge lays eggs in the wheat head and the larvae will then feed on the wheat kernels. One midge for every four to five wheat heads can […] 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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