Website helps monitor insect pests

Keeping an eye on potentially costly, crop-eating insects just got easier for grain and oilseed farmers.

Crop producers across the West can now access pest information and insect risk maps through a new website located at www.prairiepest.ca.

The website was launched today by the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network (PPMN).

“We are really excited to be launching this new website,” said Meghan Vankosky, a research scientist at Agriculture Canada’s field crop entomology department who also serves as co-chair of the PPMN.

“The goal of the network has always been to provide important and timely information to growers and agronomists. This new website helps us to improve communication and engagement with the industry.”

The PPMN is a prairie-wide network of entomologists who work together to predict insect risks, monitor pest populations and offer advice to growers and agronomists on when to scout for pests and how to make decisions about using chemical controls.

The network was developed 24 years ago after insect researchers at western Canadian universities,

provincial agriculture departments and Agriculture Canada identified the need for a more co-ordinated approach in monitoring insect populations and conducting entomological research.

“The new site design allows users to quickly and easily navigate the site to find the information they need,” says Jennifer Otani, pest management biologist with Agriculture Canada.

The PPMN also provides free weekly updates via email during the growing season. The updates alert subscribers to risks of major pests, offers tips on scouting methods and provides information on when in-field scouting activities should be conducted.

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) provided funding for the new website.

Other PPMN supporters include the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (SaskWheat), Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, SaskCanola, Prairie Oat Growers Association, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers, Manitoba Canola Growers, and the Alberta Wheat Commission.

Contact brian.cross@producer.com

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