VIDEO: Alfalfa weevils can be tough to control

ROSEMARY, Alta. — Alfalfa weevil control required as many as six insecticide applications for some southern Alberta alfalfa seed growers this year. Gerald Wiens was one of them. A sweep net revealed the need to spray for weevils, but a few days later another sweep showed yet another hatch of the damaging insects. “I kept […] Read more

Ontario growers give up on canola

Swede midge pressure in northeastern Ontario has cut into canola acreage — the province once had up to 80,000 acres but this year it’s less than 30,000

Farmers in northeastern Ontario made a wise choice when they decided to stop growing canola this year, says the president of the Ontario Canola Growers Association. That’s because Swede midge pressure is higher than ever in the region. An association field agent found hundreds of Swede midge flies in pheremone traps during the second week […] Read more

Wanted: cutworms dead or alive

Study of species, distribution | Researchers want producers to scout fields and collect live specimens for biological analysis

It makes sense to attribute slow crop emergence to a late spring, but it might also be due to cutworms eating their way through nascent seedlings. Now is the time to scout for cutworms, identify the type and get advice on potential control measures, entomologists advise. It’s also time to call researchers with the western […] Read more

Wheat midge poses big risk for eastern Sask.

Increased moisture to blame | Cabbage seed pod weevil in canola is also expected to cause major problems this year

Wheat growers in eastern Saskatchewan will likely face significant wheat midge infestation this year, according to the provincial forecast. Surveys done last fall found that the regions of greatest risk will be the black and dark brown soil zones in east-central and southeastern areas. Wheat midge is commonly a problem in these regions but is […] Read more

Some insects worth protecting

Promoting beneficial insects | Industry officials advise farmers to spray only when economically necessary

John Gavloski pointed at a grey caterpillar resting on a round, plastic dish the size of a drink coaster. The caterpillar was easy to notice. Harder to spot were the dozens of tiny, grey larvae, smaller than a flaxseed, that were emerging from the larger insect. Gavloski, an entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture, said the diminutive […] Read more

Wasp eager to take on cereal leaf beetle

Wheat, oats and barley affected | Agriculture Canada says biological control is the best method

Growers concerned about the appearance of cereal leaf beetles in their region are advised to tread lightly. In most cases, growers shouldn’t turn to chemical controls, says Hector Carcamo, an Agriculture Canada research scientist who is working with one of the pest’s natural predators, a wasp that has been found to keep pest numbers in […] Read more

U.S. customs gets nasty surprise in shipping container

Where they’re found

U.S. customs officials have discovered one of the world’s nastiest grain storage pests in a box crossing the border from Canada. Officials at the Pembina port of entry in North Dakota found live khapra beetle larvae on the outside of a plastic bag of food items in a shipment declared as clothes and gifts being […] Read more

Experts reveal pest, plant, pathogen interaction

Bacteria called phytoplasmas alter a plant’s development so that it is attractive to leaf hoppers

LINDELL BEACH, B.C. — British scientists have shed new light on a plant pathogen that causes yield losses in crops worldwide. The research at the John Innes Centre shows how a plant, an insect and a bacterium have a three-way relationship to the detriment of the crop. Leaf hoppers are tiny sap-sucking, highly mobile and […] Read more

Hoppers expected this spring in Alberta

Grasshopper forecast | Saskatchewan, Manitoba predicted to have few troubles with grasshoppers this spring

EDMONTON — Saskatchewan and Manitoba look safe from grasshoppers this year, according to the 2012 forecast, but Alberta farmers need to beware. “Alberta gets to be the lucky contender with grasshoppers this year,” said Jennifer Otani, an Agriculture Canada entomologist. “The forecast in Alberta has pockets with severe populations, but that depends what happens in […] Read more