Weekly Update

Jennifer Otani, Owen Olfert, Ross Weiss and David Giffen
Week 17


This is the last Weekly Update of the 2016 growing season!  Many thanks to everyone who helped prepare the various sections and insect pest updates for the past 17 weeks! Thanks to those of you who monitor and good luck with harvest!

A downloadable PDF version of the complete Weekly Update for Week 17 (August 24, 2016) can be accessed here.  

Subscribe to the Blog by following the instructions posted here!  Receive automatic updates during the fall and winter months in your inbox.

Questions or problems accessing the contents of this Weekly Update?  Please e-mail either Dr. Owen Olfert or Jennifer Otani.  Past “Weekly Updates” are very kindly archived to the Western Forum website by webmaster, Dr. Kelly Turkington.  


Weekly Update – Pre-Harvest Intervals (PHI)

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI) -Reminder – Growers with late-season insect pest problems will need to remember to factor in the PHI which is the minimum number of days between a pesticide application and swathing or straight combining of a crop.  

The PHI recommends sufficient time for a pesticide to break down and a PHI-value is both crop- and pesticide-specific.  Adhering to the PHI is important for a number of health-related reasons but also because Canada’s export customers strictly regulate and test for the presence of trace residues of pesticides.

An excellent summary of PHI for various pesticides in their various crops was posted by Saskatchewan Agriculture this week within their Crop Production News.

In 2013, the Canola Council of Canada created and circulated their “Spray to Swath Interval Calculator” which was intended to help canola growers accurately estimate their PHI.  Other PHI are described in your provincial crop protection guides and remember that specific crop x pesticide combinations will mean different PHIs.  More information about PHI and Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) is available on the Canola Council of Canada’s website.


Meet Dr. Meghan Vankosky

Meghan Vankosky
Week 17

Dr. Meghan Vankosky started her position as a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Saskatoon Research and Development Centre on July 18, 2016. Most recently, Meghan worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside. Her work there focused on establishing a release program for a parasitoid used for biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid in southern California, and on studying the competitive interactions of that parasitoid with another primary parasitoid of the pest. In the past, Meghan studied the behavior and life history of an omnivore used for biological control at the University of Windsor in Ontario (Ph.D., 2010-2015), and integrated pest management strategies and biological control of the pea leaf weevil at the University of Alberta (M.Sc., 2008-2010).  

As a field crop entomologist with AAFC, Meghan hopes to develop a strong IPM-based research program that focuses on understanding insect pests and developing sustainable management programs that will benefit both producers and the environment. She currently plans to investigate the impact of the pea leaf weevil and assess management options for this pest in Saskatchewan. She will also be involved with a project studying the life history and impact of the swede midge in canola crops in the Prairies. 

Meghan can be reached at 1.306.385-9362 or Meghan.Vankosky@agr.gc.ca.


Meet Dr. Boyd Mori

Boyd Mori and prairiepest_admin
Week 17

Dr. Boyd Mori – (Research Scientist – Entomology) Boyd completed his PhD in 2014 at the University of Alberta on pheromone monitoring and management of the red clover casebearer (Coleophora deauratella) moth in the Peace River region of Alberta. He then undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Alnarp, Sweden) where he researched the chemical ecology of the highly invasive spotted wing fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii) with a focus on alternative pest management strategies. Boyd joined AAFC-Saskatoon in April 2016.

Boyd’s primary project will be on the ecology of swede midge-host plant interactions, where he aims to identify host plant resistance mechanisms against the swede midge, a potentially significant pest of canola. He is a strong proponent of integrated pest management and has a robust background in insect behaviour and physiology which he uses to develop monitoring and management tools for insect pests.

As of March 2020, Dr. Mori took an Assistant Professor position with the University of Alberta. He can be reached at bmori@ualberta.ca


Meet Dr. Tyler Wist

Tyler Wist and prairiepest_admin
Week 17

Dr. Tyler Wist spent his early insect years killing mosquitoes before studying pollinators in Echinacea crops for his M.Sc. with Dr. Art Davis at the University of Saskatchewan. A Ph.D. from the University of Alberta with Dr. Maya Evenden taught him the unseen world of insect chemical ecology, and invasion dynamics and the parasitoid complex of a recently introduced lepidopteran pest, the ash leaf coneroller. Drs. Chrystel Olivier and Owen Olfert brought him in on an NSERC Visiting Fellowship on the cereal aphid project and then had him chasing leafhoppers in cereal and canola crops.  Tyler is the current President of the Entomological Society of Saskatchewan and has begun a research scientist position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centre in Saskatoon as a Field Crop Entomologist on January 25th 2016.

Tyler is working on developing a dynamic action threshold for cereal aphids that incorporates the predatory pressure of natural enemies, determining the economic threshold and effect of landscapes on flea beetles in newer, hybrid canola varieties, and tracking aster leafhopper populations and aster yellows infection in canola and cereal crops.  He is also investigating new integrated pest management tools for wheat midge and chasing Lygus bugs in canola and aphids in pulse crops.

Tyler can be reached at Tyler.Wist@agr.gc.ca or 306.385.9379.


Time of Swathing for Canola

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

The Canola Council of Canada created a guide to help growers estimate swathing time in canola.  A screen shot of the downloadable Canola Swathing Guide has been included below for reference.


Weekly Update – Harvest Sample Program

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

The Canadian Grain Commission is ready and willing to grade grain samples harvested in 2016.  Samples are accepted up to November but send samples as soon a harvest is complete.

This is a FREE opportunity for growers to gain unofficial insight into the quality of their grain and to obtain valuable dockage information and details associated with damage or quality issues.  The data collected also helps Canada market its grain to the world!

More information on the Harvest Sample Program is available at the Canadian Grain Commission’s website where growers can register online to receive a kit to submit their grain.  

In exchange for your samples, the CGC assesses and provides the following unofficial results FOR FREE:
  • dockage assessment on canola
  • unofficial grade
  • protein content on barley, beans, chick peas, lentils, oats, peas and wheat
  • oil, protein and chlorophyll content for canola
  • oil and protein content and iodine value for flaxseed
  • oil and protein for mustard seed and soybeans
Many producers find having both grade and quality information on their samples before delivering their grain to be helpful.


Weekly Update – Upcoming Meetings and Conferences

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

Upcoming Meetings and Conferences – The following agricultural insect pest-related meetings and conferences are scheduled for this year:

• September 25-30, 2016:  The 25th International Congress of Entomology / Entomological Society of America / Entomological Society of Canada AGMs will be held at Orlando FL.  More information is available at: http://ice2016orlando.org/ 

• October 2016:  The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of Alberta will be held at Calgary AB.  Details will be posted soon at: http://www.entsocalberta.ca/esa.htm 

• October 19-21, 2016:  The Western Forum on Pest Management 2016 meets at Saskatoon SK.  Check http://www.westernforum.org/WFPM%20Annual%20Meeting%20Annoucement.htm for more information and check both the Western Committee on Crop Pests and Western Committee on Plant Diseases webpages for updated agendas.

• October 21, 2016:  The Canadian Forum for Biological Control will meet immediately following the Western Forum on Pest Management at Saskatoon SK the afternoon of October 21, 2016.  

• October 28-29, 2016:  The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of Manitoba will be held at Winnipeg MB.  Details can be found at: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~fieldspg/meet.html

• October 25-27, 2016:  2016 Canola Discovery Forum will be held at Winnipeg MB.  Registration information is located at: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1862073

• TBA:  Refer to the Entomological Society of Saskatchewan’s website for upcoming events.  Information will be posted at: http://www.entsocsask.ca/events.html 

• November 22-24, 2016:  The Canadian Weed Science Society meets in Moncton NB and more information is available at http://weedscience.ca/meeting-home/ 

• January 9-11, 2017:  CropSphere Agricultural Conference will be held at Saskatoon SK.  More information is available at: http://www.cropsphere.com/ 

• January 17-19, 2017: The Manitoba Ag Days show will be held at Brandon MB. More information will be available at: https://www.agdays.com/ 

• January 31-February 2, 2017:  FarmTech 2017 information will be posted in October at: http://farmtechconference.com/ .


Weekly Update – Previous Posts

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

The following is a list of previous 2016 Posts – click to review:

Alfalfa weevil

Aphids in canola 

Bertha armyworm development and flight
Bertha armyworm

Cabbage root maggot

Cabbage seedpod weevil
Canola scouting chart
Cereal leaf beetle
Crop protection guides

Diamondback moth

Environment Canada’s radar maps to follow precipitation events

Flea beetles in canola


Iceburg reports
Insects in our diet

Monarch migration

Pea leaf weevil monitoring

Predicted lygus bug development
Predicted wheat midge development
Provincial Insect Pest Reports

Swede midge

Thrips in canola

Weather Synopsis (Week 12)

Wheat midge

Wind trajectories


Weekly Weather Synopsis

Ross Weiss, Owen Olfert, Erl Svendsen and David Giffen
Week 17

Weather synopsis – The updated growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 5ºC, March 1 – August 21, 2016) is below:

While the growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10ºC, March 1 – August 21, 2016) is below:

The map below shows the Lowest Temperatures the Past 7 Days (August 17-23, 2016) across the prairies:

The map below shows the Highest Temperatures the Past 7 Days (August 17-23, 2016):

The maps above are all produced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  Growers may wish to bookmark the AAFC Drought Watch Maps for the growing season.


Meet Dr. Haley Catton

Haley Catton and prairiepest_admin
Week 17

Dr. Haley Catton joined AAFC-Lethbridge as a Research Scientist in Cereal Crop Entomology in April 2016. With a diverse background in studying trees, weeds, native plants, insects, and mammals, Haley specializes in population biology, insect-plant interactions, biological control, field experimentation and analysis of large data sets. Originally from Winnipeg, Haley earned a B.Sc. (Agriculture) and M.Sc. (Plant Science) from the University of Manitoba, a Ph.D. (Insect-Plant Interactions) from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Lethbridge. Her research program at AAFC will draw from all of these experiences to focus on pest and beneficial insects in cereal crops on the prairies. Her target pests range from established problems like wheat stem sawfly and wireworm to emerging pests such as the invasive cereal leaf beetle.

Haley wants to connect with producers and hear about your priorities for research. Follow her on Twitter at @haleycatton or reach her at haley.catton@agr.gc.ca or 403.317.3404. Fair warning: Haley is a diehard Blue Bombers fan… Saskatchewan Roughriders fans beware.


Weekly Update – West Nile Virus and Culex tarsalis

David Giffen, Owen Olfert and prairiepest_admin
Week 17

West Nile Virus Risk –  The regions most advanced in degree-day accumulations for Culex tarsalis, the vector for West Nile Virus, are shown in the map below.  As of August 21, 2016areas highlighted in yellow, orange, or red on the map below have accumulated sufficient heat for C. tarsalis to fly so wear your DEET to stay protected!

The Public Health Agency of Canada posts information related to West Nile Virus in Canada.  The map of clinical cases of West Nile Virus in Canada in 2016 is posted (as of July 23, 2016) while a screen shot is provided below (posted August 22, 2016).

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative compiles and posts information related to their disease surveillance for West Nile Virus.  As of August 22, 2016, 36 birds were submitted for testing and two have tested positive for West Nile virus in Ontario


Crop reports

John Gavloski, Scott Meers, Scott Hartley and prairiepest_admin
Week 17

Crop reports are produced by:

– Manitoba Agriculture, Rural Development (August 24, 2016).

– Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report (August 15, 2016) is posted online and as a  printer-friendly version.

– Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (for August 16, 2016) which also posts a printer-friendly version.

The USDA publishes a Crop Production Report (Posted August 12, 2016) and a Crop Progress Report (posted August 22, 2016) which includes harvest and condition ratings for winter wheat, spring wheat, oat, barley, plus range and pasture conditions. 

The USDA also produces a World Agricultural Production Report (August 2016) which estimates production across the globe for corn, cotton, rapeseed, and wheat but also includes tabular data for other grains.