Weekly Update – Good luck with harvest!

Erl Svendsen, Owen Olfert, Jennifer Otani and David Giffen
Week 17

Welcome to the final Weekly Update of the 2017 growing season!

We wish everyone ‘Good Luck’ with the rest of the growing season and thank the many people who have been busy monitoring in fields!  The provincial entomologists, their many staff and cooperators, plus our AAFC Staff are all thanked for their ongoing efforts!  Watch the Blog for the annual risk and forecast maps in January and the Weekly Updates will be back in 2018.

Please access the Weekly Update for August 24, 2017 (Week 17), as either a series of Posts  or a downloadable PDF

Questions or problems accessing the contents of this Weekly Update?  Please e-mail either Dr. Owen Olfert or Jennifer Otani.  Past “Weekly Updates” can be accessed on our Weekly Update page.

Subscribe to the Blog by following these three steps!

Weather Synopsis

Ross Weiss, David Giffen, Owen Olfert and prairiepest_admin
Week 17

Weather synopsis – Temperature – Crops continue to mature and some fields have been harvested across the prairies.  The map below reflects the number of days above 25°C (Fig. 1) while the next map reflects the number of days above 30°C (Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Number of days above 25°C.
Figure 2. Number of days above 30°C.

The map below reflects the highest temperatures across the prairies the past seven days (Fig. 3) while the lowest temperatures the past seven days reveals some cool nights in some areas (Fig. 4).

Figure 3.  Highest temperatures the past seven days (August  15-21, 2017) across
the Canadian prairies.

Figure 4. Lowest temperatures the past seven days (August  15-21, 2017) across
the Canadian prairies.

Precipitation – Seven-day rainfall accumulations were greatest in central Alberta into Saskatchewan but also in eastern Saskatchewan and into Manitoba (Fig. 5). 

Figure 5. Accumulated precipitation the past seven days (August 15-21, 2017).

The accumulated precipitation for the growing season (Fig. 6) continues to reflect dryer growing conditions and dryer than normal for most of the prairies (Fig. 7). 

Figure 6. Accumulated precipitation for the growing season (April 1-21, 2017).
Figure 7. Percent of average precipitation for the growing season (April 1-August 21, 2017).

The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10ºC, March 1 – August 20, 2017) is below:

The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 5ºC, March 1 – August 20, 2017) is below:

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.

Weekly Update – Wheat surveying (post-harvest)

Jennifer Otani, Owen Olfert, David Giffen and Erl Svendsen
Week 17

Wheat surveying  As wheat is harvested, monitoring can begin for two wheat pests including wheat midge and wheat stem sawfly.  As soon as the combine passes through, in-field monitoring can commence with:
● Soil core sampling is used to assess the densities of wheat midge cocoons set to overwinter, PLUS
● The number of cut stems can be counted to determine the density of wheat stem sawfly.

By January, forecast and risk maps summarizing surveying efforts for the above pests will be available (e.g., check the Risk Map Page).

More information about these pests can be found by accessing the pages from the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and Field Guide”.  View ONLY the Wheat midge pages or ONLY the Wheat stem sawfly pages.  Remember the entire guide is available as a free downloadable document as both an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Information related to wheat midge biology and monitoring can be accessed by linking to your provincial fact sheet (Saskatchewan Agriculture or Alberta Agriculture & Forestry) or the PPMN protocol

Information related to wheat stem sawfly is posted by Alberta Agriculture & ForestrySaskatchewan AgricultureManitoba Agriculture, or the PPMN


Weekly Update – Stored Product Pests

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

The Canadian Grain Commission’s website has an online key to stored product pests.  Growers managing grain storage can find an online identification tool for stored product pests (e.g., Rusty grain beetleRed flour beetleConfused flour beetleSaw-toothed grain beetle, and more).  The online tool features excellent diagnostic photos.  A screen shot of the webpage is included below for reference.


Crop reports

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

Across the Canadian prairies, crop reports are produced by:
• Manitoba Agriculture, Rural Development (August 21, 2017)
• Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report (August 15-21, 2017)

• Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Crop Report (August 18, 2017)

• The USDA Crop Progress Report is available online but here is a PDF copy of the report for August 21, 2017.


Weekly Update – Harvest Sample Program

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

The Canadian Grain Commission is ready and willing to grade grain samples harvested in 2017.  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.


West Nile Virus and Culex tarsalis

David Giffen 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 20, 2017areas highlighted in red on the map below have accumulated sufficient heat for C. tarsalis to fly.  Culex tarsalis are also flying in areas highlighted in red, pink or mauve so wear your DEET to stay protected!  Areas highlighted orange or yellow in the map should also be preparing for C. tarsalis flight.

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 2017 is updated through the summer (screen shot of map below).  The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), as of August 12, 2017, reported eight clinical cases (confirmed or probable) in Ontario and one asymptomatic infection in British Columbia.  All eight cases from ON are currently unclassified and two were travel-related. 

The Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative compiles and posts information related to their disease surveillance for West Nile Virus in birds.  As of August 24, 2017, 1218 birds were examined and 58 tested positive for West Nile virus; three from Saskatchewan, two from Manitoba, 15 from Ontario, and 38 from Quebec.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also monitors and posts updates on the status of WNV in Mosquitoes.  As of August 12, 2017, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan reported positive mosquito pools for West Nile Virus.  

A total of 224 positive mosquito pools have been found: 

  • 172 from Ontario [Brant County (2), Chatham-Kent (3), Durham Region (4), Eastern Ontario (3), Halton Region (15), Hamilton (4), Haliburton-Kwartha-Pine Ridge District (1), Hastings and Prince Edward Countries (7), Kingston-Frontenac and Lennox and Addington (2), Lambton (1), Middlesex-London (3), Niagara Region (7), Ottawa (11), Oxford County (1), Peel (40), Perth District (2), Peterborough County-City (1), Renfrew County and District (2), Simcoe Muskoka District (1), Toronto (31), Waterloo (2), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (2), Windsor-Essex County (21), and York Regional (6)];
  • 35 from Manitoba [(Winnipeg (12), Southern (4), Interlake Eastern (5), and Prairie Mountain (12)];
  • 9 from Quebec [Montérégie (6), Laval (1), and Mauricie-centre-du-Québec(2)];
  • 8 from Saskatchewan. 

Weekly Update – Upcoming Meetings and Conferences

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

Upcoming Meetings and Conferences – The following agricultural insect pest-related meetings and conferences will be held – be sure to re-confirm dates and details as events are finalized:

• September 28-30, 2017:  The Entomological Society of Alberta Annual Meeting will be held at Crowsnest Pass AB and information is available at: https://goo.gl/UN3ZN2 

• October 22-25, 2017:  The Entomological Society of Canada-Entomological Society of Manitoba 2017 Joint Annual Meeting will be held at Winnipeg MB and information is available at: https://goo.gl/6RC6HC

• October 25-27, 2017:  The Western Forum on Pest Management will be held at the Fairmont in Winnipeg MB and information is available at: https://goo.gl/Rf4T8G  

• November 5-8, 2017:  The Entomological Society of America meets at Denver CO and information is available at: http://www.entsoc.org/am/fm/index

• November 7-8, 2017:  The Pulse and Soybean Agronomy Workshop will be held at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon SK.  More information is available on their website and view the agenda or register online.

• 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 20-23, 2017:  The Canadian Weed Science Society meets at Saskatoon SK and more information is available at http://weedscience.ca/meeting-home/ 

• December 5-7, 2017:  The Canola Meeting & Canola Innovation Day, and the Canola Discovery Forum have united to create the first ever CanolaWeek in Saskatoon SK and more information is available at https://event-wizard.com/CanolaWeek2017/0/welcome/

• January 9-10, 2018:  Agronomy Update 2018 will be held in Red Deer AB at the Sheraton Hotel so watch for information to be posted at http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app55/events

• January 9-10, 2018:  CropSphere Agricultural Conference will be held at TCU Place in Saskatoon SK during Crop Production Week.  More information is available at: https://www.cropsphere.com/index.cfm   with registration opening Nov 1st!

• January 16-18, 2018: The Manitoba Ag Days show will be held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon MB. More information will be available at: https://www.agdays.com/

• January 16-19, 2018:  The Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen will hold the 2018 Provincial ASB Conference in Grande Prairie AB. More information will be available at https://aaaf.ab.ca/asb-boards/asb-conference.html  or use links provided by Alberta Agriculture & Forestry.

• January 30-February 1, 2018:  FarmTech 2018 will be held in Edmonton AB and information is available at http://farmtechconference.com/  with registration typically opening early in November.

• March 19-22, 2018:  The 9th International IPM Symposium will be held in Baltimore MA and information is available at https://ipmsymposium.org/2018/

• November 11-14, 2018:  The  Joint meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and Entomological Society of America meets in Vancouver BC and more information will be available at http://www.entsoc.org/event-calendar/entomology-2018


Weekly Update – Previous Posts

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

The following is a list of 2017 Posts – click to review:

Alfalfa Weevil (Week 11)

Bertha armyworm – Week 14

Bertha armyworm – Week 16
Brood X Cicadas

Cabbage seedpod weevil (Week 12)

Canola scouting chart
Cattle dung – Week 16
Cereal leaf beetle
Crickets with your popcorn
Crop protection guides – Week 16

Diamondback moth (Week 16)

Flax scouting chart

Flea beetles

Grasshoppers (Development and Scouting) – Week 10
Grasshoppers (Predicted development) – Week 16

Iceberg reports
Insects as food (Week 14)

Lily leaf beetle

Lygus in canola – Week 16

Monarch migration (Week 10)

Painted lady butterflies (Week 9)

Pea leaf weevil
PMRA Pesticide Label Mobile App
Pre-Harvest Intervals (PHI) – Week 16

Nysius niger (Week 8)

Ticks and Lyme disease

Time of swathing for canola – Week 16

Weather radar

Wheat midge
White grubs in fields (Week 9)
Wildfires (Week 13)


Provincial Insect Pest Reports

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

Provincial entomologists provide insect pest updates throughout the growing season so we have attempted to link to their most recent information: 

● Manitoba’s Insect and Disease Update for 2017 is prepared by John Gavloski and Pratisara Bajracharya and read Issue #13 (posted August 16, 2017) noting soybean aphids as field near the R6 stage and high levels of bertha armyworm larvae from some fields in western Manitoba.

● Saskatchewan’s Crop Production News – 2017 – Issue #6 includes an overview of late-season insect pests (bertha armyworm, diamondback moth, thistle caterpillar, soybean aphid, cabbage seedpod weevil, pea leaf weevil emerging flea beetles and grasshopper surveying) and Pre-Harvest Intervals (PHI) as well as important monitoring information for bins.

● Watch for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Call of the Land and access the most recent Insect Update (August 24, 2017) provided by Scott Meers. That report describes wheat stem sawfly surveying underway that scouts for cut stems to assess risk for 2018, white fluff balls at the top of canola that are actually parasitoid puparia or soon-to-be beneficial wasps that attack then emerge from a lepidopteran host, and the emergence of new-season red turnip beetles that will overwinter this fall.

Insect of the Week – Brown marmorated stink bug

Jennifer Otani
Week 17

This week’s Insect of the Week is the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). Stink bugs get their name from the foul odour they release when threatened. Nymphs and adults prefer field corn and soybean, but infestations have been reported on rape, pea, sunflower and cereals in the USA. They have also been known to attack tree fruits, berries, vegetables and many ornamental trees and shrubs. They are not known to be established in the Prairies, but have been found in the BC Southern Interior, Ontario and Quebec. Feeding causes damage to seeds and seed pods, reducing yield.

Brown marmorated stink bug – adult (CC-BY 2.0 Katja Schulz)

Additional information and fact sheets for this insect have been posted by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development, and BC Ministry of Agriculture and Seafood.

Remember the NEW Cutworm Field Guide is free and downloadable in 2017!