Jennifer Otani, Ross Weiss, Serge Trudel, Tamara Rounce, Owen Olfert, Erl Svendsen, James Tansey, Kelly Turkington and Meghan Vankosky
Happy Birthday Canada!
Warmer temperatures last week continue to move our growing season forward and there are more insects to prioritize on scouting lists again this week. Bertha armyworm pheromone monitoring numbers are coming in as cooperators work with their provincial networks to help assess risk levels in the form of cumulative moth counts. We are also poised for wheat midge emergence across the prairies and we dedicate this Weekly Update and remember Dr. John Doane, an entomologist whose research on this pest and many other species contributed significantly to insect pest management on the Canadian prairies.
This week’s Insect of the Week featured crop is the sugar beet, a plant that has been grown in southern Alberta since 1925. Our feature entomologist this week is James Tansey.
Introduced to the Prairies in the mid-20s, sugar beets are the single 100% Canadian sugar source. A crop that loves heat and water, sugar beets require irrigation to thrive. Alberta produces most of the sugar beet in Canada (only Prairie producer) with the rest produced in Ontario. In 2019, sugar beets were seeded on 11,500 hectares (28,500 acres) in Alberta, producing 520,700 metric tonnes (574,000 US tons). This was a 39% decrease compared to 2018 due to unseasonable cold in September and October.
Name: Dr. James Tansey Affiliation: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Contact Information: James Tansey PhD Provincial Specialist, Insect/Pest Management Production Technology Crops and Irrigation Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture 3085 Albert Street; Room 125 Regina, Canada S4S 0B1 Business: 306-787-4669 Cell: 306-520-3525
HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE IN INSECT MONITORING OR SURVEILLANCE ON THE PRAIRIES?
I help to coordinate and conduct insect surveys in several crops throughout Saskatchewan and coordinate diagnostics with the Crop Protection Laboratory located in Regina.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING FIELD CROP PEST ON THE PRAIRIES?
Predatory midges are very cool. Like flea beetles, there is still so much we do not know about these important insects.
TELL US ABOUT AN IMPORTANT PROJECT YOU ARE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW.
I am working on a project to establish thresholds for pea aphid in field peas and lentils. This project is in collaboration with AAFC and utilizes the expertise of the Redvers, Outlook and Swift Current Agri-ARM sites.
WHAT TOOLS, PLATFORMS, ETC. DO YOU USE TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR STAKEHOLDERS?
I communicate with stakeholders at extension meetings, field days, and Crop Diagnostic School and use tools including webinars, Twitter, and the telephone.