Wind trajectories

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have been working together to study the potential of trajectories for monitoring insect movements since the late 1990s.

The entire list of 2020 Wind Trajectory Reports is available here.

→ Read the WEEKLY Wind Trajectory Report for Wk06 (released June 1, 2020).

Weekly Update

This week cutworms, flea beetles, diamondback moths, grasshopper nymphs, alfalfa weevil larvae and bertha armyworm pheromone-baited traps will be going out – a busy week! Several economic pests Canadian growers contend with are now developing into the more damaging stages so get in to those fields!

Access information to support your in-field insect monitoring efforts in the complete Weekly Update either as a series of Posts for Week 6 OR a downloadable PDF.

Stay Safe!

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

Bean Pests / Feature Entomologist: Jennifer Otani

This week’s Insect of the Week feature crop is dry bean, one of a number of important Prairie pulse crops. Our feature entomologist this week is Jennifer Otani (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).

Fava Bean Crop
cc by 2.0 Phillip Halling

Dry bean, an important pulse crop, has seen modest but steady gains over the last five years. On the Prairies, Manitoba leads in both area (71%) and production (60%) (2019, StatsCan). Total Prairie production was 184,200 tonnes (203,046 US tons) on 96,000 hectares (237,400 acres).

A number of pests can be found in bean fields. Monitoring and scouting protocols as well as economic thresholds (when available) are found in the Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and Management and the Cutworm Pests of Crops on the Canadian Prairies: Identification and Management Field Guide. More detailed protocols exist for some of the pests.

Bean Pests
  • Alfalfa caterpillar
  • Black cutworm
  • Blister beetles
  • Green cloverworm
  • Grasshoppers
  • Pale western cutworm
  • Pea aphid
  • Pea leaf weevil
  • Wireworms
  • Saltmarsh caterpillar
  • Seedcorn maggot
  • Twospotted spider mite
  • Variegated cutworm
  • Wireworms

When scouting, keep in mind that some of these pests may originate in neighbouring crops (e.g. alfalfa caterpillar).

Pea aphid – AAFC

Entomologist of the Week

Name: Jennifer Otani

Affiliation: Pest Management Scientist, Beaverlodge Research Farm, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Contact Information: Jennifer.otani@canada.ca, @bugs5132

How do you contribute in insect monitoring or surveillance on the Prairies?

The Pest Management Program based at the Beaverlodge Research Farm monitors and studies economic insect pests in annual crops, perennial grasses and legumes grown for seed. Our projects have focused on monitoring Lygus and root maggots in canola, red clover casebearer and clover-feeding weevils in clover seed production systems, and wheat midge. The program also monitors pests and beneficial insects in canola, alfalfa, wheat, clovers and grasses grown throughout the BC and Alberta portions of the Peace River region. Data collection supports the development of integrated pest management strategies suited to the region and supports regional and provincial insect pest surveillance and growers. I am the co-chair of the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network, and have supported the Network for many years as a researcher, collaborator, and editor for the PPMN’s Weekly Update and Blog.

In your opinion, what is the most interesting field crop pest on the Prairies?

I have two – one that’s kept me employed and one that scares me! Lygus bugscontinue to intrigue on so many levels. There are several species (a “complex”), that are native to the Canadian prairies. They affect a diverse range of plants and they can adjust to a region by producing more or less generations per season.  My other favourite is the red clover casebearer (Coleophora deauratella) – I have tremendous respect for any larva that carries its home around and can chew through plexiglass glue to escape from cages!

What is your favourite beneficial insect?

I love dragonflies – both the aquatic and aerial life stages are simply amazing! Dragonflies are important indicators of ecosystem health. Both the nymphs and adults are fierce predators. I’m also tremendously fond of the Peristenus formerly known as Otaniaea.  After years of collecting, rearing and forwarding beautiful specimens to support Dr. Henri Goulet’s work to revise the genus, he generously named this native braconid parasitoid after me. The species was later synonymized but, after so many years studying this pest-parasitoid complex, I’m still very honoured to have a beneficial wasp that attacks Lygus linked to my name!

Tell us about an important project you are working on right now.

Our program continues to work towards making the most of our samples by addressing species of both pest and beneficial insects. We are fortunate to work in a variety of host crops including canola, wheat, peas, alfalfa, creeping red fescue, plus red and alsike clover. This growing season, we now have an enhanced opportunity to continue more of this work in perennial grasses and legumes grown for seed. It’s important because perennials grown for seed, turf and forage markets are common throughout the region with fields remaining in crop 3-5 years and they may be an important reservoir for beneficial insects who traverse beyond field edges. Projects like these, involving our long-term monitoring and surveying research in both annual and perennial field crops, produce data sets we can direct towards the first iteration of the Beneficial Insects project lead by Dr. Haley Catton. We are working to make multiple years of canola survey data, some of our field plot data, and portions of our natural enemies data available to better define interactions and the economic value associated with the interaction of pests and beneficial insects in our fields.

What tools, platforms, etc. do you use to communicate with your stakeholders?

In addition to normal project reporting and publishing results, I actively support tech-transfer events at regional, provincial and national levels. The Pest Management Program has an unofficial lab Blog (http://insectpestmanagement.blogspot.com) to help communicate our activities to producer-cooperators, collaborators and potential students. I am also responsible for the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network (prairiepest.ca) which is a vital tool used to communicate with the Canadian agricultural industry. I also communicate using Twitter (@Bugs5132) during the growing season to highlight our research activities and the PPMN, often with the hashtags #PPMNblog and #WestCdnAg.

Weekly Update

Greetings!

Things are starting to get busy now that seeding is well underway across the prairies!  In-field scouting begins as soon as that seed is in the ground!

Access the complete Weekly Update either as a series of Posts for Week 06 (May 16, 2019) OR a downloadable PDF version.  Check out the Insect of the Week.

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

Subscribe to the Blog by following these easy steps!

Weather synopsis

Weather synopsis – This past week (May 8-15, 2019) the average temperature was approximately 1 °C cooler than normal (Fig. 1). The warmest temperatures were observed in AB and with conditions much cooler in SK and MB.  

Figure 1.  Average Temperature (°C) across the Canadian prairies the past seven days (May 8-15, 2019).

Average 30-day temperatures were approximately 2 °C cooler than average (Fig. 2). Across the prairies, average temperatures (April 9-May 6)  were 0 to -3 °C below normal (Fig. 3). 

Figure 2.  Mean temperature differences from Normal across the Canadian prairies from April 16-May 13, 2019.
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the 
Government of Canada and was retrieved (16May2019).  
Access the full map at http://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true
Figure 3.   Average Temperature (°C) across the Canadian prairies the past 30 days (April 15- May 15, 2019).

Seven-day cumulative rainfall indicated that minimal rain was observed across large areas in AB and MB. Most locations reported less than 5mm (Fig. 4). 

Figure 4.  Cumulative precipitation observed the past seven days across the Canadian prairies (May 8-15, 2019).

Across the prairies, rainfall amounts for the past 30 days (April 15-May 15, 2019) have been approximately 50% of normal (Fig. 5).  Growing season rainfall amounts have been well below average for most of the prairies. Only two areas, southern SK and the Peace River region were the only two areas that had normal to above normal rainfall (Fig. 6). 

Figure 5.  Percent of Average precipitation across the Canadian prairies the past 30 days (Up to May 15, 2019).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada and was retrieved (16May2019).  
Access the full map at http://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true
Figure 6. Cumulative precipitation observed the past 30 days across the Canadian prairies (April 15-May 15, 2019).

Soil moisture values are low across most of the prairies (Fig. 7). 

Figure 7.  Modeled soil moisture (%) across the Canadian prairies (up to May 15, 2019).

The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 5 ºC, April 1-May 15, 2019) is below (Fig. 8):

Figure 8.  Growing degree day (Base 5 ºC) across the Canadian prairies for the growing season (April 1-May 15, 2019).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the 
Government of Canada and was retrieved (16May2019).  
Access the full map at http://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true

The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10 ºC, April 1-May 15, 2019) is below (Fig. 9):

Figure 9.  Growing degree day (Base 10 ºC) across the Canadian prairies for the growing season (April 1-May 15, 2019).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the 
Government of Canada and was retrieved (16May2019).  
Access the full map at http://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true

The lowest temperatures (°C) observed the past seven days range from -10 to 2 °C in the map below (Fig. 10).

Figure 10.  Lowest temperatures (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies the past seven days (May 8-15, 2019).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada and was retrieved (16May2019).  
Access the full map at http://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true

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.

Wind Trajectories

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have been working together to study the potential of trajectories for monitoring insect movements since the late 1990s.

In a continuing effort to produce timely information, the wind trajectory reports are available in two forms:

Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network

New for 2019 – The Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network (PCDMN) represents the combined effort of our prairie pathologists who work together to support in-field disease management in field crops.  

In 2019, the PCDMN will release a series of weekly Cereal Rust Risk Reports throughout May and June.  Information related to trajectory events based on forecast and diagnostic wind fields and cereal rust risk is experimental, and is OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. 

Background:  Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have been working together to study the potential of trajectories for monitoring insect movements since the late 1990s. Trajectory models are used to deliver an early-warning system for the origin and destination of migratory invasive species, such as diamondback moth. In addition, plant pathologists have shown that trajectories can assist with the prediction of plant disease infestations and are also beginning to utilize these same data. An introduction will be presented of efforts to identify wind trajectory events that may bring rust urediniospores into Western Canada from epidemic areas in the central and Pacific northwest (PNW) regions of the USA. Identification of potential events as well as an assessment of epidemic severity from source locations, and prairie weather conditions, will be used to assess the need for prompt targeted crop scouting for at-risk regions of the Canadian Prairies.

This week, two documents are available from the PCDMN:

Synopsis of May 14, 2019, Weekly Cereal Rust Risk Report: 

Wind trajectory and cereal rust risk assessment and need for in-crop scouting in the Prairie region, May 14, 2019

1.  Pacific Northwest – Given limited stripe rust development in the PNW, a low number of recent wind trajectories from the PNW, cool Prairie weather conditions, and early stages of Prairie crop development, as of May 14, 2019, the risk of stripe rust appearance from the PNW is limited and scouting for this disease is not urgent.  

2.  Texas-Nebraska corridor – Although leaf and stripe rust development continues in this corridor, the disease is mainly affecting the lower canopy at generally low levels.  There has been a low number of recent wind trajectories from this area, cool Prairie weather conditions, and early stages of Prairie crop development.  As of May 14, 2019 the risk of leaf and stripe rust appearance from the Texas-Nebraska corridor is low and scouting for these diseases is not urgent.  

3.  Where farmers or consultants noticed stripe rust development on winter wheat in the fall of 2018, it is recommended to scout winter wheat fields that have resumed growth this spring.  Scouting is especially critical where the variety being grown is susceptible to stripe rust.  Currently, there are no early spring reports of stripe rust on winter wheat.

4.  Access the full downloadable report.

Flea beetles

Flea Beetles (Chrysomelidae: Phyllotreta species)– As newly seeded stands begin to emerge, the need for in-field scouting increases.  Review Wk05 for flea beetle information, visual guides to help estimate percent of cotyledon damage, and links to the Insect Field Guide.  

This week we also link to Canola Watch which released flea beetle scouting and management tips for canola.  Provincial entomologists, flea beetle researchers and Canola Council of Canada specialists all provided input into this article.

Remember, the Action Threshold for flea beetles on canola is 25% of cotyledon leaf area consumed.  Watch for shot-hole feeding in seedling canola but also watch the growing point and stems of seedlings which are particularly vulnerable to flea beetle feeding.

Cutworms

Cutworms (Noctuidae) – Still important this week to scout for cutworms!! Access Wk05 for help!  

Cereal leaf beetle

Cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) – The CLB model was run for Lethbridge AB and projected to June 15, 2019 (Fig. 1).  The cereal leaf beetle model indicates that eggs may begin to hatch later next week Lethbridge.

Figure 1.  Projected predicted status of cereal leaf beetle populations near Lethbridge AB to June 15, 2019 generated using long term average temperatures.

Lifecycle and Damage:

Adult: Adult cereal leaf beetles (CLB) have shiny bluish-black wing-covers (Fig. 2). The thorax and legs are light orange-brown. Females (4.9 to 5.5 mm) are slightly larger than the males (4.4 to 5 mm). Adult beetles overwinter in and along the margins of grain fields in protected places such as in straw stubble, under crop and leaf litter, and in the crevices of tree bark. They favour sites adjacent to shelter belts, deciduous and conifer forests. They emerge in the spring once temperature reaches 10-15 ºC and are active for about 6 weeks. They usually begin feeding on grasses, then move into winter cereals and later into spring cereals.  

Figure 2. Adult Oulema melanopus measure 4.4-5.5 mm long (Photo: M. Dolinski).

Egg: Eggs are laid approximately 14 days following the emergence of the adults. Eggs are laid singly or in pairs along the mid vein on the upper side of the leaf and are cylindrical, measuring 0.9 mm by 0.4 mm, and yellowish in colour. Eggs darken to black just before hatching.  

Larva: The larvae hatch in about 5 days and feed for about 3 weeks, passing through 4 growth stages (instars). The head and legs are brownish-black; the body is yellowish. Larvae are usually covered with a secretion of mucus and fecal material, giving them a shiny black, wet appearance (Fig. 3).  When the larva completes its growth, it drops to the ground and pupates in the soil. 

Figure 3.  Larval stage of Oulema melanopus with characteristic feeding damage visible on leaf (Photo: M. Dolinski).

Pupa: Pupal colour varies from a bright yellow when it is first formed, to the colour of the adult just before emergence. The pupal stage lasts 2 – 3 weeks. Adult beetles emerge and feed for a couple of weeks before seeking overwintering sites. There is one generation per year.

Fact sheets for CLB are published by the province of Alberta and available from the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network. Also access the Oulema melanopus page from the new “Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada – Identification and management field guide”.

Alfalfa weevil

Alfalfa Weevil (Hypera postica) – Degree-day maps of base 9°C are produced using the Harcourt/North Dakota models (Soroka et al. 2015).  Models predicting the development of Alfalfa weevil (AAW) across the prairies are updated weekly to help growers time their in-field scouting for second-instar larvae. 

Model runs for Brooks AB (Fig. 1) and Swift Current SK (Fig. 2) were projected to June 15, 2019.  Model output indicates that initial hatch should occur late next week in fields near Brooks. Hatch should be 5-7 days later in the Swift Current region. Compared to last year’s runs for Swift Current, development is predicted to be 10 days later than 2018. Compared with long term normal weather data, egg development is 1 – 2 days later than average. 

Figure 1.  Projected predicted status of alfalfa weevil populations near Brooks AB to June 15, 2019 using long term average temperatures.
Figure 2.  Projected predicted status of alfalfa weevil populations near Swift Current SK to June 15, 2019 using long term average temperatures.

The larval stage of this weevil feeds on alfalfa leaves in a manner that characterizes the pest as a “skeletonizer”.  The green larva featuring a dorsal, white line down the length of its body has a dark brown head capsule and will grow to 9mm long.  

Alfalfa growers are encouraged to check the Alfalfa Weevil Fact Sheet prepared by Dr. Julie Soroka (AAFC-Saskatoon).  Additional information can be accessed by reviewing the Alfalfa Weevil Page extracted from the “Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada – Identification and management field guide” (Philip et al. 2015).  The guide is available in both a free English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Pea leaf weevil

Pea Leaf Weevil (Sitona lineatus– Model runs for Red Deer AB (Fig. 1) and Swift Current SK (Fig. 2) were projected to June 15, 2019. Results indicated that oviposition should begin at the end of May. Model predictions, based on long term normal weather data, predict that initial hatch near Saskatoon should occur on May 29th.

Figure 1.  Projected predicted status of pea leaf weevil populations near Red Deer AB to June 15, 2019 using long term average temperatures.
Figure 2.  Projected predicted status of pea leaf weevil populations near Swift Current SK to June 15, 2019 using long term average temperatures.

Pea leaf weevils emerge in the spring primarily by flying (at temperatures above 17ºC) or they may walk short distances. Pea leaf weevil movement into peas and faba beans is achieved primarily through flight.  Adults are slender, greyish-brown measuring approximately 5 mm in length (Fig. 3, Left).  

The pea leaf weevil resembles the sweet clover weevil (Sitona cylindricollis) but the former is distinguished by three light-coloured stripes extending length-wise down thorax and sometimes the abdomen.  All species of Sitona, including the pea leaf weevil, have a short snout.  

Figure 3.  Comparison images and descriptions of four Sitona species adults including pea leaf weevil (Left).

Adults will feed upon the leaf margins and growing points of legume seedlings (alfalfa, clover, dry beans, faba beans, peas) and produce a characteristic, scalloped (notched) edge.  Females lay 1000 to 1500 eggs in the soil either near or on developing pea or faba bean plants from May to June.

Biological and monitoring information related to pea leaf weevil in field crops is posted by the province of Alberta and in the PPMN monitoring protocol.

Also refer to the pea leaf weevil page within the “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.  A review of this insect was published in 2011 in Prairie Soils and Crops by Carcamo and Vankosky.

Predicted grasshopper development

Grasshopper Simulation Model Output – The grasshopper simulation model will be used to monitor grasshopper development across the prairies. Weekly temperature data collected across the prairies is incorporated into the simulation model which calculates estimates of grasshopper development stages based on biological parameters for Melanoplus sanguinipes (Migratory grasshopper).  

Compared to last week, near normal temperatures have resulted in expected development of grasshopper eggs.  This week, as of May 15, 2019, predicted development was 63% and is similar to long term average values (Fig. 1).  

Figure 1.  Predicted grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes) embryological development acrossthe Canadian prairies as of May 15, 2019. 

Model runs for Lethbridge (Fig. 2) and Saskatoon (Fig. 3) were projected to June 15, 2019. Results indicated that eggs should begin to hatch next week. Model predictions, based on long term normal weather data predict that initial hatch near Saskatoon should occur on May 25th.

Figure 2. Predicted status of Melanoplus sanguipes populations near Lethbridge AB as of  May 15, 2019.  
Figure 3.  Predicted status of Melanoplus sanguipes populations near Saskatoon SK as of  May 15, 2019.    

Reminder – The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network’s 2019 Grasshopper Forecast Map was released in March.  Review all the current risk and forecast maps by linking here.  While spring temperatures, soil moisture conditions, and precipitation can all have an impact on overwintered grasshopper eggs, areas highlighted orange or red in the 2019 forecast map should be vigilant this spring by performing in-field scouting to assess nymph densities.

Biological and monitoring information related to grasshoppers in field crops is posted by Manitoba AgricultureSaskatchewan AgricultureAlberta Agriculture and Forestry, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Also refer to the grasshopper pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” as an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Scouting Charts – Canola and Flax

Reminder – We have updated the field scouting charts so they now link to pages within the 2018 version of the Insect Field Guide

We offer TWO generalized insect pest scouting charts to aid in-field scouting on the Canadian prairies:

1. CANOLA INSECT SCOUTING CHART

2018_ScoutingChart_Canola

2. FLAX INSECT SCOUTING CHART

2018_ScoutingChart_Flax

These charts feature hyperlinks directing growers to downloadable PDF pages within the “Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada: Identification and management field guide“.

Whenever possible, monitor and compare pest densities to established economic or action thresholds to protect and preserve pollinators and beneficial arthropods. Economic thresholds, by definition, help growers avoid crop losses related to outbreaking insect pest species.

Good luck with your scouting!

Field Heroes

The Field Heroes campaign continues to raise awareness of the role of beneficial insects in western Canadian crops.

Make use of the Scouting Guides freely available on the Field Heroes website.  Each guide includes valuable information and photos to help identify the contents valuable arthropods occurring in field crops.

Have you seen the “Check the Net” infographics that helps growers understand just how many organisms are present in cereals, oilseeds, and pulses and that ONLY A SMALL PROPORTION are considered economic pests?  A great many of the other insects, spiders, and mites are beneficial organisms that work to regulate crop pests!  Protect and enhance their impact on crop pests by performing in-field assessments and use economic thresholds to help decide when control is warranted and find out more about the Cereal Avengers, Oilseed Avengers and Pulse Avengers!

Link here to access a complete list of all the PPMN Blog Posts related to Natural Enemies!

Be sure to follow @FieldHeroes on Twitter for practical tips and information.

Thanks to Western Grains Research Foundation for their support of this important campaign. This initiative has been made possible through the support and advice of enthusiastic members of the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.

Crop protection guides

Crop Protection Guides – If you don’t have a copy of your province’s Crop Protection Guide, please make use of these links to access the PDF version of the:

Provincial Insect Pest Reports

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

Manitoba‘s Insect and Disease Updates for 2019 will be posted here and include updates from Dr. John Gavloski.

Saskatchewan‘s Crops Blog Posts includes a segment on “Early season scouting of cutworms” by Sara Doerksen posted for April 2019. Watch for updates from Dr. James Tansey and Mr. Carter Peru.

•  Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Call of the Land regularly includes insect pest updates from Mr. Scott Meers. The most recent Call of the Land was posted March 18-22, 2019 but did not include an insect update.

Weather Radar

Remember – If your fields are near one of Environment Canada’s PRAIRIE Radar Stations, consider accessing weather radar maps in video format to access either the past 1 OR 3 hours of precipitation events displayed as spatio-temporal maps.  These maps can help growers review where and how much precipitation fell nearby and can help when trying to time pesticide applications.

Screen shots of Environment Canada’s webpages are below for reference and red text and arrows have been added to help you navigate the webpage.

Crop report links

Crop reports are produced by:

The following crop reports are also available:

Previous Posts

Click to review these earlier 2019 Posts:

2019 Risk and forecast maps – Week 2

Ticks and Lyme disease – Week 4

Wind trajectories – Weeks 1-4

Insect of the Week – Lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii) and its natural enemy, Tetrastichus setifer

Lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii) adult – Shelley Barkley

The lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii) is a native of Europe and was originally found in Canada at Montreal in 1945. Since then, it has spread throughout Eastern Canada and has now established itself as far west as Alberta. Long distance movement of the beetle is facilitated by movement of plant material; locally, they move on their own as they are strong flyers.

The lily leaf beetle lays its eggs and develops only on true lilies (Tiger, Easter, Asiatic and Oriental lilies) and fritillaries. They can feed (but not develop) on other perennials like lily-of-the-valley.  Adult and larval feeding will ruin true lilies. The feeding damage can be so severe that many gardeners have removed lilies from their landscapes.  

The adult beetle overwinters in the soil or leaf litter, not necessarily near host plants. They emerge on the first warm spring days and will begin feeding on the early emerging lilies, as early as mid-April on the Prairies. Shortly after emergence, they start to mate and lay orange eggs in rows of 3-12 on the undersides of the lily leaves or on the emerging lily shoots (late April to early May). Egg laying (up to 450 per female) can continue well into July. Eggs will hatch in 4-8 days.

The larva is a soft, hump-backed, orange to brownish slug-like animal with a black head and legs. For protection from predation, desiccation and camouflage, it covers its body with a layer of its own fecal matter. The larval stage most destructive phase of the beetle’s life cycle, as larvae feed for 16-24 days. They devour leaves leaving only the plant stems, and chew into flower buds. Larvae drop to ground to pupate and emerge as adults 16-22 days later.

Tetrastichus setifer, a small parasitoid wasp (harmless to humans), is being introduced as biological control agent for the beetle. T. setifer overwinters in the soil in a cocoon. It then emerges in the spring and the female will lay up to nine eggs in one lily leaf beetle larva. She can lay eggs in all four larval instars of the lily leaf beetle.

There have been successful T. setifer releases in Ottawa with establishment and good suppression of lily leaf beetles. Releases have been done in gardens in Manitoba and Quebec as well natural sites in Quebec where the native lilies Lilium canadense, and Lilium michiganense grow. Successful establishment of T. setifer in the natural locations is uncertain at this time. Recently, there have been releases in Calgary, Alberta and Olds, Alberta. In 2018 additional releases were made in 2 gardens in Brooks, Alberta.

Tetrastichus setifer on Lily leaf beetle larva – Shelley Barkley

For information about previous featured insects, please visit our Insect of the Week page. For even more information on crop pests and their natural enemies, be sure to check out our newly updated Field Guide and Cutworm Guide, available for free download on our Insect Field Guide and Cutworm Field Guide pages.

Insect of the Week – Pterostichus melanarius

This week’s insect is the ground beetlePterostichus melanarius (Coleoptera: Carabidae).  This large (12-19 mm), shiny black beetle originates from Europe and probably arrived to North America in the 1920s in ships’ ballasts. It has become a widespread insect throughout North America, particularly in habitats used by humans: urban areas, forests, and agricultural land.

Flight has been the main method of colonization and dispersal for this species. In newly arrived populations of P. melanarius, individuals generally have longer hind wings which allow for more efficient dispersal. After a population has become established in an area, short-winged morphs of the species become dominant.

This species is an excellent example of a generalist predator. Generalist predators include many species of ground beetles, some rove beetles, ants, centipedes and spiders. These arthropods are not picky when it comes to choosing a meal. For example, P. melanarius will eat nearly anything including many different arthropods, earthworms, slugs and even some small vertebrates. Generalist predators are effective in keeping some insects from reaching high numbers that can damage agricultural crops.

Find out more about ground beetles and Pterostichus melanarius at the Insect of the Week page!

Pterostichus
melanariu
s
Photo credit: Henri Goulet (retired), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Photograph
of Pterostichus melanarius catching a fourth-instar P. xylostella in a plastic
container (LRC, Photo credit: A. Mauduit)

Weekly Update

Greetings!

Access the complete Weekly Update either as a series of Posts for Week 06 (June 14, 2018) OR downloadable PDF version.  Also review the “Insect of the Week” for Week 6!



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

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Weather synopsis

Weather synopsis – This past week (June 4  – 11, 2018), the average temperature (13.3 °C) was very similar to long term average (Fig. 1).  The warmest weekly temperatures occurred across MB. The 30-day (May 12 – June 11) average temperature (12.9 °C) was approximately 2 °C warmer than long term average (Fig. 2).  

Figure 1.  Weekly (June 4 – 11, 2018) average temperature (°C) . 


Figure 2.  The 30-day (May 12 – June 11, 2018) average temperature (°C).





Weekly and 30-day total precipitation was above average. The wettest region was across eastern areas in SK (Figs. 3 and 4). 

Figure 3.  Weekly (June 4 – 11, 2018) cumulative precipitation (mm).


Figure 4.  The 30-day (May 12 – June 11, 2018) cumulative precipitation (mm).

Accumulated precipitation for the growing season (April 01-June 11, 2018) is shown below.

The map below reflects the Highest Temperatures occurring over the past 7 days (June 5-11, 2018) across the prairies. 

The map below reflects the Lowest Temperatures occurring over the past 7 days (June 5-11, 2018) across the prairies. 

The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10ºC, March 1 – June 10, 2018) is below:


The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 5ºCMarch 1 – June 10, 2018) 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.

Wind trajectories

Background:  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have been working together to study the potential of trajectories to deliver an early-warning system for the origin and destination of migratory invasive agricultural pests.

We receive two types of model output from ECCC: reverse trajectories (RT) and forward trajectories (FT): 

(i) ‘Reverse trajectories’ (RT) refer to air currents that are tracked back in time from specified Canadian locations over a five-day period prior to their arrival date. 

(ii) ‘Forward trajectories’ (FT) have a similar purpose; however, the modelling process begins at sites in USA and Mexico. The model output predicts the pathway of a trajectory. Again, of interest are the winds that eventually end up passing over the Prairies. 

Current Data
Since April 1. 2018, the majority of Pacific Northwest (PNW) air currents have crossed over southern AB (Fig. 1). The cumulative number of wind dispersal events for June 1 – 11, 2018 (181) is greater than the long term (2007 – 2017) average (98).

Figure 1.  Total reverse trajectories (originating from US – PNW) April 1 – June 11, 2018.



Since April 1, the majority of air currents from southwest USA and Mexico have crossed over eastern SK and western MB (Fig. 2). So far there have been 18 RT’s (June 1 – 11, 2018) and compares with 2017 (3) and the long term average (24). 

Figure 2.  Total number of reverse trajectories (originating from southern USA) April 1 – June 11, 2018.





Weather forecasts (7 day):

Wireworm distribution map

Reminder – Last week turned out to be our wireworm blitz!  This complicated group of insect species was featured in the Insect of the Week AND we include the survey results again this week!

The following maps summarize the main results of a survey of pest species of wireworms of the Canadian Prairie Provinces.  Samples (both larvae and beetles) were submitted to Dr. Bob Vernon’s lab in Agassiz, BC, from 2004 to 2017, and identified by Dr. Wim van Herk (Fig. 1).  Species identifications were confirmed with barcoding.

Figure 1.  Sampling locations for click beetles and wireworm larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) submitted for wireworm surveying from 2004-2017.

Approximately 600 samples were submitted, with the number of larvae per sample typically less than five (Fig. 1).  More samples are welcome, particularly from areas currently not well represented on the maps.  Please provide either the legal land description or latitude and longitude coordinates with a sample.  Any information on the cropping history or whether fields were irrigated is helpful.

Review the complete survey summary posted in Week 05 (for Jun 7, 2018).

Disclaimer: 
Please do not distribute or use the contents of this post, including any maps, without obtaining prior permission.

Obtain further information or arrange shipment of wireworm or click beetle samples by contacting:
Dr. Wim van Herk
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agassiz Research and Development Centre
6947 Highway 7, Agassiz, BC, V0M 1A0
wim.vanherk@agr.gc.ca

Predicted grasshopper development

Grasshopper Simulation Model Output – The grasshopper simulation model will be used to monitor grasshopper development across the prairies. Weekly temperature data collected across the prairies is incorporated into the simulation model which calculates estimates of grasshopper development stages based on biological parameters for Melanoplus sanguinipes (Migratory grasshopper).  

As of June 11, 2018, predicted hatch was 74% (long term average was 28%). The average development is almost at second instar (Fig. 1) with 30, 28, 12 and 2% in the  first, second, third and fourth instar stages, respectively.  

Figure 1.  Grasshopper development (average instar) on model simulations, for April 1 – June 11, 2018.



Model output for Saskatoon illustrates that populations are primarily in the first and second instars with third and fourth instar stages beginning to appear (Fig. 2). This agrees with last week’s survey conducted south of Saskatoon SK. 

Figure 2.  Predicted grasshopper phenology at Saskatoon SK.
Values are based on model simulations, for April 1 – June 11, 2018.
Biological and monitoring information related to grasshoppers in field crops is posted by Manitoba AgricultureSaskatchewan AgricultureAlberta Agriculture and Forestry, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Also refer to the grasshopper pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” as an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Predicted bertha armyworm development

Bertha armyworm (Lepidoptera: Mamestra configurata– BAW development continues to be 7-10 days ahead of normal development (Fig. 1).  

Figure 1.  Percentage of pupal stage heat requirements for emergence of bertha armyworm (as of June 20, 2018).

Near Saskatoon SK, adult emergence is well underway and oviposition is predicted to have begun this week. Based on climate data, oviposition near Saskatoon should begin around the third week of June.  



Reminder –Table 1. Projected dates for BAW adult emergence for June 4, 2018 (projected to June 30, 2018).

For those who are  now checking a bertha armyworm pheromone trap on a weekly basis, we provide an excellent photo kindly shared by Saskatchewan Agriculture to aid your identification and reporting of trap interceptions.  Note the kidney-bean white-patterned shape on each forewing but also know other cutworm species can resemble bertha armyworm moths so check carefully and thanks for your help!

Biological and monitoring information related to bertha armyworm in field crops is posted by the provinces of ManitobaSaskatchewanAlberta and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Also refer to the bertha armyworm pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.

Wheat midge

Wheat Midge (Sitodiplosis mosellana– Simulation modelling is used to predict wheat midge emergence across the Canadian prairies.  The wheat midge model indicates that wheat midge larvae should be moving to the soil surface (Fig. 1). Adequate moisture has resulted in expected emergence patterns. 

Figure 1.  Predicted wheat midge phenology at Saskatoon SK.
Values are based on model simulations, for April 1 – June 11, 2018 (projected to July 15, 2018). 


The 2018 wheat midge forecast map was circulated in January and is posted below for reference.  Note that areas highlighted orange or red in the map below included surveyed fields with comparatively higher densities of wheat midge cocoons last fall.


Information related to wheat midge biology and monitoring can be accessed by linking to your provincial fact sheet (Saskatchewan Agriculture or Alberta Agriculture & Forestry).  A review of wheat midge on the Canadian prairies was published by Elliott, Olfert, and Hartley in 2011.  Additionally, more information 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 but remember the guide is available as a free downloadable document as both an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Pea leaf weevil

Pea Leaf Weevil (Sitona lineatus– The PLW model predicts that oviposition is nearly complete and PLW are primarily in the adult and egg stages (Fig. 1). Larvae should begin to appear later this week. 

Figure 1.  Predicted pea leaf weevil phenology at Red Deer AB.
Values are based on model simulations, for April 1-May 28, 2018 (projected to July 15, 2018).

Pea leaf weevils emerge in the spring primarily by flying (at temperatures above 17ºC) or they may walk short distances. Pea leaf weevil movement into peas and faba beans is achieved primarily through flight.  Adults are slender, greyish-brown measuring approximately 5 mm in length (view weevil adult photos here).


Adults feed upon the leaf margins and growing points of legume seedlings (alfalfa, clover, dry beans, faba beans, peas) and produce a characteristic, scalloped (notched) edge (Fig. 4).  Females lay 1000 to 1500 eggs in the soil either near or on developing pea or faba bean plants from May to June.


Figure 4.  Scalloped notching along leaf margins of pea plant (Photo: L. Dosdall).

Larvae develop under the soil over a period of 30 to 60 days. They are “C” shaped with a dark brown head capsule. The rest of the body is a milky-white color (Fig. 5 A). Larvae develop through five instar stages. In the 5th instar, larvae range in length from 3.5 – 5.5 mm. First instar larvae bury into the soil after hatching, and search out root nodules on field pea and faba bean plants. Larvae enter and consume the microbial contents of the root nodules (Fig. 5 B). These root nodules are responsible for nitrogen-fixation, thus pea leaf weevil larval feeding can affect plant yield and the plant’s ability to input nitrogen into the soil. 

Figure 5.  Pea leaf weevil larva in soil (A) and field pea root nodules damaged by larval feeding (B).  Photos: L. Dosdall).

Biological and monitoring information related to pea leaf weevil in field crops is posted by the province of Alberta and in the PPMN monitoring protocol.

Also refer to the pea leaf weevil page within the “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.  A review of this insect was published in 2011 in Prairie Soils and Crops by Carcamo and Vankosky.

Alfalfa weevil

Alfalfa Weevil (Hypera postica) – Approximately 70% of the population should be in the third or fourth instar stages and pupae may be occurring as well.  AAW populations near Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon and regions in southern Alberta are predicted to be primarily in the fourth instar (Fig. 1). 

Figure 1.  Average predicted development stages of alfalfa weevil. 
Values are based on model simulations (April 1-June 11, 2018). 



Access last week’s update to view photos and descriptions of all stages of alfalfa weevil.  

Alfalfa growers are encouraged to check the Alfalfa Weevil Fact Sheet prepared by Dr. Julie Soroka (AAFC-Saskatoon).  Additional information can be accessed by reviewing the Alfalfa Weevil Page extracted from the “Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada – Identification and management field guide” (Philip et al. 2015).  The guide is available in both a free English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Lygus in canola

Lygus bugs (Lygus spp.) – Lygus development is well underway. Adults have moved in to the fields and oviposition should be almost complete. The Lygus model suggests that populations near Brandon MB should consist of first to third instar stages (Fig. 1). 

Figure 1.  Predicted Lygus phenology at Brandon MB.
Values are based on model simulations, for April 1 – June 11, 2018.



On average, prairie populations are predicted to be in the first or second instar stages with development being greatest across the southern prairies (Fig. 2). 

Figure 2.  Predicted average developmental Lygus stage.
Values are based on model simulations, for April 1 – June 11, 2018.


Remember – The economic threshold for Lygus in canola is applied at late flower and early pod stages.  

Adult L. lineolaris (5-6 mm long) (photo: AAFC-Saskatoon).

Fifth instar lygus bug nymph (3-4 mm long) (photo:  AAFC-Saskatoon).


Damage: Lygus bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts and physically damage the plant by puncturing the tissue and sucking plant juices. The plants also react to the toxic saliva that the insects inject when they feed. Lygus bug infestations can cause alfalfa to have short stem internodes, excessive branching, and small, distorted leaves. They feed on buds and blossoms and cause them to drop. They also puncture seed pods and feed on the developing seeds causing them to turn brown and shrivel.

Begin monitoring canola when it bolts and continue until seeds within the pods are firm. Since adults can move into canola from alfalfa, check lygus bug numbers in canola when nearby alfalfa crops are cut.

Sample the crop for lygus bugs on a sunny day when the temperature is above 20°C and the crop canopy is dry. With a standard insect net (38 cm diameter), take ten 180° sweeps. Count the number of lygus bugs in the net.

Repeat the sampling in another 14 locations. Samples can be taken along or near the field margins. Calculate the cumulative total number of lygus bugs and then consult the sequential sampling chart (Figure C). If the total number is below the lower threshold line, no treatment is needed. If the total is below the upper threshold line, take more samples. If the total is on or above the upper threshold line, calculate the average number of lygus bugs per 10-sweep sample and consult the economic threshold table.

Sequential sampling for lygus bugs at late flowering stage in canola.


The economic threshold for lygus bugs in canola covers the end of the flowering (Table 1) and the early pod ripening stages (Table 2). Once the seeds have ripened to yellow or brown, the cost of controlling lygus bugs may exceed the damage they will cause prior to harvest, so insecticide application is not warranted.

Consider the estimated cost of spraying and expected return prior to making a decision to treat a crop. 

Remember that insecticide applications at bud stage in canola have not been proven to result in an economic benefit in production.  The exception to this is in the Peace River region where early, dry springs and unusually high densities of lygus bug adults can occasionally occur at bud stage.  In this situation, high numbers of lygus bugs feeding on moisture-stressed canola at bud stage is suspected to result in delay of flowering so producers in that region must monitor in fields that fail to flower as expected.


Table 1.  Economic thresholds for lygus bugs in canola at late flowering and early pod stages (Wise and Lamb 1998).

1 Canola crop stage estimated using Harper and Berkenkamp 1975).
2 Economic thresholds are based on an assumed loss of 0.1235 bu/ac per lygus bug caught in 10 sweeps (Wise and Lamb. 1998. The Canadian Entomologist. 130: 825-836).


Table 2.  Economic thresholds for lygus bugs in canola at pod stage (Wise and Lamb 1998).

 3 Economic thresholds are based on an assumed loss of 0.0882 bu/ac per lygus bug caught in 10 sweeps (Wise and Lamb. 1998. The Canadian Entomologist. 130: 825-836).


Biological and monitoring information related to Lygus in field crops is posted by the provinces of Manitoba or Alberta fact sheets or the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network’s monitoring protocol.  Also refer to the Lygus pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.

Crop reports

Crop reports are produced by:
• Manitoba Agriculture (June 4, 2018)
• Saskatchewan Agriculture (May 29-June 4, 2018)
• Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Crop Report (June 5, 2018)

The following crop reports are also available:
• The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) produces a Crop Progress Report (view the June 11, 2018 edition).

• The USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (view the June 12, 2018 edition).

Cabbage seedpod weevil

Cabbage seedpod weevil (Ceutorhynchus obstrictus) –  There is one generation of CSPW per year and the overwintering stage is the adult which is an ash-grey weevil measuring 3-4mm long (Refer to lower left photo).  Adults typically overwinter in soil beneath leaf litter within shelter belts and roadside ditches.




Monitoring:  
 ● Begin sampling when the crop first enters the bud stage and continue through the flowering. 
 ● Sweep-net samples should be taken at ten locations within the field with ten 180° sweeps per location.  
 ● Count the number of weevils at each location. Samples should be taken in the field perimeter as well as throughout the field.  
 ● Adults will invade fields from the margins and if infestations are high in the borders, application of an insecticide to the field margins may be effective in reducing the population to levels below which economic injury will occur.  
 ● An insecticide application is recommended when three to four weevils per sweep are collected and has been shown to be the most effective when canola is in the 10 to 20% bloom stage (2-4 days after flowering starts). 
 ● Consider making insecticide applications late in the day to reduce the impact on pollinators.  Whenever possible, provide advanced warning of intended insecticide applications to commercial beekeepers operating in the vicinity to help protect foraging pollinators.  
 ● High numbers of adults in the fall may indicate the potential for economic infestations the following spring.


Damage: Adult feeding damage to buds is more evident in dry years when canola is unable to compensate for bud loss.  Adults mate following a pollen meal then the female will deposit a single egg through the wall of a developing pod or adjacent to a developing seed within the pod (refer to lower right photo).  Eggs are oval and an opaque white, each measuring ~1mm long.  Typically a single egg is laid per pod although, when CSPW densities are high, two or more eggs may be laid per pod.

There are four larval instar stages of the CSPW and each stage is white and grub-like in appearance ranging up to 5-6mm in length (refer to lower left photo).  The first instar larva feeds on the cuticle on the outside of the pod while the second instar larva bores into the pod, feeding on the developing seeds.  A single larva consumes about 5 canola seeds.  The mature larva chews a small, circular exit hole from which it drops to the soil surface and pupation takes place in the soil within an earthen cell.  Approximately 10 days later, the new adult emerges to feed on maturing canola pods.  Later in the season these new adults migrate to overwintering sites beyond the field.


Please find additional detailed information for CSPW in fact sheets posted by Alberta Agriculture and ForestrySaskatchewan Agriculture, or the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.


Provincial Insect Pest Reports

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


Manitoba‘s Insect and Disease Update for 2018 will be posted soon. Review the most recent update (June 6, 2018) prepared by John Gavloski and Holly Derksen. The insect update notes flea beetles in canola and cutworms with monitoring for alfalfa weevil larvae underway. Diamondback moth trap numbers remain low and bertha armyworm pheromone traps will go up this week.

Saskatchewan‘s Crop Production News for 2018 is now posted. Access Report #2 posted June 7, 2018. Insect monitoring information is included in the article, “Troubleshooting emergence and assessing plant stand densities in flax or canola“. Saskatchewan growers can review articles posted for flea beetles, pea leaf weevils. Also note the following updated diamondback moth pheromone trap interception counts from across the regions (updated June 15, 2018):


Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Call of the Land regularly includes insect pest updates from Scott Meers. The most recent Call of the Land (posted on June 7, 2018) and identified concerns with stem feeding by flea beetles with the cooler weather this past week, reports of dung beetle larvae in some irrigated fields, continuation of pea leaf weevil surveying into central Alberta, and transient presence of some blister beetles. Updated June 14, 2018.

Monarch migration

We continue to track the migration of the Monarch butterflies as they move north by checking the 2018 Monarch Migration Map!  A screen shot of the map has been placed below as an example (retrieved 12Jun2018) but follow the hyperlink to check the interactive map.  Last week monarchs were spotted in Manitoba and this week they’ve entered Saskatchewan!

Visit the Journey North website to learn more about migration events in North America and visit their monarch butterfly website for more information related to this fascinating insect.  

Previous Posts

The following is a list of 2018 Posts – click to review:

Cereal aphid manager (CAM) – Week 2
Cereal leaf beetle – Week 5
Crop protection guides – Week 2
Cutworms – Week 4

Flea beetles – Week 4

PMRA Pesticide Label Mobile App – Week 4

Scouting charts (canola and flax) – Week 3

Ticks and Lyme Disease – Week 4

Weather radar – Week 3

Insect of the Week – Rove beetle

This week’s Insect of the Week is the Rove Beetle (Delia spp.). This beetle feeds on aphids, mites, eggs and larvae of many other insects present under plant debris, rocks, stones, carrion, dung, and other materials. It is also an important natural enemy of the pea leaf weevil. One species of the rove beetle, Aleochara bilineata, is an important natural enemy of cabbage, seedcorn, onion and turnip maggots.

Follow @FieldHeroes to learn more about the Natural Enemies that are working for you for FREE to protect your crops!

For more information on the Rove Beetle, see our Insect of the Week page.

Rove beetle – adult (Tyler Wist, AAFC)
Remember the NEW Cutworm Field Guide is free and downloadable in 2017!

Weekly Update – Greetings!

Greetings!

Access the complete Weekly Update either as a series of Posts for Week 6 (Jun 8, 2017) OR downloadable PDF version.



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.

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Weekly Update – Weather Synopsis

Weather synopsis – Meteorological conditions for the past month of May were generally warmer and dryer than normal. Average May temperatures were in the range of 0 to 2°C warmer than long term averages. 



May precipitation was below average across Manitoba and Saskatchewan; rainfall amounts were greatest across Alberta. The overall precipitation this growing season has been below normal to normal in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but normal to well above normal in Alberta. 

Over this past week, average temperatures across the prairies were 2°C warmer than last week, and marginally warmer than long term averages for early June. Weekly average temperatures were greatest in southern regions of Manitoba and Alberta. Precipitation over the past week was greatest in central and northern Alberta. Most of Saskatchewan was dry over the past week. 





The map below reflects the Accumulated Precipitation for the Growing Season so far for the prairie provinces (i.e., April 1-June 5, 2017):


The map below shows the Lowest Temperatures the Past 7 Days (May 30-June 5, 2017) across the prairies:



Whereas the map below shows the Highest Temperatures the Past 7 Days (May 30-June 5, 2017):


The updated growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 5ºC, March 1 – June 4, 2017) is below:



While the growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10ºC, March 1 – June 4, 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 – Cereal leaf beetle

Cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) – As of June 5, 2017, model output indicates that oviposition should be nearly complete and larval populations should peak across the southern prairies

Lifecycle and Damage:
Adult: Adult cereal leaf beetles (CLB) have shiny bluish-black wing-covers (Fig. 2). The thorax and legs are light orange-brown. Females (4.9 to 5.5 mm) are slightly larger than the males (4.4 to 5 mm). Adult beetles overwinter in and along the margins of grain fields in protected places such as in straw stubble, under crop and leaf litter, and in the crevices of tree bark. They favour sites adjacent to shelter belts, deciduous and conifer forests. They emerge in the spring once temperature reaches 10-15 ºC and are active for about 6 weeks. They usually begin feeding on grasses, then move into winter cereals and later into spring cereals.  

Figure 2. Adult Oulema melanopus (~4.4-5.5 mm long).


Egg: Eggs are laid approximately 14 days following the emergence of the adults. Eggs are laid singly or in pairs along the mid vein on the upper side of the leaf and are cylindrical, measuring 0.9 mm by 0.4 mm, and yellowish in colour. Eggs darken to black just before hatching.  

Larva: The larvae hatch in about 5 days and feed for about 3 weeks, passing through 4 growth stages (instars). The head and legs are brownish-black; the body is yellowish. Larvae are usually covered with a secretion of mucus and fecal material, giving them a shiny black, wet appearance (Fig. 3).  When the larva completes its growth, it drops to the ground and pupates in the soil. 

Figure 3.  Larval stage of Oulema melanopus with characteristic feeding damage visible on leaf.


Pupa: Pupal colour varies from a bright yellow when it is first formed, to the colour of the adult just before emergence. The pupal stage lasts 2 – 3 weeks. Adult beetles emerge and feed for a couple of weeks before seeking overwintering sites. There is one generation per year.

Fact sheets for CLB are published by the province of Alberta and available from the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network. Also access the Oulema melanopus page from the new “Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada – Identification and management field guide”.

Weekly Update – Alfalfa weevil

Alfalfa Weevil (Hypera postica) – Reminder – Biological information and photos of all life stages of this insect can reviewed on the Week 4 post.  The larval stage of this weevil feeds on alfalfa leaves in a manner that characterizes the pest as a “skeletonizer”.  

Degree-day maps of base 9°C are now being produced by Soroka, Olfert, and Giffen (2016) using the Harcourt/North Dakota models.  Models predicting the development of Alfalfa weevil across the prairies are updated weekly to help growers time their in-field scouting for second-instar larvae.  Compare the following predicted development stages and degree-day values from Soroka (2015) to the map below.



As of June 4, 2017, the recent warm weather has resulted in rapid development, indicating that 80% of the hatch is probably complete (less than 20% last week). Larval populations should be predominantly in the first and second instars (less than 10% are predicted to be third instars). 


Figure 1.  Heat units accumulated necessary for the development of Alfalfa weevil 
(Hypera posticaacross the Canadian prairies (April 1-June 4, 2017).


Remember – Use the photo below as a visual reference to identify alfalfa weevil larvae.  Note the white dorsal line, the tapered shape of the abdomen and the dark head capsule.


Alfalfa growers are encouraged to check the Alfalfa Weevil Fact Sheet prepared by Dr. Julie Soroka (AAFC-Saskatoon) and additional information can be accessed by reviewing the Alfalfa Weevil Page extracted from the “Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada – Identification and management field guide” (Philip et al. 2015).  That guide is available in both a free English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Weekly Update – Pea leaf weevil

Pea Leaf Weevil (Sitona lineatus– This week, weevil oviposition is predicted to be occurring across central and southern regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan.   











The PLW Blitz continues this week and features:
– The Insect of the Week from June 1st, 
– A NEWLY UPDATED Monitoring Protocol (Vankosky et al. 2017), AND
– The current Insect of the Week features a group of beetles recognized as general predators but one species is an egg predator associated with Pea leaf weevil.



Remember – Pea leaf weevils emerge in the spring primarily by flying (at temperatures above 17ºC) or they may walk short distances. Pea leaf weevil movement into peas and faba beans is achieved primarily through flight.  Adults are slender, greyish-brown measuring approximately 5 mm in length (Fig. 3, Left).  


The pea leaf weevil resembles the sweet clover weevil (Sitona cylindricollis) but the former is distinguished by three light-coloured stripes extending length-wise down thorax and sometimes the abdomen.  All species of Sitona, including the pea leaf weevil, have a short snout.  



Figure 3.  Comparison images and descriptions of four Sitona species adults including pea leaf weevil (Left).


Adults feed upon the leaf margins and growing points of legume seedlings (alfalfa, clover, dry beans, faba beans, peas) and produce a characteristic, scalloped (notched) edge (Fig. 4).  Females lay 1000 to 1500 eggs in the soil either near or on developing pea or faba bean plants from May to June.


Figure 4.  Scalloped notching along leaf margins of pea plant (Photo: L. Dosdall).




Biological and monitoring information related to pea leaf weevil in field crops is posted by the province of Alberta and a NEWLY UPDATED PPMN monitoring protocol is available!

Also refer to the pea leaf weevil page within the “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.  A review of this insect was published in 2011 in Prairie Soils and Crops by Carcamo and Vankosky.

Weekly Update – Predicted Grasshopper Development

Grasshopper Simulation Model Output – The grasshopper simulation model will be used to monitor grasshopper development across the prairies. Weekly temperature data collected across the prairies is incorporated into the simulation model which calculates estimates of grasshopper development stages based on biological parameters for Melanoplus sanguinipes (Migratory grasshopper).  



As of June 5, 2017, model output suggests that most of the population is still at the egg stage. However, recent warm conditions have advanced grasshopper development. Predicted hatch was 23% (17% first instar and 6% second instar) across the prairies (up from 7% last week). Development was predicted to be most advanced across southern regions in all three provinces, particularly southeastern Alberta and a region extending south from Regina to the USA border. 



Though it is still early in the growing season, grasshopper hatch can vary across the prairies. Model output indicates that development near Vauxhall is one week ahead of Saskatoon and three weeks faster than Grande Prairie. This suggests that peak hatch at Grande Prairie may not occur until late June.






The following image showing various stages of the clearwinged grasshopper is provided below – note that adults have wings extending the length of the abdomen whereas nymphs lack wings but develop wing buds that will eventually mature to wings.  


Reminder:
– The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network’s 2017 Grasshopper Forecast Map can be viewed here.  

Biological and monitoring information related to grasshoppers in field crops is posted by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural DevelopmentSaskatchewan AgricultureAlberta Agriculture and Forestry, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Also refer to the grasshopper pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” as an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Weekly Update – Wheat midge

Wheat Midge (Sitodiplosis mosellana– Predictive modelling will be used again to help  forecast wheat midge emergence across the Canadian prairies.


The wheat midge model indicates that midge larvae should be at the soil surface this week. However, sub-optimal rainfall amounts may result in delayed emergence of adults.


Review the 2017 wheat midge forecast map circulated in January by accessing the Risk and Forecast Maps Post.

Information related to wheat midge biology and monitoring can be accessed by linking to your provincial fact sheet (Saskatchewan Agriculture or Alberta Agriculture & Forestry).  A review of wheat midge on the Canadian prairies was published by Elliott, Olfert, and Hartley in 2011.


More information about Wheat midge 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 but remember the guide is available as a free downloadable document as both an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Weekly Update – Predicted Bertha Armyworm Development

Bertha armyworm (Lepidoptera: Mamestra configurata– Warm conditions over the past week has advanced pupal development across the southern prairies. Compared to last week, adult emergence is predicted to be 1-7 days earlier. The first map shows that pupal development is well underway across southern and central regions. Average development was 70% (50% last week). Pupal development at a number of locations was 75%. 

The second map indicates that development, compared to long-term-average, is slightly greater than average development. Model output indicted that first adult emergence may occur this week in the Vauxhall, Brooks and Regina areas. 

IMPORTANT – The table indicates predicted dates of first appearance of adults for specific locations across the prairies. Adult emergence generally occurs within 5-7 days after 80% development. 



Reminder – The video below posted by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Scott Meers describes how pheromone traps are used to monitor this important pest of canola.





Those monitoring BAW pheromone traps may want to compare trap “catches” to the following reference photo kindly shared by Saskatchewan Agriculture below:





Biological and monitoring information related to bertha armyworm in field crops is posted by the provinces of ManitobaSaskatchewanAlberta and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Also refer to the bertha armyworm pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.

Provincial Insect Pest Reports

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 the latest issues (June 7, 2017) references:
– Reminder to scout canola and that 3- to 4-leaf canola typically withstands flea beetle feeding when growing conditions are good.
– Reminds to carefully review insecticide label for temperature restrictions PRIOR to application!
– Notes limited spraying for cutworms.
– Reports grasshopper hatch has begun in Manitoba,
– Reports low numbers of Diamondback moths in pheromone traps through May to June 7, 2017.
– And finally, Manitoba Agriculture is advising Manitoban cooperators to deploy Bertha armyworm pheromone traps June 5-10, 2017.

● Saskatchewan’s 2017 Crop Production News – Issue #1 (date) is now posted and includes insect pest information prepared by Scott Hartley and Danielle Stephens.  Read the latest update including:
– Information on wireworms, cutworms and other arthropods that will be present in the soil during scouting.

● Watch for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Call of the Land and access the most recent Insect Update (June 8, 2017) provided by Scott Meers who:
– Emphasized the importance of scouting for flea beetle feeding in canola and application of action threshold of 25% when examining the cotyledons.
– Reported more incidents of cutworms in central and southern Alberta in all crops so scout and check bare patches in fields.
– Noted cutworm scouting is resulting in reports of other insects including wireworm larvae, crane fly larvae (usually not an economic pest), and stiletto fly larvae (predatory so beneficial).
– And finally, Albertan cooperators are advised to target June 12, 2017, to deploy Bertha armyworm pheromone traps across that province.

Crop reports

Crop reports are produced by:
• Manitoba Agriculture, Rural Development (June 5, 2017)
• Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report (May 30-June 5, 2017)
• Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Crop Report (May 30, 2017)

International reports are produced by:
• The United States Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress Report (June 5, 2017)

Weekly Update – PMRA Pesticide Label Mobile App

Remember – Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency launched a new mobile app to access pesticide labels registered for use in Canada. The App helps homeowners, farmers, industry, provincial and federal organizations access details for pest control products from a smartphone or tablet (Fig. 1). 

Users can save searches, download product labels to their ‘Favourites’ which can even be accessed while offline. ‘Favourites’ will also auto-update when accessed online. Pesticide labels can be searched based by product name or active ingredient (e.g., to review detailed explanations on proper product use and necessary precautions).

Users can download the app on their mobile device.

If you have any questions, please contact the PMRA’s Information Service.

Figure 1. Screenshot view of Pesticide Label download page (retrieved 31May2017).


Weekly Update – Field Heroes

@Field HeroesWestern Grains Research Foundation is supporting a new initiative to help growers, agrologists and the general public learn more about beneficial arthropods active in field crops.  Provincial entomologists from Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, along with input from AAFC researchers, are working with Synthesis, a communications company, to promote and increase awareness of these incredible arthropod heroes!


Follow @FieldHeroes for great information on these beneficials.  Watch for a NEW website coming soon including scouting guides to help identify and link pest/beneficial combinations – all to help growers and agrologists understand and preserve the many arthropods already working in fields across the Canadian prairies.

Weekly Update – Weather Radar

Remember – If your fields are near one of Environment Canada’s PRAIRIE Radar Stations, consider accessing weather radar maps in video format show either the past 1 OR 3 hours of spatio-temporal maps of precipitation events.  These maps can help growers review where and how much precipitation fell nearby.

Screen shots of Environment Canada’s webpages are below for reference and red text and arrows have been added to help you navigate the webpage.



Weekly Update – Monarch migration

We again track the migration of the Monarch butterflies as they move north by checking the 2017 Monarch Migration Map!  A screen shot of the map has been placed below as an example (retrieved 08Jun2017) but follow the hyperlink to check the interactive map!  They’ve migrated into southern Manitoba and are spreading northwards in Ontario and Quebec! 

Weekly Update – Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterflies – Recent sightings of this butterfly warrant additional information to help scouting.  We link you to the Canadian Biodiversity of Canada website and the Butterflies of Canada which includes incredible information including the following image of Vanessa cardui below.





Access the actual webpage and additional information for this species including comparative photos of similar species, description of range, habitat and flight season plus the fact that this species normally does not overwinter in Canada.



The Butterflies of Canada © 2002, by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.

Weekly Update – Crickets with your Popcorn?

Insects are an integral part of people’s diet throughout the world.  Closer to home, popcorn may never be the same…. Read more about this novel topping!

Weekly Update – Previous Posts

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


Brood X Cicadas

Canola scouting chart

Crop protection guides
Cutworms


Diamondback moth

Flax scouting chart

Flea beetles

Iceberg reports


Lily leaf beetle


Ticks and Lyme disease



Wind trajectories

Technical difficulties solved!

Images have been repaired within the Weekly Update (Week 6-June 8, 2016).  The entire list of Posts are now ready for viewing!

Greetings and link to Insect of the Week
Weather Synopsis
Wind Trajectories
Diamondback moth
Cutworms
Alfalfa Weevils
Predicted Grasshopper Development
Predicted Bertha Armyworm Development
Provincial Insect Reports
Crop Reports
Previous Posts

…Or you can use the Label “Week 6 (08Jun2016)” to automatically sort out the Posts!

Weekly Update – Weather Synopsis

Across the prairies, meteorological conditions were similar to long term average values for the period of May 30 – June 5, 2016. The average temperature was 12.8 °C and was 1.5 °C warmer than the previous week. 



This week’s rainfall was generally greater than long term average amounts. Since April 1, most regions have reported above normal precipitation.  Southeastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba reported the highest rainfall amounts.  The map below shows the Accumulated Precipitation the past 7 days (i.e., May 30-June 5, 2016): 



Soil moisture levels (refer to model output map) were predicted to be above average across most of the prairies.  

For the period of May 1-31, 2016, conditions were cooler and wetter in Alberta than Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The map below reflects the Accumulated Precipitation for the Growing Season so far for the prairie provinces (i.e., April 1-May 30, 2016):

Compared to last week, overnight temperatures were warmer the past 7 days.  The map below shows the Lowest Temperatures the Past 7 Days (June 1-7, 2016) across the prairies:

The map below shows the Highest Temperatures the Past 7 Days (June 1-7, 2016):

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

While the growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10ºC, March 1 – June 5, 2015) 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 – Diamondback moth

Diamondback moth (Plutellidae: Plutella xylostella) – Once the diamondback moth is present in the area, it is important to monitor individual canola fields for larvae.  Remove the plants in an area measuring 0.1 m2 (about 12″ square), beat them on to a clean surface and count the number of larvae (Fig. 2) dislodged from the plant. Repeat this procedure at least in five locations in the field to get an accurate count.

Figure 2. Diamondback larva measuring ~8mm long.
Note brown head capsule and forked appearance of prolegs on posterior.


Figure 3. Diamondback moth pupa within silken cocoon.

Economic threshold for diamondback moth in canola at the advanced pod stage is 20 to 30 larvae/ 0.1 m2 (approximately 2-3 larvae per plant).  Economic thresholds for canola or mustard in the early flowering stage are not available. However, insecticide applications are likely required at larval densities of 10 to 15 larvae/ 0.1 m2 (approximately 1-2 larvae per plant).


Biological and monitoring information for DBM is posted by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural DevelopmentSaskatchewan AgricultureAlberta Agriculture and Forestry, and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  

More information about Diamondback moths 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 Diamondback moth page but remember the guide is available as a free downloadable document as both an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.







Reminder – Pheromone traps attracting male Diamondback moths (Fig. 1) have been deployed across the prairies.  

Figure 1. Diamondback moth.


Across the prairies, provincial staff coordinate diamondback pheromone trapping during the growing season:
● Counts will be reported by the provincial staff in Saskatchewan.  
● Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Initiatives posted low DBM counts which can be reviewed within their second Insect Report.  
● Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a live 2016 map reporting Diamondback moth pheromone trap interceptions.  A copy of the map (retrieved June 8, 2016) is below for reference.

Weekly Update – Cutworms

Cutworms (Noctuidae) – The past week, cutworms were reported across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  


Keep an eye on fields that are “slow” to emerge, are missing rows, include wilting or yellowing plants, have bare patches, or appear highly attractive to birds – these are areas warranting a closer look.  Plan to follow-up by walking these areas later in the day when some cutworm species move above-ground to feed.  Start to dig below the soil surface (1-5 cm deep) near the base of a symptomatic plant or the adjacent healthy plant.  If the plant is well-established, check within the crown in addition to the adjacent soil.  The culprits could be wireworms or cutworms.  

Several species of cutworms  can be present in fields.  They range in colour from shiny opaque, to tan, to brownish-red with chevron patterning.  Cutworm biology, species information, plus monitoring recommendations are available in the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network’s Cutworm Monitoring Protocol.  Also refer to Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Initiatives cutworm fact sheet which includes action and economic thresholds for cutworms in several crops. 

More information about cutworms 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 an excerpt of ONLY the Cutworm pages from the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide”.  The guide is available as a free downloadable document as both an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.


For Manitobans….The  earlier Insect Update included great photos of dingy and redbacked cutworms plus monitoring tips including how to discern these two species from one another.  Reports of cutworm continued in the most recent Insect Update.


For Saskatchewanians…. Cutworms were reported in the recent Saskatchewan Insect Report.

For Albertans….. Additional reports of cutworms have occurred throughout the province the past week!  If you find cutworms, please consider using the Alberta Pest Surveillance Network’s “2016 Cutworm Reporting Tool”.  Once data entry occurs, your growers can view the live 2016 cutworm map.

A screen shot of the live map has been retrieved (06Jun2016) below for your reference.

Weekly Update – Alfalfa weevil

Alfalfa Weevil (Hypera postica) – The larval stage of this weevil feeds on alfalfa leaves in a manner that characterizes the pest as a “skeletonizer”.  The green larva featuring a dorsal, white line down the length of its body has a dark brown head capsule and will grow to 9mm long.  Alfalfa growers are encouraged to check the Alfalfa Weevil Fact Sheet prepared by Dr. Julie Soroka (AAFC-Saskatoon).

Updated – Degree-day maps of base 9°C are now being produced by Soroka, Olfert, and Giffen (2016) using the Harcourt/North Dakota models.  The aim or the modelling is to predict the development of Alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) across the prairies and to help growers time their in-field scouting as second-instar larvae are predicted to occur.  Compare the following predicted development stages and degree-day values copied below (Soroka 2015) to the map below.





For the week of June 5, 2016, second instar larvae are predicted to be present in fields falling within areas of the map highlighted ANY shade of purple.  Third and fourth instar larvae are predicted to be present in fields falling within areas highlighted ANY shade of blue in the map below.  Scout field and compare larval densities to the action threshold for alfalfa weevil which varies according to end use and crop stage.  



Weekly Update – Predicted Grasshopper Development

Grasshoppers (Acrididae) – Warm temperatures in Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba were predicted to result in enhanced development. 


The model predicted that 41% of the hatch is complete (versus 23% last week)


Approximately 25% of the population was predicted to be in the first instar whereas 11% were predicted to be in the second instar.  Development is well ahead of average rates (9% hatch, 7% first instar and 2% second instar). 






Weekly surveying conducted by AAFC-Saskatoon Staff on June 2, 2016, confirmed that Melanoplines were primarily first and second instar stages although a few third instar nymphs were collected.

The following image showing various stages of the clearwinged grasshopper is provided below – note that adults have wings extending the length of the abdomen whereas nymphs lack wings but develop wing buds that will eventually mature to wings.  




Biological and monitoring information related to grasshoppers in field crops is posted by the provinces of ManitobaSaskatchewanAlbertaBritish Columbia and the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Also refer to the grasshopper pages within the new “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” – both English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions are available.

Bertha Armyworm

Bertha armyworm (Lepidoptera: Mamestra configurata– Bertha armyworm (BAW) pupal
development is progressing well owing to the recent warmer weather.  Moths
should have appeared in pheromone traps the
 week
of June 5, 2016
!

Those monitoring BAW pheromone traps may want to compare trap “catches” to the following reference photo kindly shared by Saskatchewan Agriculture below:





Provincial staff coordinate BAW pheromone trapping across the prairies and summarize cumulative counts in report or map formats:
Saskatchewanians.… Watch for future Insect Reports.  
Manitobans.…. Watch for future Insect and Disease Reports.  

● Albertans.…..  Refer to the live 2016 map reporting Bertha armyworm pheromone trap interceptions.  A copy of the map (retrieved June 8, 2016) is below for reference.


Provincial Insect Pest Reports

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 (June 3, 2016, prepared by John Gavloski and Pratisara Bajracharya).

– Saskatchewan’s Insect Report  (Issue 2, prepared by Scott Hartley).
– Watch for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Call of the Land for updates from Scott Meers  who recently gave a summary (posted on June 2, 2016).

Weekly Update – Crop reports

Crop reports are produced by:

– Manitoba Agriculture, Rural Development (June 6, 2016)
– Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report (May 30, 2016)
– Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (for May 24, 2016)


Weekly Update – Previous Posts

The following is a list of previous 2016 Posts – click to review:
Canola scouting chart
Flea beetles in canola
Predicted cereal leaf beetle development
Predicted lygus bug development
Predicted wheat midge development
Pea leaf weevil monitoring
Crop protection guides
Using Environment Canada’s radar maps to follow precipitation events
Iceburg reports
Monarch migration

Weekly Update

Greetings!


A downloadable PDF version of the complete Weekly Update for Week 6 (June 8, 2016) can be accessed here.  


This edition includes the “Insect of the Week” featuring beneficial arthropods in 2016!


Subscribe to the Blog by following the instructions posted here!  You can receive automatic updates in your inbox through the growing season.



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.  

Wind Trajectories

Wind trajectory data processing by AAFC-Saskatoon Staff began in April.  Reverse Trajectories track arriving air masses back to their point of origin while Forward Trajectories predict favourable winds expected to arrive across the Canadian Prairies.

THE WEEK OF June 6, 2016:  Nothing to report this week!

Wind Trajectories

Wind trajectory data processing by AAFC-Saskatoon Staff began in April.  Reverse Trajectories track arriving air masses back to their point of origin while Forward Trajectories predict favourable winds expected to arrive across the Canadian Prairies.


THE WEEK OF June 6, 2016:  Nothing to report this week!

Insect of the Week – Blister beetle

Blister Beetles (predator)

Last year, the focus of the Insect of the Week was crop pests. This year, we’re changing things up and highlighting the many natural enemies that help you out, silently and efficiently killing off crop pests. [note: featured Insects of the Week in 2015 are available on the Insect of the Week page] 

This week’s Insect of the Week is the blister beetle (Lytta nuttalli and Epicauta spp.). This is a good news/bad news story. The good news is that the Epicauta spp. larvae feed on grasshopper eggs. But the bad news is that the Nuttall blister beetle larvae feed on ground-dwelling leaf-cutter and bumble bees. The bad news continues: adult blister beetles contain a toxin, cantharidin. When beetles get baled in with alfalfa hay, the toxin can cause severe distress in livestock, especially horses.


See more information in the new Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada – Identification and Management Field Guide for identification, life cycle and conservation options (download links for field guide available on the Insect of the Week page).

Adult blister beetles. Photo credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Insect of the Week – Swede midge

The swede midge (Contarinia nasturtii (Keiffer)) is this week’s Insect of the Week  (from the new Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada – Identification and Management Field Guide).