Week 5 and things are starting to heat up! Be sure to catch the Insect of the Week – it’s cereal leaf beetle! This week there’s more updated information coming your way and be sure to review the Previous Posts to keep all of the PPMN’s nsect monitoring resources at hand!
Stay safe and good scouting to you!
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TEMPERATURE: This past week (May 24-30, 2021) the average temperature across the prairies was 1 °C cooler than normal (Fig. 1). Temperatures were warmest across most of Alberta and coolest across Saskatchewan and central regions of Manitoba. Across the prairies, the average 30-day (May 1-30) temperature was almost 2 °C warmer than last week and similar to climate normal values. Warmest temperatures were observed across southern Manitoba (Table 1; Fig. 2).
The 2021 growing season (April 1 – May 31) has been characterized by near-normal temperatures. Temperatures have been warmest for southern Manitoba, western Saskatchewan and southern Alberta (Table 2; Fig. 3).
The growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 5 ºC, April 1-May 31, 2021) is provided below (Fig. 4) while the growing degree day map (GDD) (Base 10 ºC, April 1-May 31, 2021) is shown in Figure 5.
Several areas were on the receiving end of frost and many folks are still watching to see how their crops recover. The lowest temperatures recorded ranged from <-14 to >0 °C (Fig. 6) while the highest temperatures (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies the past seven days ranged from <11 to >25 °C (Fig. 7).
PRECIPITATION: This week, significant precipitation was reported across central regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta while minimal rain was reported across Manitoba and western Alberta (Fig. 8). Rainfall amounts for the period of May 1-30 (30-day accumulation) were 123 % of long-term average values. Rainfall amounts have been near normal to above normal for large areas of Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. Well above normal rain was reported for Edmonton and Regina. Below normal rainfall amounts were reported for central and northern areas of the Peace River region and across Manitoba (Table 1; Fig. 9).
Average growing season (April 1 – May 30) precipitation was 105 % of normal with the greatest precipitation occurring near Edmonton and across eastern Saskatchewan. Most of Manitoba and the Peace River region have had 60 % or less of normal precipitation during the 2021 growing season so far (Table 2; Fig. 10).
Access Environment and Climate Change Canada’s weather radar mapping interface. Options to access preceeding precipitation events include clicking off either an 1 or 3 hours time interval, using an 8-colour or 14-colour index. or changing the base map.
Access background information for how and why wind trajectories are monitored in this post.
1. REVERSE TRAJECTORIES (RT) This past week there were an increasing number of reverse trajectories moving north from the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon and Washington) (Fig. 1). Though this US region can be a source of diamondback moths, the ECCC models predict air movement, not actual occurrence of diamondback moths.
a. Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, Washington) – This week there were 53 trajectories (compared to 36 last week) that crossed Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In previous years, the majority of Pacific Northwest reverse trajectories usually have been reported to pass over southern Alberta. However, tis growing season, PNW trajectories have crossed all parts of the prairies (Figs. 2 and 3).
b. Mexico and southwest USA (Texas, California) – Compared to previous years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of trajectories from the southern US. The majority of these trajectories have crossed Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan (Fig. 4). This week there were no trajectories (compared to 54 last week) that originated in Mexico or the southwest USA that crossed the prairies (Fig. 5).
c. Oklahoma and Texas – The majority of these trajectories have passed over Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan (Fig. 6). This week there were no trajectories (compared to 51 last week) originating in Oklahoma or Texas that passed over the prairies (Fig. 7).
d. Kansas and Nebraska – Similar to results for Oklahoma and Texas, the majority of these trajectories crossed Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan (Fig. 8). This week there was one trajectory that originated in Kansas or Nebraska that passed over Carman, Manitoba (Fig. 9). Relative to the reverse trajectories associated with Oklahoma and Texas, the trajectories from Kansas and Nebraska have crossed further into Alberta (Fig. 9).
2. FORWARD TRAJECTORIES (FT) a. Continuing a trend that began last week, this week there was a decrease in the number of forward trajectories that were predicted to cross the prairies (Fig. 10). The dates on the graph report when the trajectories originated in the USA (blue bars). These trajectories generally require 3-5 days to enter the prairies (red line). The data suggests that, compared to this week, there will be decreased potential for the introduction of DBM to the prairies.
Model simulations to May 30, 2021, indicate that BAW pupal development is 45-60 % complete across the prairies (Fig. 1). Recent warm conditions in Alberta and southern Manitoba have resulted in the rapid development of BAW pupae (Fig. 2 C). The weather forecast for this week suggests that above-normal temperatures will occur. This could result in faster development of BAW pupae. BAW traps should be placed in fields when pupal development is approximately 80 %.
IMPORTANT: Table 1 provides estimates for when the pheromone-baited green unitrap should be deployed. Based on weather conditions up to May 30, 2021, and model output, BAW adults (Fig. 2 D) may begin to emerge by mid to late June. Typically, moths emerge over an ~6 week period so cumulative counts of moths intercepted in these green unitraps provides insight into anticipated risk and prioritization for in-field scouting of the damaging larval stages later this summer.
Model projections to June 30 predict that development near Regina (Fig. 3) will be more advanced than at Grande Prairie (Fig. 4). The model predicts that egg hatch will begin in late June near Regina.
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).
Model simulations were used to estimate grasshopper egg development as of May 30, 2021. Average development of eggs is 78 % and is well ahead of the long-term average of 67 %. Warm conditions across southeastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba (May 1-30) have been responsible for the advanced development of eggs near Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon and Winnipeg (Fig. 1). Egg development is predicted to exceed 80 % across most of the southern prairies (Fig. 2).
First hatchlings usually are observed once eggs reach 80 % development. As of May 30, hatch was predicted to be occurring across most of the prairies with hatch rates approaching 15-20 % across southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan (Fig. 3).
The model was projected to June 15 to determine potential development at Saskatoon and Brandon over the next two weeks (Figs. 4 and 5). Results suggest that by June 15 hatch could be greater than 65 % at both locations and nymph populations will consist of first, second, and third instars. Drought conditions tend to favour the development of grasshopper populations while delaying crop development. If dry conditions persist, crop development may be delayed across Manitoba. This may result in conditions conducive to crop damage from grasshoppers as hatch progresses in June. Monitor roadsides and field margins to assess the development and densities of local grasshopper populations.
The cereal leaf beetle (CLB) model predicts that egg hatch is progressing across the prairies. The graphs provide a comparison of development at Lacombe (Fig. 1) and at Lethbridge (Fig. 2). The simulation indicates that second instar larvae will be observed over the next few days.
Lifecycle and Damage:
Adult: Adult cereal leaf beetles (CLB) have shiny bluish-black wing covers (Fig. 3). The thorax and legs are light orange-brown. Females (4.9 to 5.5 mm) are slightly larger than 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 shelterbelts, deciduous and conifer forests. They emerge in the spring once temperatures reach 10-15 ºC and the adults are active for about 6 weeks. They usually begin feeding on grasses, then move into winter cereals and later into spring cereals.
Egg: Eggs are laid approximately 14 days following the emergence of the adults. Eggs are laid singly or in pairs along the midvein 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. 4). When the larva completes its growth, it drops to the ground and pupates in the soil.
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.
Model simulations for alfalfa weevil (AAW) predict, as of May 30, that egg hatch should be nearly complete across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. First instar larvae should be appearing across most of Manitoba (Fig. 1). The following graphs indicate that development is more advanced near Winnipeg (Fig. 2) than near Lethbridge (Fig. 3). This week, larval populations in southern Manitoba should be primarily in the second instar while populations in southern Alberta may consist of first instar larvae. Results suggest that by June 15, populations will be in the second and third larval instars across southern Alberta and that Manitoba populations will be in third and fourth instar stages.
The larval stage of this weevil feeds on alfalfa leaves in a manner that characterizes the pest as a “skeletonizer” (Fig. 4). The green larva features a dorsal white line down the length of its body, has a dark brown head capsule, and will grow to 9 mm 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” (2018; accessible in either English-enhanced or French-enhanced versions).
Bertha armyworm pheromone trap monitoring update for SK – Cooperators will soon deploy pheromone traps at sites across the province.
Diamondback moth pheromone trap monitoring update for SK – follow this link to find current DBM counts. At this point, extremely low numbers have been intercepted but monitoring continues. Seven moths were reported across the entire province so far (2021May19 Carter, pers. comm.).
This week’s Insect of the Week is the cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus). Wheat is their preferred host, but they also feed on oat, barley, corn, rye, triticale, reed canary grass, ryegrass, fescue, wild oat, millet and other grasses. Adults and larvae feed on the leaf tissue of host plants. Yield quality and quantity is decreased if the flag leaf is stripped. It is also interesting to note that larvae carry all their own fecal waste with them as protection from predators and parasitoids.
Adults are 6-8 millimeters (0.25-0.31 inches) long with reddish legs and thorax (middle section between head and abdomen) and metallic bluish-black head and elytra (wing coverings). Mature larvae are 4-5 mm long (0.16-0.20 inches) with a hump-back body.