Weekly Update

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!

Questions or problems accessing the contents of this Weekly Update?  Please contact us so we can connect you to our information. Past “Weekly Updates” can be accessed on our Weekly Update page.

Weather synopsis

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).

Figure 1. 7-day average temperature (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of May 24-30, 2021.
Figure 2. 30-day average temperature (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of May 1-30, 2021.

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).

Figure 3. Growing season average temperature (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of April 1-May 30, 2021.

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.

Figure 4. Growing degree day map (Base 5 °C) observed across the Canadian prairies for the growing season (April 1-May 31, 2021).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada and was retrieved (03Jun2021). Access the full map at https://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true
Figure 5. Growing degree day map (Base 10 °C) observed across the Canadian prairies for the growing season (April 1-May 31, 2021).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada and was retrieved (03Jun2021). Access the full map at https://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true

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).

Figure 6. Lowest temperatures (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies the past seven days (May 27-Jun 2, 2021).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada and was retrieved (03Jun2021) although PDF file format was not available. Access the full map at https://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true
Figure 7. Highest temperatures (°C) observed across the Canadian prairies the past seven days (May 27-Jun 2, 2021).
Image has not been reproduced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada and was retrieved (03Jun2021) although PDF file format was not available. Access the full map at https://www.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true

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).

Figure 8. 7-day cumulative rainfall (mm) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of May 24-30, 2021.
Figure 9. 30-day cumulative rainfall (mm) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of May 1-30, 2021.

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).

Figure x. Growing season cumulative rainfall (mm) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of April 1-May 30, 2021.

The maps above are all produced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Growers can bookmark the AAFC Current Conditions Maps for the growing season. Historical weather data can be access at the AAFC Drought Watch Historical website, Environment Canada’s Historical Data website, or your provincial weather network.

Access ALL the PPMN’s Wind Trajectory reports (Weekly and Daily).

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.

Weekly Wind Trajectory Report for June 3

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.

Figure 1. The average number (based on a 5 day running average) of reverse trajectories that have crossed the prairies for the period of May 15 – June 3 2021.

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).

Figure 2. Total number of reverse trajectories originating across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and have crossed specific prairie locations between March 18 and June 3, 2021.
Figure 3. Total number of dates with reverse trajectories originating over the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) and have crossed the prairies between March 24 and June 3, 2021.

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).

Figure 4. Total number of reverse trajectories originating across Mexico, California and Texas and have crossed specific prairie locations between March 18 and June 3, 2021.
Figure 5. The total number of dates with reverse trajectories originating over Mexico, California and Texas and have crossed the prairies between March 24 and June 3, 2021.

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).

Figure 6. Total number of reverse trajectories originating across Oklahoma and Texas and have crossed specific prairie locations between March 18 and June 3, 2021.
Figure 7. The total number of dates with reverse trajectories originating over Oklahoma and Texas and have crossed the prairies between March 24 and June 3, 2021.

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).

Figure 8. Total number of reverse trajectories originating across Kansas and Nebraska and have crossed specific prairie locations between March 18 and June 3, 2021.
Figure 9. The total number of dates with reverse trajectories originating over Kansas and Nebraska and have crossed the prairies between March 24 and June 3, 2021.

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.

Figure 10. The average number (based on a 5-day running average) of forward trajectories that were predicted to cross the prairies for the period of May 15-June 3, 2021.

Alert: Bertha armyworm development

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 %.

Figure 1. Predicted bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata) pupal development across the Canadian prairies as of May 30, 2021.

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.

Figure 2. The egg stage (A), larval stage (B), pupal stage (C), and adult stage (D) of bertha armyworm.
Photos: Jonathon Williams (AAFC-Saskatoon).

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.

Figure 3. Predicted development of bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata) populations near Regina, Saskatchewan, as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 30, 2021).
Figure 4. Predicted development of bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata) populations near Grande Prairie, Alberta as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 30, 2021).

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 “Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada: Identification and management field guide” which is a free downloadable document as both an English-enhanced or French-enhanced version.

Predicted grasshopper development

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).

Figure 1. Predicted percent embryonic development of grasshopper eggs across the Canadian prairies as of May 30, 2021.
Figure 2. Predicted grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes) embryological development (%) across the Canadian prairies as of May 30, 2021.

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).

Figure 3. Predicted grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes) hatch (%) across the Canadian prairies as of May 30, 2021.

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.

Figure 4. Predicted development of M. sanguinipes populations near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 15, 2021).
Figure 5. Predicted development of M. sanguinipes populations near Brandon, Manitoba as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 15, 2021).

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

Predicted cereal leaf beetle development

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.

Figure 1. Predicted status of cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) populations near Lacombe, Alberta as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 15, 2021).
Figure 2. Predicted status of cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) populations near Lethbridge, Alberta as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 15, 2021).

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.  

Figure 3. 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 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. 

Figure 4.  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 “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).

Predicted alfalfa weevil development

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.

Figure 1. Predicted development of Hypera postica (alfalfa weevil) populations across the prairies as of May 30, 2021.
Figure 2. Predicted status of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) development for populations near Winnipeg, Manitoba as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 15, 2021).
Figure 3. Predicted status of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) development for populations near Lethbridge, Alberta as of May 30, 2021 (projected to June 15, 2021).

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.  

Figure 4. Developmental stages of the alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica). Composite image: J. Soroka (AAFC-Saskatoon).

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).

Field heroes

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

Two NEW Field Heroes resources for 2021 include:

  1. The NEW Pests and Predators Field Guide is filled with helpful images for quick insect identification and plenty of tips to manage the pests AND natural enemies in your fields. Claim your free copy at http://fieldheroes.ca/fieldguide/ or download for free to arm your in-field scouting efforts!
  2. Real Agriculture went live in 2021 with Season 2 of the Pest and Predators podcast series!
    NEWEpisode 10Good bugs relocate for work (June 1, 2021)
    Episode 9Secret agents in the stubble (May 18, 2021)
    Episode 8Good vs pea leaf weEVIL (May 4, 2021)
    Episode 7Powerful parasitoids: Better than fiction (April 20, 2021)
    Recap of SEASON 1: Episode 1 – Do you know your field heroes? Episode 2 – An inside look at the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network. Episode 3 – How much can one wasp save you? Episode 4 – Eat and be eaten — grasshoppers as pests and food Episode 5 – Killer wasp has only one target — wheat stem sawfly Episode 6 – Plentiful parasitoids

Access ALL the Field Heroes links here and be sure to follow @FieldHeroes!

Provincial insect pest report links

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

MANITOBA’S Crop Pest Updates for 2021 are now available! Access the June 2, 2021, report here. Be sure to bookmark their Crop Pest Update Index to readily access these reports! Also bookmark their insect pest homepage to access fact sheets and more!

Bertha armyworm pheromone trap monitoring update for MB – Cooperators will soon deploy pheromone traps according to details provided on page 7 of the June 2, 2021, report.

Diamondback moth pheromone trap monitoring update for MB Refer to the summary updated twice a week. So far extremely low numbers have been intercepted in Manitoba. Read the details on page 7 of the June 2, 2021, report.

SASKATCHEWAN’S Crop Production News will soon be available. Access the new Crops Blog Posts and review Saskatchewan’s 2020 insect pest surveying results in order to prepare for 2021. Be sure to bookmark their insect pest homepage to access important information!

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.).

•  ALBERTA’S Insect Pest Monitoring Network webpage links to insect survey maps, live feed maps, and insect trap set-up videos and more. There is also a Major Crops Insect webpage. The new webpage does not replace the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network page. Remember, AAF’s Agri-News occasionally includes insect-related information or Twitter users can connect to #ABBugChat Wednesdays at 10:00 am.

Bertha armyworm pheromone trap monitoring update for AB – Cooperators will soon deploy pheromone traps so refer to the Live Map starting next week.

Diamondback moth pheromone trap monitoring update for AB – Refer to the Live Map which still reports extremely low numbers of moths intercepted so far (as of 03Jun2021).

Cutworm reporting tool for AB – Refer to the Live Map which reports three sites with cutworms (as of 03Jun2021).

Crop report links

Click the provincial name below to link to online crop reports produced by:
Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (subscribe to receive OR access a PDF copy of the June 1, 2021 report).
Saskatchewan Agriculture (or access a PDF copy of the May 25-31, 2021 report).
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (or access a PDF copy of the May 25, 2021 report).

The following crop reports are also available:
• The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) produces a Crop Progress Report (access a PDF copy of the June 1, 2021 edition).
• The USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (access a PDF copy of the Jun 2, 2021 edition).

Previous posts

As the growing season progresses, the various Weekly Update topics move on and off the priority list for in-field scouting but they should be kept at hand to support season-long monitoring. Click to review these earlier 2021 Posts (organized alphabetically):
2020-2021 Risk and forecast maps
Crop protection guides (Wk03)
Cutworms (Wk02)
Flea beetles (Wk02)
Flea beetles – predicted geographic distribution and abundance (Wk04)
Ladybird beetles (Wk03)
Pea leaf weevil (Wk03)
Scouting charts – canola and flax (Wk03)
Slugs and their parasites (Wk04)
Wind trajectories for monitoring insect movement (Wk02)
Wireworms (Wk02)