Released May 20, 2022

This week….

Catch Monday’s Insect of the Week for Week 2- it’s the NEW Wireworm Field Guide!

NEW for this growing season – the website has been updated to create a Field Guides page linking to free, downloadable, AND searchable PDF copies of some of the key field guides used to support in-field insect monitoring in field crops on the Canadian prairies.

Review the historical Risk Maps for our most economically important insect pests of field crops on the Canadian prairies. These prairie-wide geospatial maps offer insight into potential risk and help growers prioritize their scouting lists.

Remember, insect Monitoring Protocols containing helpful insect pest biology, how and when to target in-field scouting, and even thresholds to help support in-field management decisions are all available for review or download.

Wishing everyone good weather!

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Weather synopsis

TEMPERATURE: Since April 1, the 2022 growing season has been marginally cooler than normal. Conditions continue to be dry across Alberta and western Saskatchewan while rainfall amounts have been well above normal for eastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This past week (May 9-16, 2022), the average temperature across the prairies was 0.5 °C cooler than normal (Fig. 1). Temperatures were warmest across southern Manitoba. The average 30-day temperature (April 16-May 15, 2022) was 1.5 °C less than climate normal values (click to view Fig. 2) and the growing season (April 1-May15, 2022) has been 1.8 °C cooler than average (click to view Fig. 3). The growing season and 30-day temperatures have been coolest in Manitoba (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3).

Figure 1. Seven-day average temperature (°C) across the Canadian prairies for the period of May 9-15, 2022.

Growing degree day (GDD) maps for Base 5 ºC and Base 10 ºC (April 1-May 15, 2022) can be viewed by clicking the hyperlinks. Over the past 7 days (May 10-16, 2022), the lowest temperatures recorded across the Canadian prairies ranged from < -7 to >2 °C while the highest temperatures observed ranged from <12 to >24 °C. Even at this early point in the growing season, a few areas in Alberta and Saskatchewan have experienced a few days >25 °C (view map). Access these maps and more using the AAFC Maps of Historic Agroclimate Conditions interface.

PRECIPITATION: Average seven-day cumulative rainfall ranged between 0 and 76 mm with the highest rainfall amounts occurring across eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba (Fig. 4). Western Saskatchewan and most of Alberta have received little or no rain over the past seven days. Rain accumulation over the past 30 days has been well above average across the eastern prairies, particularly in southeastern Manitoba (click to view Fig. 5). Growing season rainfall for April 1-May 15, 2022, has been greatest across Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan. Conditions have been drier across most of Saskatchewan and Alberta (click to view Fig. 6).

Figure 4. Seven-day cumulative rainfall (mm) observed across the Canadian prairies for the period of May 9-15, 2022.

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 accessed at the AAFC Drought Watch Historical website, Environment Canada’s Historical Data website, or your provincial weather network. The AAFC Canadian Drought Monitor also provides geospatial maps updated monthly.


Cutworm scouting spans April to late June across the Canadian prairies! Scout 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 either very early or late in the day when some cutworm species (or climbing cutworms) move above-ground to feed.  Start to dig below the soil surface (1-5 cm deep) near the base of symptomatic plants and also any healthy plants immediately adjacent to missing rows or wilting or clipped plants.  Some cutworms feed by remaining just below the soil surface, clipping then pulling the plant below as they munch away! If the plant is well-established (e.g., perennial grass or legume), check within the crown in addition to the adjacent soil.  The culprits could be cutworms, wireworms, or more!

Important: Several species of cutworms (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) can be present in fields.  They range in colour from shiny opaque, to tan, to brownish-red with chevron patterning.  A field guide is available to help growers scout and manage the various species of cutworms that can appear in field crops grown on the Canadian prairies.  Cutworm Pest of Crops is available free in either English or French! Download a searchable PDF copy to access helpful diagnostic photos plus a table showing which larvae are active at different points in the growing season!

Other vital resources to scout and manage cutworms include:

For anyone on the Canadian prairies, Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Development’s Cutworms in Field Crops fact sheet includes action and economic thresholds for cutworms in several crops, important biological information, and great cutworm photos to support in-field scouting.

For Albertans….. If you find cutworms, please consider using the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network’s “2022 Cutworm Reporting Tool” then view the live 2022 cutworm map updated daily. Review the live map to see where cutworms are appearing then prioritize in-field scouting accordingly.

Cutworms were featured as 2021’s first Insect of the Week. Follow the links to access IOTW’s descriptions of armydarksideddingyglassypale western and redbacked cutworms.

● The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network has cutworm biology, plant host range, and monitoring information available.

● The Canola Council of Canada’s Canola Encyclopedia also has cutworm information posted.

Predicted grasshopper development

The grasshopper (Acrididae: Melanoplus sanguinipes) model predicts development using biological parameters known for the pest species and environmental data observed across the Canadian prairies on a daily basis. Review lifecycle and damage information for this pest. Review the historical grasshopper maps based on late-summer adult in-field counts performed across the prairies.

Model simulations were used to estimate percent grasshopper embryonic (egg) development as of May 15, 2022. Model results indicate that egg development ranges between 55 and 71 % across most of the prairies (average=61 %) (Fig. 1). Based on climate normals data, long-term average egg development should be 60 % (Fig. 2). Cool conditions in Manitoba and the Peace River region have resulted in slower development rates. The simulation indicates that egg development is greater than average across southern Alberta (Fig. 2). This region has had the least amount of rain over the past 30 days.

Grasshopper risk can be greater when conditions are warm and dry. The initial hatch may begin this week near Medicine Hat and Brooks in Alberta.

Figure 1. Predicted grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes) embryological development across the Canadian prairies as of May 15, 2022.
Figure 2. Long-term average predicted grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes) embryological development across the Canadian prairies as of May 15 based on climate normals data.

Grasshopper Scouting Tips:
Review grasshopper diversity and photos of nymphs, adults, and non-grasshopper species to aid in-field scouting from egg hatch and onwards.
● Access the PPMN’s Grasshopper Monitoring Protocol as a guide to help implement in-field monitoring.
● Review grasshopper lifecycle, damage and scouting and economic thresholds to support sound management decisions enabling the preservation of beneficial arthropods and mitigation of economic losses.

Biological and monitoring information (including tips for scouting and economic thresholds) 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” (2018) accessible as a free downloadable PDF in either English or French on our new Field Guides page.

Predicted alfalfa weevil development

The alfalfa weevil (AAW) (Curculionidae: Hypera postica) model predicts development using biological parameters known for the pest species and environmental data observed across the Canadian prairies on a daily basis. Review lifecycle and damage information for this pest.

Model simulations for alfalfa weevil (AAW) indicate that oviposition should be well underway across the prairies as of May 15, 2022. The following graphs indicate, based on potential number of eggs, that development is slower near Lethbridge (Fig. 1) than Saskatoon (Fig. 2).

Development for both locations is ahead of average. The model predicts that eggs may begin hatching next week.

Figure 1. Predicted status of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) populations near Lethbridge AB as of May 15, 2022.
Figure 2. Predicted status of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) populations near Saskatoon SK as of May 15, 2022.

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 as a free downloadable PDF in either English or French on our new Field Guides page.

Predicted cereal leaf beetle development

The cereal leaf beetle (CLB) (Chysomelidae: Oulema melanopus) model predicts larval development using biological parameters known for the pest species and environmental data observed across the Canadian prairies on a daily basis. Review lifecycle and damage information for this pest.

Cereal leaf beetle (CLB) model output suggests that overwintered adults are active and that oviposition is underway across southern regions across the southern prairies. Compared to simulations for climate normals, development is generally slower than average. The following graphs provide a comparison of development for Swift Current (Fig. 1) and Winnipeg (Fig. 2). Warmer conditions in southwestern Saskatchewan are expected to have contributed to more rapid development of CLB populations whereas cool conditions have contributed to slower development of CLB populations in southern Manitoba.

The simulation predicts that first instar larvae may occur during the third or fourth week of May.

Figure 1. Predicted status of cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) populations near Swift Current SK as of May 15, 2022.
Figure 2. Predicted status of cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) populations near Winnipeg MB as of May 15, 2022.

Access scouting tips for cereal leaf beetle or find more detailed information by accessing 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 as a free downloadable PDF in either English or French on our new Field Guides page.

Weekly Wind Trajectory Report for May 16

Access background information on how and why wind trajectories are monitored. Reverse and forward trajectories are available in this report.

Since May 1, 2022, the majority of reverse trajectories crossing the prairies originated from the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon and Washington) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Average number (based on a 5-day running average) of reverse trajectories (RT) crossing the prairies for the period of May 1-16, 2022.

a. Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, Washington) – The majority of Pacific Northwest reverse trajectories have passed over south-central Alberta and western Saskatchewan (link to view Fig. 2).

b. Mexico and southwest USA (Texas, California)Since April 1, reverse trajectories were reported for Manitoba (Portage, Selkirk, Brandon, Carman, Russell) and eastern Saskatchewan (Gainsborough, Grenfell) (link to view Fig. 3).

c. Oklahoma and Texas – Since April 1, reverse trajectories were reported for Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan (link to view Fig. 4).

The following map presents the total number of dates (since April 1, 2022) with forward trajectories (originating from Mexico and USA) predicted to cross the Canadian prairies (Fig. 5). Results indicate that the greatest number of forward trajectories entering Canada originated from the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, Washington).

Figure 5. Total number of dates with forward trajectories, originating from various regions of the United States and Mexico, crossing the prairies between April 1 and May 16, 2022.

Field heroes

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

Field Heroes resources include:

  1. Real Agriculture went live in 2022 with Season 3 of the Pest and Predators podcast series!
    • NEW Episode 15 – Aphid milkshakes: Green lacewing’s fave Tyler Wist (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Saskatoon) and Shaun Haney (RealAg). Published online May 2022.
    • NEW Episode 14 – Mistaken identities: Insect pest or beneficial? John Gavloski (Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development) and Shaun Haney (RealAg). Published online May 2022.
    • NEW Episode 13 – Weather effects: Predicting pest populations James Tansey (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture), Meghan Vankosky (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Saskatoon), and Shaun Haney (RealAg). Published online May 2022.
    • Review SEASON 2 of the Pest and Predators podcasts!
    • Review SEASON 1 of the Pest and Predators podcasts!
  2. The 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 or download a free copy to arm your in-field scouting efforts!
  3. Review the Sweep-net Video Series including:
    How to sweep a field. Meghan Vankosky (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Saskatoon). Published online 2020.
    What’s in my sweep-net? Meghan Vankosky (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Saskatoon). Published online 2020.
    Why use a sweep-net? Meghan Vankosky (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Saskatoon). Published online 2020.

Follow @FieldHeroes!

Ticks and Lyme Disease

When scouting, avoid unwanted passengers – remember to watch for ticks at this time of year!  Blacklegged (deer) ticks can carry Lyme Disease.  Access information on how to remove and identify a tick made available by Health Canada.

Continued surveillance is important and enables tracking of Lyme disease incidence and risk. Follow the links to learn more and to submit ticks if you live in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, or Quebec.

Another option is the free eTick APP, a public platform for image-based identification and population monitoring of ticks in Canada. Both Google Play and iOS versions of the App enable users to upload tick photos for help with identification.

Public Health Agency of Canada’s 2018 infographic (published 2021; retrieved 2022May18 for downloading) summarizing Lyme disease surveillance in Canada is worth a quick scan (see image snip below).

Figure 1. Screenshot of Public Health Agency of Canada’s infographic summarizing Lyme disease surveillance in Canada (2018; retrieved 2022May18).

Canadian standardized assessment for European corn borer (2.0)

The European corn borer (ECB; Ostrinia nubilalis), can be an important pest of corn. Despite its name, ECB is actually a generalist feeder, having a wide range of hosts.

The recent confirmation of ECB resistance to Cry1F Bt corn in Nova Scotia has increased the need to monitor this pest across Canada. With so many new emerging crops being grown in Canada that are also hosts for ECB (e.g. hemp, cannabis, quinoa, hops, millet and others), there is no better time for us to look at this pest across the Canadian ag landscape.

European corn borer larva.
Photo: J. Smith, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus.

To monitor for ECB nationwide, the Insect Surveillance Community of Practice of the Canadian Plant Health Council has developed a harmonized monitoring protocol for European corn borer across all hosts. The protocol can be used to report ECB eggs, larvae or damage in any host crop across Canada. Our goal is to better understand the distribution and abundance of ECB in Canada, detect significant infestations, capture observations on any hosts and determine if ECB is shifting to other emerging crops like hops, quinoa, millet, hemp, and others. This harmonized protocol has been designed to complement protocols that are already in use to make management decisions.

Whether you are scouting corn, quinoa, hemp, millet, potatoes, apples, or other crops susceptible to ECB, we encourage you to try the harmonized monitoring protocol and report the data from your field or research plots using the free Survey123 app (available for both desktop and mobile devices):

European Corn Borer Monitoring for All Host Crops:

You do not need a login in to use the survey. Simply download the Survey123 Field App and click on the third option “Continue without logging in”, once on the login screen. To see the French version, click on the button on the top right corner, once in the survey to switch from English to French. A hardcopy version to take out to the field before entering it into Survey123 is also available here in English and French.

Please feel free to contact Tracey Baute (OMAFRA), Meghan Vankosky (AAFC-Saskatoon), Tracy Hueppelsheuser (BC Ministry of Agriculture), James Tansey (Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture), John Gavloski (Manitoba Agriculture), Brigitte Duval (MAPAQ), Suqi Liu (PEI Department of Agriculture and Land) or Caitlin Congdon (Perennia, Nova Scotia) if you have questions about this initiative.

Looking for help online to identify unusual flora and fauna? Apps aplenty exist but consider because there are underlying benefits! helps users identify terrestrial organisms by connecting to online “experts” able to identify and provide information to users but there’s an underlying secondary benefit: Researchers, institutions, and active research projects can set up Lists and access observations within This is citizen science in action!

“Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed”, to quote from’s webpage.

Here’s how Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who are already using and accessing valuable data from this resource to aid in the early detection of invasive species.

What’s best – OR Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the team that focuses on the detection of invasive species generally recommends because it allows Canadians better access to Canadian experts and Canadian data.

Is worth using to identify unknown insects encountered in field crops? is going to be the leader in early detections and is a fairly intuitive and usable tool for everyone. It’s not perfect for all organisms but works well for many. CFIA staff are actively monitoring it and, in the near future, CFIA hopes to set up an account that might allow users to flag observations for their team to see more rapidly.

How does CFIA mine iNaturalist and what is the value? CFIA uses a script through the Intauralist API to query for any mentions of our targeted list under the project here: Important Pest Species List for Canada – Lookout · iNaturalist. CFIA staff members receive a daily email of all the target list mentions (i.e., includes insects, plants, and mollusks). In order to increase early detections, CFIA’s also trying to retrieve data from comments such as when someone mentions a new record or new detection. At this point, only a few pathogens are listed in our pest lookout because many of CFIA’s regulated pests would need more than a picture (so we didn’t add them). CFIA staff believe is a great tool for early detection because the number of observations is very large and growing like crazy AND they are geographically widespread.

The basic steps to get you going are:
◦ Create an account at (
◦ Watch your Inbox for a basic how-to guide.
◦ Upload photos or videos (e.g., bird calls) to create an “Observation”.
◦ iNaturalist subscribers considered to be experts will help identify your observation.

Early detection of invasive insect species

Could be coming to a field near you….. Many of Canada’s economically important species of insect pests originated as invasive species that managed to relocate and establish self-sustaining populations. Over time, they become increasingly widespread and so frequently abundant that they are part of the annual list of species we monitor and attempt to manage.

Examples of invasive species existing presently throughout large areas of the Canadian prairies include wheat midge, cereal leaf beetle, cabbage seedpod weevil, pea leaf weevil, swede midge – in fact, the list of invasive species is far longer! Consider the impact of invasive species AND recognize that a growing list of species will likely affect field crops in Canada. Globalization, adaptation, and the development of new cultivars suited to Canada’s growing regions, climate change, plus many other factors will contribute to the reality: we can expect more invasive species to continue to arrive.

Where can you play a role??? Early detection and accurate identification are key steps involved in mitigating the risks associated with new invasive species. Many levels of government are active in the ongoing battle against invasive species. Even so, initial detections often arise from keen in-field scouting by producers or agrologists so access these resources to help identify the “that’s weird” or “I haven’t seen that before”. And be sure to thank the many entomologists – regional, provincial, federal, and some amazing amateurs PLUS the folks at Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who ALL work to stand on guard for thee!

Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) main Plant Health section can be accessed here.

• More specifically, CFIA’s Plant Pests and Invasive Species information is accessible here.

• Did you know…. CFIA’s top field crop invasive species include anything falling under the List of Pests Regulated by Canada which is accessible here. Caveats are that (i) some species may be on the list (e.g., codling moth) that are not necessarily a high priority but remain to maintain regulatory policy or (ii) list may include species yet to be removed.

• Anyone can access diagnostic information for invasive species at CFIA’s Plant Pest Surveillance section accessible here.

HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP – Experienced producers and agrologists make important discoveries every day! Keep Canadian agriculture strong and support the detection of invasive species when encountering unusual damage symptoms or unknown insect species. How and what to report plus 3 different pathways to submit your sightings are all described here.

When it comes to pesticides…

Crop Production Guides are posted to websites for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Every year, these guides are updated with product information and so much more! Hard copies can be purchased via the above websites. Alternatively, the 2022 Crop Production Guides are available as a FREE downloadable PDF for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

A few other helpful tools to keep at your finger tips:

The Canadian Grain Commission has information to help you manage stored grain.  Read tips to prepare your bins to prevent insect infestations.  If there are insects in your grain, use their online diagnostic tools to help identify the problem species.  If pest species are confirmed, there are control options – read more to make the right choice for your grain storage system and your specific grain.

Remember to Keep It Clean so grains are prepared and protected for the market.  Learn more about preparing canola, cereals and pulses! They also have tools to manage pre-harvest intervals including a spray to swath calculator.

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 2022 coming soon. Be sure to bookmark their Crop Pest Update Index to readily access these reports! Bookmark their insect pest homepage to access fact sheets and more!

SASKATCHEWAN’S Crop Production News coming soon. Be sure to bookmark their insect pest homepage to access important information! Also access Crop Blog Posts recently encouraging flea beetle scouting to protect newly seeded stands of canola.

ALBERTA’S Insect Pest Monitoring Network webpage links to insect survey maps, live feed maps, insect trap set-up videos, and more. There is also a Major Crops Insect webpage. The new webpage does not replace the Insect Pest Monitoring Network page. Remember, AAF’s Agri-News occasionally includes insect-related information. Twitter users can connect to #ABBugChat Wednesdays at 10:00 am.
Diamondback moth pheromone trap monitoring update for AB – Cumulative counts arising from weekly data are available so refer to the Live Map.
Cutworm live monitoring map for AB – Cumulative counts arising from weekly data are available so refer to the Live Map.

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 May 17, 2022 report).
Saskatchewan Agriculture (or access a PDF copy of the May 10-16, 2022 report).
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (or access a PDF copy of the May 10, 2022 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 May 16, 2022 edition).
• The USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (access a PDF copy of the May 17, 2022 edition).