Aphids can cause significant damage to fields and increase crop losses but low densities in a grain field sometimes have little economic impact on production. This is especially true if the aphid’s natural enemies (beneficial insects) are present in the field because they can keep the aphids under control.
The Cereal Aphid Manager is an easy-to-use mobile app that helps farmers and crop advisors control aphid populations in wheat, barley, oat or rye. It is based on Dr. Tyler Wist’s (AAFC-Saskatoon) Dynamic Action Threshold model. The model treats the grain field as an ecosystem and takes into account many complex biological interactions including:
- the number of aphids observed and how quickly they reproduce
- the number of different natural enemies of aphids in the field and how many aphids they eat or parasitize per day
- the lifecycles of aphids and their enemies taking into account developmental stages, egg laying behaviour, population growth rate, lifespan, etc.
Frequent in-field scouting, supported by the app’s dynamic threshold, allows growers to weigh the above factors and the app predicts what the aphid population will be in seven days and the best time to apply insecticide based on economic thresholds.
To learn more and to download, go to AAFC’s CAM webpage.