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Bug of the Month Jan. 2020

News article


Farming Smarter takes part in the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network http://prairiepestmonitoring.blogspot.com/  each year. Shelley Barkley, Insect Survey Technologist with Alberta Agriculture, shared the Lethbridge and Taber reports with us written by Scott Meers.

LETHBRIDGE 2019 Summary

A wheat midge getting ready to lay her eggs on the forming kernels.

We found no wheat midge larvae in any of the fields we surveyed in 2019 (3 dryland fields 3 irrigated fields). Wheat midge does not pose a significant risk in Lethbridge for 2020.

Of the 6 bertha armyworm sites in Lethbridge one was above the first warning level of 300 moths. There was some spraying reported from your county. Trapping will continue to be very important to determine if this small outbreak may be bigger in 2020.

Wheat stem sawfly numbers appear to be relatively low in your area but were present in all but one of the fields surveyed but this does represent an increase over the 2018 survey. Expect an increase in sawfly if the dry summers continue.

pea leaf weevil

Pea leaf weevil damage was fairly low in your area in the survey we conducted in late May – early June with the exception of one field. This is consistent with the situation across southern Alberta. They will, however, continue to be a perennial problem.

Cabbage seedpod weevil were generally lower compared to most years but there were still some samples that were near or above economic threshold.  Cabbage seedpod weevil will continue to be a potential problem every year.

Diamondback moth traps had very low levels of moths caught as well.

TABER 2019 Summary

We found one wheat midge larva in one of the irrigated wheat fields and none in the two dryland fields. Wheat midge does not pose a significant risk in Taber but could build up in irrigated wheat if lots of wheat is grown in successive years in an area or repeatedly on the same field.

Bertha armyworm pupa Mamestra configurata

There were two bertha armyworm sites in Taber and both were below the first warning level of 300 moths. Trapping will continue to be very important to watch for a possible build-up in the population.

Wheat stem sawfly was found in all five of the fields surveyed this fall. The numbers are still low but it could be signaling the start of a build-up in their population.  Expect sawfly to increase if the dry summers continue.

Pea leaf weevil damage was fairly low compared to historical averages. They will continue to be a perennial problem.

Cabbage Seedpod Weevil

Cabbage seedpod weevil were generally lower compared to most years but there were still some samples that were near or above economic threshold, especially from the agronomic collected samples.  Cabbage seedpod weevil will continue to be a potential problem every year, especially for the first fields to come into flower in June.


Created January 20, 2020 | Category: News Articles

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