AB Ag seeks producers to assist with bug surveys
Sept. 9, 2013, Edmonton, AB - Every year, members of the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network survey approximately 300 fields for canola insects, another 300 for wheat insects and 150 for pea leaf weevil. These are in addition to pheromone traps and the grasshopper survey carried out by Agriculture Fieldmen in each county. In order to improve the quality of these surveys, the creation of a network of cooperative producers who will work with the Network to help select appropriate fields for survey work has been proposed. In return, these producers will receive a report back at the end of the year which will include information on what was found in their fields.
"As you can imagine, managing a system like this could become very time consuming," says Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. "Because of this, correspondence will be conducted via email, but if specific questions arise, a member of the Network team will be happy to talk to producers by phone or face-to-face. An administration person will work through the process with producers and the program staff will be visiting the fields. The information collected for this database will be used only for pest surveys.
"Surveys that require preapproval are: wheat midge, pea leaf weevil, and the canola insect survey. These surveys give us an idea of populations for severity, forecasting and tracking insect range expansion."
If you are interested in working with the Network, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the Township and County where your home quarter is located (this is how the database will be sorted). Producers will be contacted shortly after they have sent in this information. Follow-up will include designation of a specific field or fields for the wheat midge survey, which will be starting very soon.