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Alberta’s insect pests not affected by rains

June 30, 2014 - The recent rains in southern Alberta appear to have had little or no effect on insect populations.

"On Monday, June 23, I was through Claresholm and Fort McLeod and there was a lot of alfalfa weevil about," says Scott Meers, insect management specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Brooks. "We're also getting reports of high levels of cabbage seed pod weevil in early flowering canola in some of those areas that had high rainfall. So, it appears the insects weathered the storm fairly well."

He says the one exception is that any small grasshoppers that were in the heavy rainfall belt probably didn't survive.

When it comes to cabbage seed pod weevil, Meers asks that agrologists report in when they are doing their sweeps for their growers. "Even if they report on one or two of their sets of sweeps per day it will really help us get a picture of what's happening through the flowering season."

Meers says, as the crops are growing so quickly, it's having an effect on cutworms and flea beetles. . "The crops are growing so fast now that I doubt that either flea beetles will have any further impact," says Meers. "Cutworms have been mostly affecting canola crops and, with canola advancing so quickly, the major damage from cutworms should also be over."

Wheat midge traps will be going out in the next week. "The idea of the traps is to indicate when the midge flight starts. As such, we want the traps out in the next week to catch the early part of the flight," says Meers. "If anyone wants to set up a wheat midge trap they can get hold of us and we'll get them set up."

Meers adds the bertha army worm traps are into their second week and at this point are showing very low numbers.

For more information on getting a wheat midge trap, reporting sweeps, or to see current insect maps, go to the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network homepage.

 


July 1, 2014
By Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

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