Top Crop Manager

News Insect Pests
Armyworm invades Ontario cereal crops


June 18, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

Topics

This week has been a rough one when it comes to insect pests, particularly true armyworm. On June 11, Tracey Baute (field crop entomologist) and Joanna Follings (cereals specialist) with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) released a report on true armyworm and cereal leaf beetle in cereal crops.

It stated that reports were coming in that the insect pests had been spotted in Ontario fields. Most fields had not reached economic thresholds for control for either pest, but farmers were cautioned to keep an eye out.

Then, on June 15, the proverbial manure hit the fan. It started with a post on Twitter from Melody Robinson, an agronomist in the Haldimand-Niagara area.

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The following day, Baute advised farmers to scout certain crops as soon as they could in order to determine whether control was necessary in their fields.

Later on, it was confirmed that several other counties were also experiencing significant armyworm pressure in wheat crops.

Insect pests move quickly, so be sure to be on guard. Scout fields regularly if a pest is due to appear. For identification and management, Baute and Follings recommend the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops, the Field Crop Protection Guide and an OMAFRA Field Crop News article discussing cereal leaf beetle and true armyworm in greater depth.