Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has released the Cereal Aphid Manager app to help grain producers and crop advisors control cereal aphid populations in wheat, barley, oats, and rye. This smartphone app predicts what the aphid population will be in seven days and the best time to apply insecticide. “It makes you scout properly for cereal aphids, but what is really does, it allows you to record the number of aphids so you don’t have to do any math yourself,” says Tyler Wist, field crop entomologist with AAFC.
“What makes this app unique is that it works the beneficial insects as well,” adds Wist. “It works in the predators and the parasitoids that help to keep the aphid populations in check. When you’re scouting for the aphids, you’re also scouting for the natural enemies.”
The Cereal Aphid Manager is based on a model built by researchers at AAFC. The model treats the grain field as an ecosystem and takes into account many complex biological interactions including:
- The number of different natural enemies of aphids in the field and how many aphids they eat per day.
- The lifecycles of aphids and their enemies including their developmental stages, egg laying behaviour, population growth rate, lifespan, etc.
- Types of non-crop habitats that insects around the field that the different insects prefer.
Cereal Aphid Manager is available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For more information about this app, contact Tyler Wist, field crop entomologist with AAFC.