Pests
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in Canada has granted approval for the registration of Lumiderm insecticide seed treatment from Corteva (the agriculture division of DowDuPont) for soybeans for control of bean leaf beetle and soybean aphid. Lumiderm will be commercially available for 2019 spring planting.

Lumiderm seed treatment provides soybean seedlings with extended protection against bean leaf beetle and soybean aphid. Protecting vulnerable seedlings from these two damaging insects leads to more uniform and healthier plant stands, allowing the crop to achieve its maximum yield potential at harvest. Lumiderm contains a unique Group 28 insecticide that helps growers manage the threat of resistance, and has a favourable environmental profile, according to a press release.

Published in Soybeans
Specialists at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) are working to have fields predetermined for the 2018 insect survey season and are looking for assistance from agrologists and producers across Alberta.

This year, the survey teams would like to check pea and wheat fields. They will survey for pea leaf weevil in late spring and survey for wheat midge and wheat stem sawfly in the fall after harvest.

“In addition to the rest of the province, we are looking for pea fields up into the Peace Country because the pea leaf weevil has been confirmed into that area, and we want to expand our survey there,” says Scott Meers, insect management specialist with AF. “We are looking for fields that producers would be happy to have us check. For allowing us on their fields, we will provide those producers with a report of the survey results.”

Meers would also like to increase in the number of bertha army worm traps in Alberta. “We are trying to get four to five traps per county across the province. If you are interested, we will hook you up with all the materials you will need.”

For agrologists and producers who have monitored for the bertha army worm adults in the past, now is a good time to check those traps to see if they need to be repaired or replaced. “They are plastic, and plastic in the wind and sunshine tends to break down after time. Let us know if they need to be upgraded or replaced,” adds Meers.

For more information about monitoring for the upcoming growing season or replacing traps, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Published in Insect Pests
Cabbage seedpod weevil is an invasive insect pest of canola. Originally found in Europe, the insect proliferated in the United States and was first confirmed in Alberta in the mid-1990s.
Published in Insect Pests
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. 
By taking these factors into consideration, the app can give a more accurate and precise prediction as to whether an aphid population could significantly impact the productivity of the field.

Cereal Aphid Manager is available to download from the App Store and Google Play. For more information about this app, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , field crop entomologist with AAFC.
Published in Cereals
A midge by any other name is still a midge – but it’s not swede midge. That’s the finding of scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), University of Guelph and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Swede midge had been confirmed by CFIA in 2007, but what had previously been thought of as the swede midge in northeast Saskatchewan since 2007, and in research projects by AAFC starting in 2012, has been confirmed to be a new species of midge.
Published in Insect Pests
Cutworms are present across the Prairies, and in some years some species of cutworms can reach levels that are of economic concern in field crops. The focus of a five-year project conducted across the Prairies resulted in the development of better identification tools, a better understanding of cutworm biology and their natural enemies, and a management guide to improve cutworm monitoring and control in different crops.
Published in Insect Pests
Cutworms are a complex of several pest species that affect multiple crops grown in Canada. A few species can cause economic damage in cereal and oilseed field crops. Researchers are working to find efficient monitoring tools that can determine distribution of cutworms and alert growers to impending outbreaks, while excluding bee pollinators.
Published in Insect Pests
The alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) is turning into a bigger challenge for some alfalfa growers. Populations of the insect pest in the Rosemary area of Alberta (about 170 kilometres east of Calgary, near Brooks) have been confirmed as resistant to the Group 3A synthetic pyrethroid insecticide Matador. By extension, those populations are likely also resistant to the other pyrethroid insecticide Decis, which is registered for alfalfa weevil control in alfalfa.
Published in Insect Pests
Figuring out how to fight a fairly new pest, like the western bean cutworm (WBC), is a bit like preparing to face off against a new sports opponent. “If you’re going to compete in a sport, the best thing to do is study your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and then try and play to their weaknesses,” says Jeremy McNeil, a biology professor at the University of Western Ontario.
Published in Insect Pests
Join us March 13, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern for an interactive webinar for updates on a special crop sequencing study in Saskatchewan.
Published in Webinars
Corn growers across Ontario and Quebec now have the option of applying Delegate insecticide by air for control of Western bean cutworm (WBC) and European corn borer. 
Published in Insecticides
Pea leaf weevil is an invasive pest species that first hit Alberta in 1997 and has since continued to spread across Canada.
Published in Insect Pests
With proposed limitations and even all-out bans on the horizon, we could say the future of seed treatments has never been so uncertain. Although changes are coming down the pipeline (like the new mitigation measures for the neonicotinoids clothiandin and thiamethoxam), what won’t change is the fact that seed treatments are a very important tool in the grower toolbox.
Published in Seed Treatment
As swede midge populations continue to rise in Quebec, canola growers are looking for better ways to manage the pest. Entomologist Geneviève Labrie is leading a two-year research project to help advance integrated management strategies for swede midge.
Published in Insect Pests
Vast amounts of data are being collected on Canada's farms through the advent of precision agriculture technology and the Internet of Things (IOT).

Many types of tools, equipment and devices gather data on everything from crop yields to how many steps an animal takes in a day. However, much of that data is underutilized because it's collected by systems that don't or can't communicate with each other.

The need for better decision-making on farms through better data use resulted in Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF), a partnership of agricultural organizations led by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT) that's developing an open agri-food innovation platform to connect and share data.

The goal, according to lead director Dr. Karen Hand of Precision Strategic Solutions, is getting data, wherever it exists (both data repositories in industry or government and data generated by countless sensors) so it can be used to help advance important food production issues like food safety, traceability and plant and animal disease surveillance.

For example, information about the prevalence and control of insect pests like cutworms that damage soybean crops lies with many different people and organizations, including university and government researchers, crop advisors, input suppliers and farmers.

"There is no single spot where all of the information about a particular pest can be accessed in a robust, science-based system and used in decision-making and that's where OPAF's platform will help," Hand says.

Pilot projects are underway with Ontario's grain, dairy and poultry producers to identify their needs in areas like crop protection, sustainability and food safety and how OPAF can provide data-driven solutions to benefit farmers.

"We sit down with farmers, advisors, associations, government and researchers to find out what data they have, where they exist and if we were able to connect them, what value or benefit that would offer participants - either specific to the commodity they are producing or on larger food-related issues such as food safety or impact on trade," she explains.

And OPAF's efforts are gaining global recognition. Earlier this year, Internet of Food and Farm 2020, a large project in the European Union exploring the potential of IOT technologies of European food and farming, recognized OPAF as one of three global projects to collaborate with.

"This is going to be changing the face of data enablement in Canada and contributing globally," says Tyler Whale of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT). "We are creating a platform that is the base of something new, and although we are piloting this in Ontario, it will be available nationwide to those who want to use it."

OPAF partners include OAFT, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Niagara College, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Farm Credit Canada, Ontario Agri-Business Association, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, and Golden Horseshoe Farm and Food Alliance.

This project was funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists with GF2 delivery in Ontario.
Published in Precision Ag
Bees can provide a helping hand to farmers with a new green technology to fight against major fungal diseases such as sunflower head rot and grey mould.
Published in Diseases
A look at some of the new soybean varieties available to growers for the 2018 planting season.
Published in Soybeans
A look at some of the new corn varieties available to growers for the 2018 planting season. 
Published in Corn
Few agricultural technologies capture people’s imaginations as much as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones. Since the first day a UAV looked down on a crop field, farmers have dreamed up a million ways that a bird’s eye view and remote access could improve agricultural operations.
Published in Precision Ag
The federal government has proposed tighter restrictions around the two insecticides: clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

Under proposed changes, the product will be banned from some uses such as orchard trees or strawberry patches, and restrictions are on the way for other uses such as on berries and legumes. New measures will also require new labelling for seed treatments.

"Scientific evidence shows that with the proposed restrictions applied, the use of clothianidin and thiamethoxam does not present an unacceptable risk to bees," says Margherita Conti, an official with Health Canada's pest management regulatory agency. | READ MORE
Published in Seed Treatment
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