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
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
Plant-parasitic nematodes are hidden yield robbers. But research and monitoring efforts are helping to uncover their secrets. Plant pathologist Albert Tenuta conducted a survey of soil-dwelling nematode species in Ontario crops and his ongoing collaborative research looks to improve management strategies for these microscopic, worm-like pests.  
Published in Insect Pests
The highest recorded corn yield is 532 bushels per acre set by David Hula at Charles City, Virginia in 2015 in an annual contest conducted by the National Corn Growers Association in the United States. By comparison, the highest yield in 2016 in Manitoba Corn Growers Association’s annual yield contest was 274 bushels per acre (bu/ac) set by the Baker Colony at MacGregor, Man. Both impressive yields indeed, given growing conditions at those locations. But how can new corn growers reach those yields?
Published in Corn
Flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp.) in canola and cutworms continued to be at economical levels in many areas of Manitoba in 2017. Aphids were at high levels and resulted in insecticide applications in small grain cereals, field peas and soybeans.

Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) were controlled in many canola fields. Bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata) got to economic levels in some canola fields in Western Manitoba. Alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) was at high levels in many alfalfa fields. Thistle caterpillars (Vanessa cardui) caused concern in some soybean and sunflower fields.

'Summary of Insects on Crops in Manitoba in 2017' is a report based on observations from John Gavloski, Ph.D., entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture, as well as his summer students, observations and reports from agronomists, farmers, farm production extension specialists, and extension co-ordinators. To read the full report, click here
Published in Insect Pests
Evidence of feeding in 2017 once again was over a wider range than in previous years. The range of pea leaf weevil activity has expanded dramatically in central Alberta since 2013.

The annual pea leaf weevil (Sitona lineatus L.) survey was carried out in late May and early June, 2017. The 2017 survey was based on damage ratings in 203 fields from 46 municipalities. Survey locations shown with black circles had no evidence of pea leaf weevil feeding on any of the plants assessed. For more information, click here

Related: Keeping an eye on fababean insect pests
Published in Insect Pests
The wheat midge forecast for 2018 shows an overall lower level of wheat midge across Alberta. There is very little risk of midge in the Peace Region, with the lowest level of midge found in the survey since the outbreak in 2013. Individual fields or small pockets of wheat midge may still exist so it is important to remain vigilant.

The midge population in central Alberta east of Edmonton appears to be lower but this may be in part due to increase in midge tolerant wheat. Wheat midge in that area in that area will remain a concern, especially if there is late seeding and higher than average rainfall in the spring. Areas west and south of Edmonton have seen individual fields with midge numbers at levels of concern as far south as Red Deer county.

The population remains low in southern Alberta and the only midge found was associated with irrigated fields. For more information, click here.

Related: Monitoring for wheat midge
Published in Insect Pests
James Fletcher was a self-educated naturalist who transformed Canada's approach to economic entomology. Over several decades he was able to help Canadian farmers, fruit growers and gardeners better understand the impacts of both beneficial and harmful insects to their crops and businesses.

In early November, Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, as well as the Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Centre, commemorated the importance of James Fletcher as a person of national historic significance.

Through his extensive travels across Canada, Fletcher collected plant and insect specimens for identification and established a national network of farmers and gardeners who reported on harmful weeds and insects in their region. For the full story, click here
Published in Corporate News
Crop growth and yield are strongly affected by sunlight, temperature and growing season precipitation. From a farmer’s perspective, temperature and water availability are the two most important environmental factors that affect crop production.
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
Two of the most commonly used insecticides around the world are imidacloprid (neonicotinoid) and chlorpyrifos (organophosphate). In a new paper, published in the journal Scientific Reports, they have been found to be toxic to seed-eating songbirds, even affecting their migration. 

University of Saskatchewan biology professor Christy Morrissey stated in a press release, “Studies on the risks of neonicotinoids have often focused on bees that have been experiencing population declines. However, it is not just bees that are being affected by these insecticides.” | READ MORE
Published in Insecticides
Agriculture Canada scientist Jeff Skevington, who works with the Canadian National Collection of Insects, says the country has lost a significant amount of its insect biodiversity in recent years based on the results of annual collection samples.

That means a lot of the insects at the bottom of our food chain are dying out, which could have an unexpected, but noticeable impact on the lives of humans. READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
Earlier this summer (Week 14), true armyworm, Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Mythimna unipuncta, was reported on the lower west coast and a summary was provided by Tracy Hueppelsheuser from the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

Hueppeisheuser kindly provided an update to the situation.... The initial true armyworm damage reported earlier did not relent and a second generation of voracious larvae continued to cause damage in late August through to late September in southwestern British Columbia. READ MORE
Published in Insect Pests
Cereal breeders continue to focus on improved yields, developing varieties that stand up to the pest and disease challenges producers face across the Prairies. Seed companies have supplied Top Crop Manager with the following information on new cereal varieties for 2018.
Published in Cereals
When it comes to fighting Fusarium graminearum, our crops may soon have some new tiny but powerful allies. Research by Manish Raizada at the University of Guelph is providing the foundation for commercializing some anti-Fusarium bacteria as biocontrol products. As well, a student in his lab discovered an amazing mechanism that a bacterial strain called M6 uses to stop the fungus dead in its tracks.
Published in Diseases
OMAFRA has conducted a soft launch of the new online version of the Inspection of Soil Pest Assessment Forms (PARS) for the purchase of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seeds from Class 12 Vendors.

The online version allows a producer or professional pest advisor to complete the form online, and email it directly to the Class 12 Vendor of choice.

The vendor will be advised of the request and when accepted, a copy will automatically be sent to OMAFRA thus alleviating the need for the vendor to submit these online forms to OMAFRA by October 31st of each year.

In addition, this version will assist the producer or professional pest advisor to complete and attach the required sketches via OMAFRA's AgMaps mapping tool.

For more information, click here.
Published in Soil
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