GFM Network News


The active ingredient in Sefina — afidopyropen — interferes with an aphid’s orientation and balance, preventing them from feeding on soybean leaves.

A new insecticide for soybean aphids

Sefina’s control of soybean aphids differs from other products

Much anticipation always arrives with each new growing season. Successes are kept in perspective while past challenges are minimized, and the promise of a fresh start is enticing, if not a small source of anxiety. It’s much the same for a product launch: there’s the potential to help growers enhance their crop production, whether it’s […] Read more

After more than 20 years of managing ECB, western bean cutworm has developed resistance.

20 years of Bt corn hybrids

Growers are armed with more powerful, more precise tools than ever in history — but the war on corn pests is far from over

In any discussion of agricultural biotechnology, Bt corn hybrids shine as a huge success. Launched in 1996 in the U.S. and Canada, their 20-plus years in eastern Canadian production are worth celebrating for their unparalleled control of European corn borer (ECB). The technology has performed precisely as designed — without the development of the resistance […] Read more


The nature of the crop makes it harder to scout for Western bean cutworm in edible beans than in corn, yet easier to find feeding damage after leaf-drop.

The economics of Western bean cutworm

For bean growers, it turns out this is a very different — and difficult — pest

From year to year, edible bean growers face a variety of challenges, including some that are unique to their particular sector. In the past, they have had to deal with bean leaf beetles and potato leaf hoppers, as well as wireworms and seedcorn maggot. As with other field crops, each new growing season seems to […] Read more

Pea leaf weevil has been spreading in Saskatchewan and Alberta in recent years. Seed treatment rather than foliar sprays is recommended for control.

Prairie insect outlook for 2018

Provincial websites offer a wealth of identification and monitoring information which is continually updated through the season

With snow still on the ground as this article is written, it’s difficult to predict how conditions may change over the next few weeks as farmers approach seeding. That said, lower-than-average precipitation across the Prairies over the winter indicates it will take some excessive spring moisture to significantly change the dry conditions that seem likely […] Read more


Seed dealers, agronomists and advisers are very vocal in 2017 about scouting for Western bean cutworm egg masses.

More than cutworms “bugged” corn crops in 2017

Pests in 2017 have been a more complicated picture, based largely on a mixed bag of weather-related challenges

Coming out of winter and looking ahead to any growing season, it’s impossible to predict which insect pests will be the biggest challenge for growers. In 2001, for instance, soybean aphids first became a widespread issue for Ontario farmers, and the fear took such firm root that we’d have to deal with them in 2002 […] Read more

General Mills is offering free flower seed to conservation-minded farmers who are interested in promoting habitat for predators and pollinators such as the native leafcutter bee.

Give your insect friends a home

Leaving some non-crop areas with a diverse range of perennial vegetation can save you money on insecticide

What do shelterbelts, pivot corners and field margins have in common? No, they’re not unprofitable or “wasted” areas. As natural habitats for beneficial insects, including pollinators and predators of crop pests, those non-cropped areas may be worth their square footage in gold. Alejandro Costamagna, an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of entomology, […] Read more


Western bean cutworm eggs are typically laid on the upper surface of the top leaves of the corn plant.

Preparing for western bean cutworm in 2017

#PestPatrol with Tracey Baute, OMAFRA

Western bean cutworm (WBC) has earned the designation of primary pest of corn in Ontario, and it is starting to become important for dry bean growers too. Quality concerns outweigh yield loss with this pest, and when conditions are conducive to mycotoxins, as in 2016, WBC’s impact is very evident. The flurry of tweets under […] Read more

Populations of swede midge are high enough that certain areas would see the loss of a canola crop if it were planted.

The swede midge threat

Swede midge continues to confound Near North canola growers, and it could migrate farther south

By 2015, Terry Phillips, then chair of the Ontario Canola Growers Association, was advising growers in Ontario’s Near North to stop planting canola on farms that had been hit by the recent arrival of the swede midge. By then, yields were already getting cut by as much as 50 per cent by the pest, with […] Read more


Ground beetles can consume caterpillars, wireworms, maggots, ants, aphids and slugs.

Integrated Pest Management gaining credibility

More and more growers are beginning to embrace the IPM approach to insect control, and the system is beginning to bear fruit

A few years back Owen Olfert and other entomologists approached a group of growers with what might have seemed like an outrageous request — don’t spray for wheat midge. They were in the process of introducing a new parasite to knock back midge populations, but there was a problem — the critter in question was […] Read more

Researchers with AAFC in Saskatoon are working on CerealAphidBOSS, an app to predict thresholds for cereal aphids.

Crop pest scouts may gain from ‘app’lied knowledge

Insect ID is a challenge — but Prairie entomologists say there will soon be an app for that, and a whole lot more

One of the most challenging aspects of crop protection will always be the flying, crawling and chomping critters that show up every season, hoping to take a bite out of your profits. There are a lot of them, they can be hard to tell apart, and wind and weather can determine if insects arrive in […] Read more