GFM Network News


Continuous corn and reliance on weaker resistance to corn rootworm has led to yield losses in silage corn.

Getting to the root of corn rootworm

How alarmed should you be about the threat of corn rootworm due to the expansion of continuous corn acres?

Reading Time: 6 minutes For a large percentage of growers in Eastern Canada, corn production isn’t just one crop in the rotation, it’s the main crop in that rotation. For others — mostly livestock producers — it’s the only crop. That dominance is creating concerns as the incidence of resistance of corn rootworm becomes a more-pressing issue. Even so, […] Read more

Researchers placed swede midge on 12 different crop and weed brassica species in a “bug dorm” to test where they’d most prefer to lay eggs. Results ranged from nearly 500 eggs for canola and mustard to zero for flixweed.

Getting the jump on swede midge

The canola pest hasn’t become established in Western Canada, but researchers want to be prepared if it does

Reading Time: 3 minutes Prairie canola growers had a bit of a fright in 2007 and 2008. Swede midge, a pest causing serious damage and yield loss to canola crops in Ontario, had been found in some areas of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and farmers were rightly alarmed. It turns out that it was just a wake-up call, but one […] Read more


Bean leaf beetle is another pest increasing in numbers in soybean and edible bean fields.

What’s going to ‘bug’ you in 2020?

Western bean cutworm is quickly climbing the ranks as our biggest threat

Reading Time: 6 minutes Insect pests never seem to get the respect they deserve. If they present a threat during a growing season, they move front and centre, but more often they’re a much lower concern than fertility, weeds and diseases. Some of that is thanks to today’s improved genetics and commercial varieties and hybrids that produce their hardier, […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 8 minutes 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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