GFM Network News


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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

Cereal leaf beetle adult.

Pest Patrol: Are there any new insect pests that we should be alert for?

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes The following information was provided by Tracey Baute, field crop entomologist, OMAFRA. Cereal leaf beetles feed on wheat, oat, corn, forages and grassy weeds. Spring plantings are most attractive, particularly late plantings, though some winter wheat can be infested in the spring. Both adults and larvae cause damage by chewing long strips of tissue between […] Read more


One of the challenges with Old World bollworm is it closely resembles corn ear worm, pictured here, complicating positive identifications.

Watch out for bollworms

Old World bollworm may be a severe threat to agriculture in North America

Reading Time: 4 minutes Asian soybean rust, aflatoxin in corn and Palmer amaranth are but three examples of disease and weed species that have made huge news in the U.S. but haven’t yet crossed the border into Canada in a big way. It makes it difficult to issue a credible alert about a new pest threat called Helicoverpa armigera […] Read more

High levels of root maggots have been observed in some canola fields. Could the reason be that flea beetle sprays early in the season wipe out natural predators of these maggots?

Help the insects eat each other

Insecticides don’t just kill the bad bugs — they also kill their enemies

Reading Time: 4 minutes Terry Young has never sprayed for insects. “I’ve had the odd bertha and lygus in my canola and wheat midge in my wheat, but they haven’t been an issue for as long as I’ve been farming, which is 30-plus years now,” he says. Young farms at Lacombe, which is one of the most productive agricultural […] Read more