GFM Network News


Nine pests to watch for if you’re growing flax

Dr. James Tansey, Saskatchewan Agriculture’s insect specialist, reminded farmers at a Saskatchewan Agriculture conference in Weyburn, Sask., that “plants are not a passive part of the environment.” Flax produces poison in the form of cyanogenic glycoside (cyanide) that is toxic to several insects. However, your flax crop may still need some help protecting itself from[...]
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Farmers’ friends: bugs, birds and worms can eat weed seeds before they get a chance to germinate.

Weed control with small critters

Insects, birds and worms are a free – and resistance-free – method of controlling weeds before they get a chance to germinate

The dominance of zero- or minimum-tillage practices on the Prairies means lots of weed seeds are left on the soil after harvest, but it turns out that there’s help available to stop them from germinating next spring, and you don’t have to buy it at your local chemical dealer. “Lowering the deposits into the weed[...]
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Top four pests to watch in canola

There are a lot of insects out there, but damage-causing pests are actually in the minority. Even a few “bad” bugs can be beneficial. “Crops can tolerate a certain level,” said Keith Gabert, agronomy specialist, for the Canola Council of Canada. “And even in some cases, it can benefit from a little bit of insect[...]
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Seven beneficial insects on your farm

When making crop production management decisions, consider beneficial insect populations. These harmless bugs can provide adequate control if their populations are high enough. Some beneficial insects are hard to identify, but with some basic training producers should be able to spot them in the field. The following beneficial insects are found in most crops in[...]
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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[...]
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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[...]
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SeCan says wheat midge tolerance saves producers $40 to $60 million per year.

Protect your midge-tolerant wheat

The midge-tolerance gene was found in the majority of SWS wheats in 2017. Refuge seed is required to keep this trait in play

Producers should add refuge seed to most Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Soft White Spring (SWS) wheat varieties in 2018 to prolong the longevity of the midge-tolerance Sm1 gene, says Todd Hyra, western business manager for seed marketing agency SeCan. Last spring, Canadian researchers discovered Sm1 in most SWS varieties, including AAC Indus, AC[...]
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Six tips for managing wheat stem sawfly

As with most pests, wheat stem sawfly populations rise and fall, depending on weather and the presence of natural predators. Economic losses arise when wheat stem sawfly larvae feed inside the stem. While some of those losses are due to decreased seed weight, much of it occurs when the stems are cut and the plant[...]
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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[...]
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