GFM Network News

Giving wheat midge a few susceptible wheat plants to feed on ensures that the resistant population doesn’t eventually take over.

A decade of midge-tolerant wheat

New varieties are in the pipeline for CWRS and SWS classes

Reading Time: 4 minutes Over the past 10 years, western Canadian farmers have deliberately seeded 27 million acres of wheat susceptible to orange blossom wheat midge — and saved themselves an estimated $1 billion in lost yield and quality. To be clear, only 10 per cent of the seed on those acres was susceptible to midge, and that’s been […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […] Read more

Female parasitic wasp with midge eggs.

Beneficial insects can reduce the economic threat if wheat midge arrives

Two natural predators 
can help with wheat midge problems if you foster their populations

Reading Time: 2 minutes Wheat midge, a non-native pest that feeds on developing wheat kernels, is a serious economic threat to farmers, especially in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. But the pest is now a growing problem in Alberta, including Peace River country, and starting to attack Montana’s wheat crops. However, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers know ways to reduce its […] Read more

Dry weather reducing Prairie wheat midge problems

Reading Time: 2 minutes CNS Canada — Wheat midge hasn’t been causing as many problems as first anticipated in Western Canada this year, as a dry spring hindered the pests’ emergence. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s wheat midge forecast, released earlier this year, initially showed high risk levels for the insect, but the dryness is hampering their effects on […] Read more


Prairies’ dry fields good, if you’re a grasshopper

Reading Time: 2 minutes CNS Canada –– Dry conditions causing production concerns across large areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan are certainly bad for the crops, but the weather could prove ideal for grasshoppers. Grasshopper forecast maps put out over the winter were not initially all that bad for Alberta and Saskatchewan, given the conditions in 2014, but weather in […] Read more

Five years of midge tolerance

Five years of midge tolerance

As its acreage continues to climb, the message is to keep protecting the unique Sm1 gene

Reading Time: 3 minutes This summer marks the fifth anniversary of producers in Western Canada growing and protecting midge-tolerant wheat. Since the launch of the first commercial varieties in 2010, the industry has witnessed strong uptake of the technology that helps producers defend against orange blossom wheat midge, a pest that can significantly reduce crop yield and grade. Not […] Read more

Cabbage seedpod weevil larva. (

Cabbage seedpod weevil could cause problems for Prairie canola

Reading Time: 2 minutes CNS Canada –– Canola growes in Western Canada will have to keep an eye out for cabbage seedpod weevils in fields this year, according to government officials. “For cabbage seedpod weevil, the survey from last year was showing that it’s extended well eastwards (in Saskatchewan) with some pretty good numbers now moving more into traditional […] Read more


Insect post mortem

Top Prairie pest specialists reflect on 2014’s major insect trends… and what they could mean for the coming year

Reading Time: 6 minutes Insects are like the commodity markets. It’s really easy to know what they’re going to do, once they’ve already done it. One of agriculture’s big challenges is dealing with different insects in different geographies, and doing the best you can to hedge your bets. Like the markets, however, insects are subject to a fair bit […] Read more

Wheat midge populations to collapse in parts of Alta.

Reading Time: 2 minutes CNS Canada — Recent large wheat midge populations in the eastern Peace region of Alberta are expected to collapse in 2015, according to a forecast report from the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network. But there is still a risk of higher populations in the region due to the very large levels of the insect population […] Read more

Fleabeetle on a green leaf.

Insect outlook

Spring is just around the corner, and Prairie farmers will soon be battling hungry pests again

Reading Time: 5 minutes The lingering snow outside your window may suggest otherwise, but spring is right around the corner, and with that comes insect issues farmers should be aware of. The single biggest thing that will affect insect populations is spring weather. Cool, wet conditions best slow those crop-munching pests, says Saskatchewan’s provincial insect specialist Scott Hartley. While […] Read more