One thing that there’s little doubt about is that wireworm is an issue for Manitoba potato growers – and production specialists for the crop say it’s a problem that’s likely to get worse, not better.
“We’re probably going to see more wireworm in Manitoba,” said Tracey Shinners Carnelley, of the Soils and Crops Branch of MAFRI at the recent Manitoba Potato Days meeting.
AAFC researcher Bob Vernon confirmed that suspicion, saying he’s seen plenty of evidence that the pest is present in the province.
“We’ve gotten lots of samples, and found seven different species,” Vernon says. “And they’re all pretty much different (species) than in B. C. or the Maritimes.”
Vernon says tracking the types of wireworm present in fields is crucial because it helps determine exactly what the best chemical tools and management practices are. He encourages growers to help themselves by contributing to monitoring efforts.
“If you find wireworm, put them in a dirt-filled container and send them to either Brent (Elliott, an entomologist with MAFRI) or Tracey (Shinners Carnelley),” says Vernon. “Have them identify it.”