GFM Network News

Two pest species, the clear-winged grasshopper (left) and two-striped grasshopper have caused damage for farmers this year.

Grasshoppers in Manitoba are hungry, and plentiful

After a string of dry summers helping their populations, producers are encouraged to scout for pest grasshoppers

Manitoba’s pest grasshopper species are out, and with the heat and dry weather they’re having a good time. “There’s some control currently going on,” provincial entomologist John Gavloski said. “A lot of it is edge spraying, so people doing their ditches and their field edges, but there has been some full-field spraying.” Why it matters:

Wolf spiders, robber flies, coyotes and burrowing owls are happy to dine on grasshoppers.

Predators line up for grasshoppers

Grasshoppers might be voracious — but so are the many things that consume them

Farmers fear grasshoppers because, according to legend, they eat everything. There’s a flip side to this and farmers can use it to their advantage. In the grand scheme of Prairie ecology everything eats grasshoppers. “They do have a positive side,” Dan Johnson of the University of Lethbridge told the Manitoba Agronomists Conference earlier this winter.

Prairie pest report says grasshopper risk low

Prairie pest report says grasshopper risk low

This despite general upward trend in the populations across Manitoba and Saskatchewan

This year’s grasshopper threat remains light to very light across Manitoba, according to survey data released by the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network on April 27. The data is based on surveys done in 2019. These included nearly 3,200 grasshopper counts across the Prairie provinces between May 1 and August 31. Maps in the report show

Common insecticides are having less of an impact on potato beetles in recent years.

Potato beetle resistance on the rise

This long-standing challenge is growing as less response to foliar insecticides is being observed

Manitoba potato growers may need to get more comfortable with leaf damage. According to Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice-president of research and quality with Peak of the Market, growing insecticide resistance in Colorado potato beetles means it’s something they’ll likely see more of. Much like flea beetles in canola, potato producers are being urged to hold off

Currently available crop protection products can only knock back wireworms, not eliminate them.

Are wireworms’ days numbered?

Once you have wireworms, it’s hard to get rid of them, but that might be changing once BASF’s new seed treatment launches in 2021

Growers will soon be able to knock back wireworm populations rather than just holding the line. BASF says it is two years away from launching its new cereal seed treatment, Teraxxa, on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. The seed treatment will introduce a new chemistry to the market. Teraxxa will be a Group 30

Editorial: A fine balance

Where does one individual’s rights end, and another’s begin? One famous definition runs like this: “The right to swing my arms in any direction ends where your nose begins.” It’s a straightforward common-sense approach that attempts to balance individual liberty with the rights of others. However, it’s also a very simplistic black-or-white view. The reality

The first case of Bt-resistant European corn borer is a reminder to Manitoba corn
growers to plant non-Bt refuge and select hybrids with at least two different Bt traits.

Heads-up on preserving corn borer-resistant corn

Bt breakdown highlights the importance of following refuge protocols

The first case of European corn borer resistance to Bt corn underscores the need for Manitoba corn growers to take steps to protect the technology, says Manitoba Agriculture’s entomologist John Gavloski. That development was recently confirmed in Nova Scotia. “If corn growers are growing Bt (corn borer)-resistant corn they need to be taking the refuge

Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii).

Fruit-eating bug marches west

It’s been a familiar sight in Manitoba for a while, 
and now seems set on new horizons

A pest that has targeted strawberries and other soft fruits in Manitoba could be headed west. The spotted wing drosophila, which is thought to have come from southeast Asia, has been spotted in Manitoba in small numbers. SWD’s presence in Alberta and British Columbia suggests Saskatchewan may be the bug’s next home. SWD is an

Dingy cutworm (right) may already be out and leaving missing chunks in leaves, but the redbacked cutworm (left) may get clipping as we move into June.

Dig down to spot cutworms early

Have cutworms? At this time of year, dingy cutworm is likely to be the culprit

The cutworms may already be out, but the damage is unlikely to look like the usual “clipped” stems, according to provincial entomologist John Gavloski. Dingy cutworms are the only species likely to be mature enough to cause damage, as they overwinter as larvae, he said during a May 22 Crop Talk webinar. The greyish, dull-coloured

Aphid numbers this year have been a fraction of what was seen in 2017.

Manitoba sees low aphid counts

Last year was a bad aphid year for a variety of crops, but few problems have been noted this season

Last year’s aphid problems have become this year’s near absence. Farmers are not fighting with aphids this year, according to the province, a departure from last year when levels prompted insecticide applications in a wide variety of crops from wheat to canary seed. “We’ve got lots of people out looking for aphids and, in most