GFM Network News


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

Natural pest control still a challenge

Pest control in potatoes is caught between growing pressure to cut back on common chemical tools and concerns over chemical rotation, but do biopesticides factor into the path forward?

Potato biopesticides are still digging a niche in a sector beleaguered by chemical-resistance concerns, social pressure and the threat of regulatory crackdown on common chemistries. But their best fit might support, rather than replace, what growers are already doing in the field. The promise of biopesticides — drawn from naturally occurring substances that are unfriendly

A samurai wasp lays an egg inside a brown marmorated stink bug egg. The samurai wasp’s offspring will develop inside the pest’s egg and emerge as an adult wasp.  PHOTO: WARREN WONG, SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

Biocontrols often also invasive

They seem to be being unintentionally introduced 
the same way their prey is

Regulatory limits to the introduction of biocontrols like parasitic wasps may prove to be a moot point. They could already be being unintentionally released into Canada along with their prey. Paul Abram, of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has been looking for native predators for the brown marmorated stink bug, a pest introduced to B.C. in


Dr. Poonam Singh, (r), discusses how good bugs can fight bad bugs with (from left): Assiniboine 
student Gopin Patel, Shelmerdine employee Stephanie Walker and Assiniboine research intern 
Tiffany Nykolyshyn.

It’s a bug-eat-bug world, says Assiniboine faculty member

Researcher uses $25,000 NSERC grant to reduce pesticide use

Bugs that eat bugs fascinate Dr. Poonam Singh. The instructor and researcher at Assiniboine Community College is studying the effectiveness of using “good bugs” to control pests that injure and sometimes kill plants. Singh is the first instructor at Assiniboine to receive a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Wireworm are set to take a bite out of potato fields and can be tough to control.

Manitoba potato growers brace for wireworm issue

The loss of Lindane then Thimet has resulted in growing and booming wireworm populations across Canada

A budding wireworm problem for Prairie potato growers is the result of losing two key chemical control products. According to Bob Vernon, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Agassiz, B.C., that lack of control options makes it a question of when, not if, the problem shows up. First the organophochlorine pesticide Lindane

What is that critter, and is it a good one or a bad one? An app being developed by AAFC and the U of M will be able to tell you.

App will identify bugs and outbreaks in real time

Farmers and agronomists sought for testing app that will allow reporting and tracking of insect outbreaks

Researchers at the University of Manitoba and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are developing a new app that will make it easier for farmers to practise integrated pest management (IPM). The free, user-friendly app, which should be available in 2018, incorporates three separate tools for pest identification, forecasting and crop management. The pest ID tool is


Traps to monitor adult moths of bertha armyworm are currently only at levels suggesting low risk of damage.

Manitoba crop insect and disease update

Conditions as of July 14, 2015

Some localized higher populations of armyworms and grasshoppers are present. So scouting is encouraged, although in many cases populations are noticeable but not economical. Armyworms continue to be found in many cereal fields. In many fields they are noticeable but not economical, however some fields have had levels greater than the 4 or more larvae/ft2

Despite extensive planting of transgenic cotton that produces two toxins active against the cotton bollworm, use of insecticide against this voracious caterpillar pest has increased in the United States.

‘Pyramid’ approach to bug control may be too optimistic

Selection for resistance to one Bt toxin often causes cross-resistance to another

University of Arizona scientists say developers of transgenic insect-resistant crops may be a bit too optimistic about their success. Since 1996, more than a cumulative total of a billion acres worldwide have been planted with crops incorporating the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin to control rootworm and other pests. Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the

It can’t hurt a fly, but Swede midge larvae can unleash an orgy of destruction throughout the 
canola growing season.

Swede midge threat looms over Manitoba canola crops

A deceptively tiny bug can wreak non-stop havoc in canola

If you thought clubroot was scary, get ready for Swede midge — a voracious mosquito-like bug that can wreak havoc with your canola yields. First found in North America in 2000, and has appeared in low numbers in Manitoba in 2007 and 2013, said Julie Soroka, a Saskatoon-based entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “The


Noxious weed control to be strengthened in Manitoba

Keystone Agricultural Producers’ president Doug Chorney is anxious to see details on how the Manitoba government will better protect farmland from noxious weeds as part of its ban on cosmetic pesticides. “I am encouraged by that, but we want to make sure that is the case,” Chorney said July 3 in an interview. “It’s important

Is alfalfa weevil taking a bite out of your forage crop?

Researchers are working on an interactive map to help producers assess potential for weevil infestations

Many Saskatchewan forage growers dutifully waited for alfalfa to reach the 15 per cent bloom stage before cutting last year, but their patience went unrewarded. Thanks to the alfalfa weevil, a nasty little pest that has been gradually spreading across the southern Prairies since its arrival here in the 1950s, they were waiting for a