Canola School: A surprising mid-season pest update

Some pests like it dry, some like it warm, and some need it windy to get where they want to go. And sometimes insect pests can surprise you and not nearly be as bad as anticipated.

That’s the story of the summer of 2018 — so far — according to Alberta Agriculture insect specialist, Scott Meers.

Shaun Haney caught up with Meers at the recent Crop Walk event hosted by Alberta Canola Director Kevin Serfas on the Serfas farm just north of Turin, Alta. Meers and Haney discussed what’s showing up in sweep nets, what farmers should be on the watch for in their canola fields, and what, if anything, is surprising for this season.

In this Canola School episode, Meers explains that cabbage seedpod weevil did reach threshold in some areas, however spraying was limited. The harsh winter may have pulled the numbers down. Dry weather can have an impact as well, but this is likely winter related, Meers says.

In regards to wind-borne diamondback moth, Meers says there just wan’t a big flight this year. That, combined with high numbers of parasitic species in sweeps, means that farmers don’t likely need to worry too much about this pest this year.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this year’s pest survey was that lygus — which typically sees a build up in dry years — has remained at a lower level than anticipated.

Watch below and hear more about what canola growers should be watching for in their fields.