Latest articles

Pea leaf weevil moves into new territory

Pea leaf weevils are on the move. Know what you can do about them

Pea leaf weevil numbers are on the rise. In fact, according to Scott Meers, an entomologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, they’re moving into areas where producers have no experience with them at all. “We’ve seen a major expansion in the past several years of pea leaf weevil, especially up the west side of central […] Read more

The new phone app for info on aphids

AAFC’s first smartphone app will help farmers scout and sample for aphids and their predators

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is testing a new aphid app in the field this summer, which should be widely available by next growing season. The cereal aphid app is the first smartphone app developed by AAFC, says Dr. Tyler Wist, a federal research scientist based in Saskatoon. It will guide cereal growers and agronomists […] Read more

Crop Advisor’s Casebook: Crop circles made by space invaders or salinity?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the March 7, 2017 issue of Grainews

Jim, a Fairview-area producer, dropped into our office for coffee one morning in early October last year. When he spotted me, he called me over, eager to show me some photos he had taken of one of his canola fields. Jim said he’d finished swathing the day before, and he found something unusual in this […] Read more

Crop Advisor’s Casebook: What caused this 80 per cent loss in canola?

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the February 21, 2017 issue of Grainews

Ken, a central Alberta producer who farms 2,000 acres of cereals and oilseeds, in addition to 150 head of cattle, called me after he discovered 80 per cent of the canola plants he’d seeded in one field were dead in the seed row. He thought the problem might be a sprayer issue, since a prominent […] Read more

Farmers facing mixed bag of conditions

Farmer Panel: Most farmers are on track for seeding, but many are dealing with last year’s crop

On schedule with one-third of the crop seeded, still about a week away, and scrambling to get some of last year’s crop harvested while working to get the 2017 crop in the ground — these are the range of reports from western Canadian farmers as of early May as they look at the cropping season […] Read more

Want better insect surveys? Here’s how you can help

Provincial entomologists are looking to widen their insect survey networks

Every year provincial entomologists hit the fields, setting pheromone-baited traps and monitoring insect activity. Your help with these projects could improve the information available in your region. Alberta Alberta Agriculture and Forestry insect management specialist Scott Meers relies on growers. “We have large areas to cover, so when we get input from growers and agronomists […] Read more

Use those fusarium maps

Know your risk: fusarium maps offer another metric for spraying decisions

What if farmers could predict Mother Nature’s moods in the growing season? The idea is becoming less and less far-fetched with advances that help producers put a number on disease risk. But fusarium head blight (FHB) risk assessment maps are only one factor among many influencing spraying decisions. FHB risk assessment maps have been available […] Read more

Midge scouting in canola

Scouting is an important component of management. If you don’t know what’s in your field, you can’t evaluate what control measures to use. Yearly scouting is needed to assess what pests exist in fields, as populations don’t always remain constant. For example, in 2016 there were higher counts of cutworm but lower incidence of Bertha […] Read more

Add a refuge to your soft white wheat

SeCan asks Prairie soft white wheat growers to protect midge-tolerant technology

It was a great day for wheat growers when breeders first transferred the Sm1 gene from varieties of soft red winter wheat into spring wheat. Commercial midge-tolerant spring wheat varieties launched in 2010. But, as they state on the Midge Tolerant Wheat website (, “there is no Plan B.” To keep wheat midge populations from […] Read more

Want to know which bugs are in your field? Try traps

Trapping beneficial beetles can help you see just what’s living on your land

Wondering what types of beneficial insects you have beetling around your fields? Try a ground trap. “It’s nice to know that you’ve got some good guys in there that are eating the bad guys,” said Patty Reid, a research tech with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. There isn’t an economic threshold for beneficial insects such as […] Read more