CROP CHECKUP: Diamondbacks a season-long threat in Alta.

In his weekly report on Call of the Land, crop pest specialist Scott Meers says flea beetles have been spotted in several areas of the province, and that some spraying has begun.

Meers, an insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development at Brooks, also says "relatively large numbers" of diamondback moths have been trapped, with one report in central Alberta of diamondback larvae attacking canola seedlings.

While the damage is probably not serious, "the warning is that you have to be aware if your canola seems to be going backward, to make sure it’s not diamondback moth larvae feeding on your cotyledon-stage canola."

Meers says there has been a "fairly substantial" number of diamondbacks caught in traps during the early flight. "We’re going to be dealing with the risks of diamondback probably through the entire season because of that early flight," Meers says.

Bertha armyworm traps will be placed in southern Alberta next week and in the rest of the province the week after. Bertha maps will be updated continually on AARD’s website.

Meers says that "not a lot" of cutworms and some wireworms have been reported. "Make sure your establishment is good, and if patchy, to investigate why and make sure it’s not cutworms, which actually you can do something about."

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