GFM Network News


This photo shows just three of the several different species of wireworm thriving on the Prairies.

Wily wireworm remains a mystery

Lack of effective control allows pest to flourish

Dallas Leduc says he hasn’t noticed any particular yield losses he can blame on wireworm damage in crops on his southern Saskatchewan, grain, oilseed and pulse crop operation, but then for many years they’ve also made a point of using recommended seed treatments as well. “The pest is out there and we may have the […] Read more

If there are high levels of cutworms in your fields, control them before they do a lot of damage.

Dealing with soybean aphids and cutworms

Hot, dry summer weather can bring soybean aphids into your fields


Soybean aphids tend to come along with hot, dry weather, says Cassandra Tkachuk, production specialist for Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers (MPSG). “Moist conditions mean fungal pathogens can help take down populations of soybean aphid. Hot, dry conditions are conducive to them reproducing rapidly.” While this year’s harvest weather wasn’t hot and dry in most […] Read more


Wireworm: hard to control and on the rise

Without Lindane, there’s very little that cereal growers can do to control this pest

Wireworms ruin many cereal crops, and they’ve been on the rise since the federal government banned lindane for use as a pesticide in 2004. Lindane killed the bugs outright says Dr. Bob Vernon, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), and since its banning “there is really nothing that will kill them.” “Wireworms […] Read more

Watch for wireworms in potatoes

If wireworm is not on Prairie potato growers' radar yet, it will be in the near future

According to Bob Vernon, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Agassiz, B.C., since the organophochlorine pesticide Lindane was banned in Canada in 2004, followed by the organophosphate insecticide Thimet last year, populations of wireworm have been slowing in some areas and “booming” in others. Vernon was in Brandon, Man., to present a […] Read more


Young larvae are pale white in colour, whereas older wireworms are brown, tan or copper in colour. They are hard-bodied, segmented and slender, and measure from one to four centimetres when mature. Wireworms have three pairs of legs behind the head and the last abdominal section is flattened and notched. Approximately 30 economic species can be found across Canada.

Lack of crop growth may be due to an insect, not a seeder miss

When you’re checking for pests, this insect’s wily ways could give you the slip

For Scott Hartley, an insect pest management specialist at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, it’s an all-too-familiar story. A producer notices areas in the field where growth is slow, plants are dying back or missing altogether. The damage is often put down to a seeder miss or poor germination, poor nutrition or environmental conditions, or […] Read more

Detecting wireworms on your farm

Using bait can help you get a better estimate of the scope of your wireworm problem. Making a bait ball For one ball: Mix one to 1-1/2 cups of oatmeal or wheat flour with two tablespoons of honey and up to 1/2 cup of water to form a ball Tie up ball in a mesh […] Read more


If there's more than 25 per cent feeding damage after the canola crop has been planted for at least three weeks, an insecticide application could be economic.

Later canola seeding could mean less flea beetle damage

In addition to flea beetles, farmers should be scouting for cutworms, wireworms and grasshoppers

Flea beetles are munching on Manitoba canola crops but a provincial entomologist says the damage may look worse than it is. If there’s more than 25 per cent feeding damage after the canola crop has been planted for at least three weeks, an insecticide application could be economic, John Gavloski said in a Manitoba Agriculture, […] Read more