We chatted with Scott Meers, Insect Management Specialist at Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and ask him questions about insects management. Check out the Q&A below. You can find Scott on Twitter @ABbugcounter.
Q: Which bugs are causing the most damage this growing season?
A: Early on we had lots of concerns with flea beetles eating canola, and we had quite a bit of damage with cutworms. Those have now run their course. Southern Alberta has lots of cabbage seedpod weevil this year, and we can expect lygus bugs later on – and grasshoppers, too.
Q: When does it make sense to start thinking about spraying given the current weather condition?
A: It is a rather difficult decision because your crops are under severe drought stress. Crops that are under stress from drought are less able to compensate for insect feeding. We don’t want to put more money into the crops, but the thresholds are fairly straightforward and will help you determine if it makes sense economically to spray.
Q: What would you advise farmers who are considering to spray?
A: Consider the insects numbers: Are they at or above the threshold? From there decide if the crops are worth to put more money into.
Q: What are some of the things farmers can do for the next growing season?
A: Generally I don’t recommend spraying this year for next year. The history of insect control shows that we don’t control the insect population, we protect crops. In preparation for next year…just make decisions based on whether this year’s crops need to be protected and consider the same thing next year.
Follow Scott Meers on Twitter