Insect Update

Insect Update

Between New Year and today (before we went into the deep freeze) I was starting to see some insect population build up.

In the canola crop, in some fields, the diamond back moth larvae was reaching a point where applying an insecticide to control them was probably good management. There does not seem to be an actual threshold for this insect in winter canola, but the danger is not what they do to the leaf area, but when they go to the “bud” or growing point. The leaves we see on the canola at this time of year are have basically done their job and will not be the leaves used to grow the plant in the spring…..but we need that “bud” or crown of the plant to start over for spring growth, and if they are damaged by the worm we will see yield reduction. I saw a lot of canola the last 2 weeks and not all fields are threatened, but some are, so check your fields.

In the wheat crop I was starting to find in the larger wheat, a population of aphids. Most of these aphids were the bird cherry oat aphid, which is a black aphid that simply desiccates the host plant (sucks moisture out of it). During a normal year wheat can handle a fairly large population of BCO aphids but unfortunately we are getting dry. I have had several questions about aphids in wheat specifically because it was getting dry and I am just now starting to see the population build up. Where you see BCO aphids you often see green bug aphids and I did see some but not at economic thresholds. Long story short, none of us wants a bug run, but if it continues to be dry we may need to consider insecticide on the wheat.

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