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2022 Wheat Midge Outlook looks good

Farmers are busy scouting and spraying for weeds, insects, and disease. 

Dr Tyler Wist, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says for the most part the 2022 wheat midge outlook looks good across the Prairie.

"Through May, we usually look for about 25 millimeters of rain and that kick starts the development of the wheat midge larvae in  the ground.  If they don't get that they'll stay in the ground, they don't come out and don't attack the wheat heads that year."

For wheat the most susceptible stage for wheat midge is when the boot splits, up until about anthesis.

He says producers will want to start monitoring for wheat midge emergence during the last week in June, and the first week in July.

"If you've got an average of one (wheat midge) on those five heads, you're at your yield threshold. Now, if you're at an average of one on 10 heads, that's your grade threshold. Why we look at that is when you take your grain to the elevator, you can get downgraded in grade if you have too much wheat midge damage to your seeds.  So one in 10 heads will help you maintain that number one grade, I imagine you're looking for."

He notes based on the latest data a couple of areas around Camrose, Alberta and the North Central region in Saskatchewan could see some wheat midge activity.

Wist says producers will want to keep a close eye on the economic threshold for wheat midge, so they don't miss their spray opportunity.

"If you've got an average of one on five heads, you're at your yield threshold. Now, if you're at an average of one on ten heads, that's your grade threshold. Why we look at that is when you take your grain to the elevator, you can get downgraded in grade if you have too much wheat midge damage to your seeds. So one in ten heads will help you maintain that number one grades that I imagine you're looking for."

He notes farmers will want to spray as soon as you hit that economic threshold, any later than that, and you risk damaging the parasitic wasps that can help reduce the midge populations.

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