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Crop Pest Update

Summary

Insects: Some foliar insecticide applications for flea beetles continue in all regions. Up to four foliar applications have been made in some canola fields, and some reseeding of canola has occurred because of flea beetle injury. Some are reporting that the earlier seeded canola seems to be impacted more by flea beetles. Cutworms are still being found, but there have been few reports of economic levels this year, compared to the past few years. Some sunflower fields were sprayed for cutworms. High populations of juvenile grasshoppers are being noticed in some areas. Lygus bugs are being noticed on alfalfa for seed and forage, but economic populations have not been reported. High levels of pea leaf weevils have been noticed on faba beans in the Northwest.

Diseases: It could be shaping up to be a year with significant disease pressure – thus far it’s been substantially wetter and cooler than at the same time last year. One agronomist working in south central Manitoba reports seeing “lots of tan spot and Septoria in winter wheat, moving up to flag leaves.” It is already time to begin considering the risks of foliar diseases and even Fusarium Head Blight. Read more detail on this in the Plant Pathology section.

Weeds: Seeding is wrapping up as Crop Insurance deadlines have passed, there is extreme variability across the province in terms of crop and weed staging. Earliest seeded cereals have received their herbicide application, as have some early canola fields. Corn and soybean are growing well and loving these hot days, first herbicide applications are being done. Weeds to watch are kochia, lambs quarters, round leaf mallow, buckwheat and red root pigweed. Barnyard grass and foxtails are really taking off with the recent heat. Weeds that we don’t normally see, like Canada fleabane, biennial wormwood, prostrate knotweed marsh yellow cress and purslane speedwell are showing up in fields across the province. Perennial weeds like Canada thistle, dandelion and quackgrass took advantage of ample moisture last fall and this spring and have grown extremely well.

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