Field scouting is critical - it enables the identification of potential risks to crops. Field crop production systems across the Canadian prairies will suffer insect pest outbreaks. However, the identification of these insect pests PLUS the application of established monitoring methods will enable growers to make informed pest management decisions.
For 2017, we offer TWO generalized insect pest scouting charts to aid in-field scouting on the Canadian prairies:
1. CANOLA INSECT SCOUTING CHART
2. A NEW FLAX INSECT SCOUTING CHART
These charts feature hyperlinks directing growers to downloadable PDF pages within the "Field crop and forage pests and their natural enemies in western Canada: Identification and management field guide".
Growers can access biological information about the pest and its natural enemies, the type of damage it causes, how to monitor, and what pest management strategies might apply to help protect yield and quality (Fig. 1).
Whenever possible, monitor and compare pest densities to established economic or action thresholds to protect and preserve pollinators and beneficial arthropods. Economic thresholds, by definition, help growers avoid crop losses related to outbreaking insect pest species.
Good luck with your scouting!
Figure 1. Example of Bertha armyworm pages from the above field guide: