Are cereal aphids damaging your crops? There's now an app for that: Cereal Aphid Manager (CAM)
Aphids can cause significant damage to fields and increase crop losses, but just because aphids are present in a grain field doesn’t mean they will have a negative economic impact on production. This is especially true if there are aphid’s natural enemies (beneficial insects) in the field to keep them under control.
The Cereal Aphid Manager is an easy-to-use mobile app that helps farmers and crop advisors control aphid populations in wheat, barley, oat or rye. It is based on Dr. Tyler Wist's (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Field Crop Entomologist) innovative Dynamic Action Threshold model. The model treats the grain field as an ecosystem and takes into account many complex biological interactions including:
the number of aphids observed and how quickly they reproduce
the number of different natural enemies of aphids in the field and how many aphids they eat or parasitize per day
the lifecycles of aphids and their enemies taking into account developmental stages, egg laying behaviour, population growth rate, lifespan, etc.
By taking into consideration factors like these, the app predicts what the aphid population will be in seven days and the best time to apply insecticide based on economic thresholds.
Note: Cereal aphids can blow up from the South at any time which cannot be predicted by the app. Therefore, farmers and crop advisors should regularly check fields during the growing season regardless of what Cereal Aphid Manager Mobile may recommend.