Table of contents

COVID-19 response

In this time of physical distancing, we ask that if you see survey workers working in your field or parked on the roadside, please maintain the 2 metres social distancing recommendation. This will help to keep us all safe as we work to support the agriculture industry in Alberta.

Overview

Quality assurance, market access and yield are key to the success of Alberta’s agriculture industry. Surveillance and monitoring for insects provides a key piece to this success by gathering information about established species populations and new invasive threats to the cropping industry. This information can play an important piece in support of pest related trade discussions.

This work helps us to understand insect populations and range expansion of the targeted insects so that industry can understand the risk and potential damage. The information gathered from pheromone traps, field insect collections and counts or damage assessment is used to create forecast maps and make control recommendations. The data from the surveys is used for more than just creating forecast maps though, it can be used to direct insect pest research priorities or researchers can use the collection of samples in their studies.

The Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network coordinates, manages and carries out 7 insect surveys province-wide in Alberta’s field crops to assess presence, abundance and impact to the agriculture industry. The Network also conducts smaller targeted surveys on new and emerging pests working with Universities, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The success of the network depends on its dedicated partners that assist with surveillance, including:

  • Agriculture fieldmen
  • Applied research associations
  • agronomists
  • producers
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry staff

Field surveillance program

Figures 1, 2, 3. (left to right) Bertha armyworm, diamondback moth and wheat midge traps

Photo of a bertha armyworm insect trap
Photo of a diamondback moth insect trap
Photo of a wheat midge insect trap

Each year a team of surveyors sets out to count, sweep net and soil sample to gather information for insect survey and population maps in Alberta.

Producers can sign up to participate in the annual surveys by signing up to allow access to their land. Every year surveyors are looking for pea fields in the spring to access damage for pea leaf weevil, and in the fall, after harvest, wheat fields as they sample soil for wheat midge or count cut wheat stems in the case of wheat stem sawfly. Producers can help by contacting us and giving permission to visit their fields.

We understand that entering a field comes with responsibilities. Surveyors respect that the integrity and biosecurity of each field is of very high importance. With this in mind, they take every precaution to ensure the foot wear and tools used in the surveillance program are clean and pest free. Surveyors wear boot covers when entering fields, and park on the approach to the field or road side. The Network takes this very seriously. All technicians and staff working for the entomology program are required to adhere strictly to this Field entry protocol (PDF, 397 KB).

View survey results

Table 1. Live feed map and annual survey results

How to get involved

Help us build a robust pest-monitoring system in Alberta:

  • Monitor for bertha armyworm, diamondback moth, cutworm or cabbage seedpod weevil in your fields, or
  • Volunteer a pea field
  • Volunteer a wheat field

Sign up for annual survey

Get involved with the annual insect count by signing up to allow surveyors access to your land. Producers who participate help build population maps of pest insects. They also receive the results of the fields visited. To sign up: Email: [email protected]

Report scouting results

Crop consultants and farmers can fill out the online submission forms below to report location and other details about suspected finds:

Capture and contact

If you see any of the invasive insects below, capture them in a container and freeze, and record where you captured them. Then contact us: Email: [email protected]

Table 2. Information resources for identifying crop and ornamental invasive species

Resources

Partner websites

Instructional videos

Contact

Connect with program staff:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]

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