Insect technologists with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and applied research associations are about to do their biggest surveys of the year, and they are looking for wheat producers to volunteer the use of their harvested fields.
Technicians need 340 wheat fields to survey for wheat midge. For this survey, technicians will take about one litre of soil from a harvested wheat field. They will take the sample back to Brooks where they will look at the viability of the midge and see if there are any parasitoids present. This data will be incorporated into the wheat midge forecast map that comes out at the beginning of December. Participating producers will receive a report of the midge numbers in their field at no charge.
The wheat stem sawfly survey is targeting dryer areas in the southern part of the province. Technicians are looking for 125 dryland fields from Highway 12 south and east of Highway 2. The sawfly survey is conducted by counting the wheat stems in four, 1-metre spots along the headland. Technicians will also count the number of cut stems. A percentage of stems cut is the data that will be presented in the wheat stem sawfly map that will also come out the beginning of December.
For timely and accurate insect management information and resources, go to the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network.
To participate in these surveys, connect with Shelley Barkley, insect research technologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry: