Home Crop Monitoring Pests & Predators, Ep 9: Secret agents in the stubble

Pests & Predators, Ep 9: Secret agents in the stubble


There are secret, mysterious agents lurking in crop stubble. However, don’t have any concern, they’re in your facet.

Many are conversant in wheat midge and the injury the insect may cause, however you is likely to be much less conversant in the parasitoid that assaults this crop pest.

Host Shaun Haney is joined by Jennifer Otani, pest administration biologist with Agriculture and Agri-Meals Canada, at Beaverlodge, Alta., for this chat on wheat midge and its parasitoid in this newest Pests & Predators podcast episode.

Wheat midge on a head (AAFC/Equipped)

Throughout routine canola surveys in the Peace River Area beginning in 2013, together with floor wheat stubble beneath canola, Otani and her group discovered a whole lot of very small parasitoid wasps. Otani’s suspicions had been confirmed after sending the wasps away to Ottawa: they had been Macroglenes penetrans.

“This is a very effective parasitoid wasp, that was actually introduced in Saskatchewan in the 80s, to actually combat wheat midge,” says Otani. This parasitoid wasp could be very host particular and can assault wheat midge by laying its egg inside the wheat midge egg, in order that when the wheat midge hatches and develops, the parasitoid is inside the growing wheat midge larvae.

Otani explains that wheat midge overwinter in cocoons, that enclose final yr’s larvae and comprise the parasitoid wasp, for the applicable spring situations to emerge.

“When we did our annual canola sweeps, and when we were in fields that had wheat stubble, we found some huge numbers of Macroglenes penetrans,” says Otani. “What we very much suspect is happening is that they’re actually up on the flowering canola, feeding on nectar and maybe pollen — and that’s very typical for our parasitoid wasps — they’re possible even mating, and from that point they then disperse to find the wheat fields and the wheat midge.”

For growers in the Peace River area, it means a viable useful parasitoid of wheat midge that Otani and her group are constantly seeing in the space. Macroglenes penetrans are very small, about 1.0 to 1.5 mm lengthy, however one key strategy to determine the ranges of parasitism is thru the Alberta Agriculture coordinated soil core survey, says Otani, which offers the knowledge for forecasting maps of wheat midge.

Macroglenes penetrans (AAFC/Equipped)

Otani advises growers to function on the assumption that in the event that they’ve had wheat midge in their wheat in the previous, they could have some ranges of the parasitoid wasp.

A wheat midge tolerant number of wheat isn’t utterly proof against wheat midge, it is going to nonetheless enable a small variety of the pest to determine on the blended cultivar. What little inhabitants of wheat midge that establishes, will turn into a goal of the parasitoid, which has been a confirmed administration plan in Saskatchewan, says Otani.

The wheat midge forecast maps for this coming yr for Alberta and Saskatchewan present some purple areas, which isn’t nice information however as Otani says, rather a lot can occur in the spring to have an effect on these wheat midge cocoons. The monitoring maps, primarily based on pheremone lure knowledge that come out later in the season will give up-to-date data.


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