To coordinate insect surveillance programs prairie-wide that are designed to keep the Canadian agriculture industry informed of the risks to crop production from pest species and to highlight and conserve their natural enemies in field crops.
Provincial and industry collaborators, together with project team members, monitored 3,047 sites for grasshoppers, 733 for wheat midge, 597 for cabbage seedpod weevil, 635 for bertha armyworm, 471 sites for pea leaf weevil, and 102 for wheat stem sawfly. In addition, sentinel sites were monitored for flea beetles, swede midge, Contarinia brassicola (a newly discovered species of midge attacking canola flowers), and cereal leaf beetle. The potential for migratory pest species, such as diamondback moth and leafhoppers and cereal rusts, was assessed using wind trajectory data. Over the course of this project, insect pests of field crops in western Canada fell into three categories: (i) native insects such as grasshoppers (all crops), wheat stem sawfly (cereals), lygus (broadleaf crops); (ii) invasive alien species such as wheat midge (wheat and triticales), cereal leaf beetle (all cereals), cabbage seedpod weevil (canola) and pea leaf weevil (pulse crops); and (iii) migratory insect pests such as diamondback moth (canola) and leaf hoppers (transmission of Aster Yellows to all crops). Timely risk warnings, provided in map format and accompanied with interpretive text, were produced for the industry. Project resources were leveraged to provide early warning of potential new invasive species for Canada and quantify risks associated with these invasions. In all years of the project, emphasis was placed on documenting natural enemy populations.