As canola moves into flower, farmers are doing a great job scouting, scouting and doing more scouting. If you’re like most farmers, though, seeing insects immediately raises a red flag. While, yes, there are several pest species of note in the canola crop, not everything that moves or crawls on the crop is a pest. What’s more, taking action with an insecticide without a full investigation into species present and risk of damage, isn’t just a waste of money, it’s a significant risk to the beneficial insect population in the crop.
“We think of action thresholds as the number,” says Ken Fry, Olds College entomologist. “It shouldn’t be considered that static.”
Instead, Fry advises, the action threshold is a sliding scale that depends on a full assessment of the situation. Financial analysis, environmental conditions, crop health and beneficial populations should all be considered before deciding to act on pest population numbers.
In this video, Fry speaks to the importance of beneficial insects in pest management, provides tips for increasing beneficial insect populations and shows a sweet video of a ground beetle devouring a cabbage looper larvae.
Canola School videos are produced by Real Agriculture.