Prairie Swede Midge Update

July 28, 2014

Since being found in Ontario in 2000, swede midge has had a rather hasty spread, with adults being found as early as 2007 in some areas in Saskatchewan. Until the past couple of years, however, western Canadian farmers reported finding few symptoms of swede midge damage, which can include anything from fused flower petals to a “witch’s broom” appearance of the main stem. The severity of yield loss depends largely on insect numbers and what stage the crop is at when affected. Swede midge can be devastating to pre-bolting canola, but cause little damage to crops in full flower. Areas in Ontario under high pressure of the midge have essentially stopped growing canola because of this pest.

Learn More: Scouting, life cycle and control of swede midge

This year, pheromone traps are providing surveillance across the western provinces and in this video, Julie Soroka, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provides an update on the numbers of swede midge being found in these traps. Soroka also discusses ways to manage crops to avoid swede midge damage, adding that the surveillance project will continue into next year.

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