Welcome to the Prairie Giants Crop Report! We’ll be breaking down our observations from the field into a concise, semi-regular report.
Cereal Leaf Beetles
Cereal leaf beetles, as their name suggests, are found in several cereal crops including oats, barley and wheat. Adults overwinter, emerging in the spring to lay 50 – 275 eggs on the upper leaf surface. Larvae, once hatched, proceed to feed on the leaf for 2 – 3 weeks until they pupate.
Larval feeding results in a “window pane” effect, as pictured. Although rare, yield can be affected if the flag leaf is stripped. Larvae are 4 – 5 mm long, with a round body and covered in faecal matter. Adults also feed on the leaves, but often do not cause economic injury.
Did you know there is a parasitoid, Tetrastichus julis, that helps to control cereal leaf beetles? Thank goodness for good insects!!
Wheat Stem Maggots
Have you ever seen white heads in your still green wheat crop? This is due to wheat stem maggots! Eggs are laid on leaves near the stem, hatching into larvae which feed inside the stem killing it and the head above.
Little of the crop tends to be affected, 1 – 5 %, so no measures need to be taken!
Check out this great resource for more information: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2018/aac-aafc/A59-23-2018-eng.pdf