Wheat Midge Forecast Risk
The Saskatchewan Wheat Midge Forecast Map for 2017 indicates high risk areas across the province. Higher populations are noted in eastern regions and west of Prince Albert. There are pockets of risk throughout central regions but of special note is the southwest. This region is drier in most years and less at risk to wheat midge.
Although the 2016 growing season started warm and very dry for much of the Province, wetter, humid conditions later in the spring and into the summer, favoured wheat midge in most areas.
In areas indicating levels greater than 1,200 midge per square metre on the map, producers planning to grow conventional spring wheat as part of their crop rotation are advised to include the cost of insecticide application in their 2017 budget. Keep in mind that areas of infestation indicating over 600 wheat midge per square metre on the wheat midge map may still result in significant damage and yield loss, especially if environmental conditions are favorable for the wheat midge. The intention of the forecast is to provide a regional representation of wheat midge populations present in the fall of 2016. There are a limited number of fields sampled; 423 samples were used to produce the 2017 risk map.
There are options for managing wheat midge. If spring wheat is planned as part of a rotation, there are midge tolerant wheat varieties available as varietal blends (VB). For 2017, varietal blends are available in CWRS, CWES, CPSR and CWAD (durum) wheat classes. Visit The Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Team's website for information on midge tolerant wheat and varietal blends. Also refer to the 2017 Saskatchewan Seed Guide for information.
Crop rotation to a non-host crop can also be considered. Since spring wheat is the primary host for wheat midge, planting a non-susceptible cereal crop (e.g. oats, barley) or a broadleaf crop (e.g. canola, pulse) is an option.
To determine midge populations and, if necessary, timing of an insecticide application, growers are urged to monitor conventional wheat fields during the susceptible period (when the wheat head becomes visible as the boot splits until mid-flowering (anthesis)). Regular field scouting on successive nights is important to understand wheat midge population changes in a particular field. Temperature and wind conditions significantly influence egg-laying by the adult female midge. High temperatures and high winds tend to reduce activity of egg-laying female midge.
Download the 2017 forecast map