Wheat Midge Forecast Risk
The 2016 Wheat Midge Forecast map indicates high risk for wheat midge infestations, primarily in eastern Saskatchewan. Most notably in the southeast an area of high risk extends north, into the East Central Region of the province. Pockets of moderate to high risk were also identified in the area extending from south of Prince Albert and north of Rural Municipalities 250 and 251.
In Saskatchewan dry conditions in the spring and early summer in 2015 in many areas affected wheat midge emergence. Dry conditions and late emergence of adult wheat midge may not coincide with susceptible stages of wheat crops. Many drier areas indicate lower risk from this pest for 2016.
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 favourable for wheat midge. In areas indicating levels greater than 1,200 midge per square metre, producers planning to grow conventional spring wheat as part of their crop rotation are advised to include the cost of insecticide application in their 2016 budget.
If spring wheat is planned as part of a rotation, there are midge tolerant wheat varieties available as varietal blends (VB). For 2016 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 Saskatchewan Seed Guide for information.
Crop rotation to a non-host crop should be considered to manage wheat midge. 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 multiple nights in succession 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.