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Pest monitoring in Saskatchewan: Why it is important and how you can get involved

The Government of Saskatchewan and its partners monitor for crop pests, including insects, diseases and weeds because:

  • Crop pests hurt the bottom line of growers.
  • Pest monitoring programs provide valuable information and are used to create forecast maps, guide research decisions, detect and track new or emerging pests, and support management decisions.

We need your help to build a robust pest-monitoring system.

  • Please sign up to allow us access to your land to continue this valuable work and continue to provide you with valuable and timely information on these pests.
  • Your help is much appreciated by us and the entire growing community in Saskatchewan.
  • To participate, sign up via our online form. It will only take a minute or two.

Why we monitor for crop pests

Insects, diseases and weeds can hurt yields and quality. To understand the risks and potential damage associated with these pests, the Ministry of Agriculture and its partners monitor the presence, abundance and impact of important crop pests in Saskatchewan. The ministry also employs the assistance of contractors and volunteers to conduct this work.

We use this information to build forecast maps and make recommendations for control. This information is freely available and can be used by growers to make informed seed purchase and pest management decisions. Pest surveys also enable early detection of pest issues. Several of our most important pests of field crops in Saskatchewan are invasive. This means that the locations where these organisms are found can expand quickly. Monitoring the spread of invasive pests is extremely valuable; this information allows producers and industry to be proactive and potentially prevent spread and exert control where and when it's needed. This network also keeps an eye out for new and emerging pests.

Information gathered during pest surveys is also used in many other ways, such as providing information to support pest-related trade discussions. The data is archived and used as a reference to see historical trends that can be used to guide research initiatives or identify changes in pest pressure. Pest-related research is also supported through pest surveys via the collection of samples used by researchers in studies.

Pests we monitor for

Saskatchewan has a robust pest monitoring network that allows us to effectively monitor pest levels and damage in crops across the province.

The following diseases are assessed:

  • Flax diseases
  • Cereal diseases
  • Lentil diseases
  • Field pea diseases
  • Faba bean diseases
  • Dry bean diseases
  • Canola diseases including verticillium stripe, blackleg and clubroot

Monitoring programs include the following important insect pests:

  • Cabbage seedpod weevil
  • Pea leaf weevil
  • Wheat midge
  • Grasshoppers
  • Bertha armyworm
  • Diamondback moth
  • Root maggot
  • Swede midge
  • Canola flower midge
  • Wheat stem sawfly
  • Spotted wing Drosophila
  • Apple curculio
  • Japanese beetle
  • Strawberry blossom weevil

Weed monitoring programs include assessing changes in abundance, frequency and herbicide-resistance status of all weed species.

Agencies that monitor for pests in Saskatchewan

The Ministry of Agriculture collaborates with many partners to make pest monitoring in Saskatchewan possible. These partners include Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Saskatchewan, grower groups, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, and contractors and volunteers. All partners are experienced with pest identification and follow strict biosecurity protocols to prevent the introduction of crop pests when working in producers' fields.

All producer identification, land location and contact information is only used for the purpose of contacting producers and is kept confidential. It is not shared outside of the network.

How you can get involved

The Ministry of Agriculture is adopting a permission-based survey system. This means that we need the help of growers to get this important work done. We are requesting that you sign up to allow us access to your land so that we can conduct this monitoring.

Please fill in your name, email, the best phone number to reach you during the day and your rural municipality via our online form.

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