Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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A New Program To Monitor European Corn Borer Across Canada

By James Tansey, PhD AA., Provincial Insect and Pest Management Specialist

European corn borer
Mature ECB larva. Photo: OMAFRA

Although corn is a relatively small acreage crop in Saskatchewan, it is growing in importance and monitoring of important pests is needed. European corn borer (ECB) is among the important pests of corn in North America. Although corn is a preferred host, ECB larvae also feed on potatoes, quinoa, hemp, cannabis, hops, millet, apples and several other species.

Bt corn has been vital to the protection of this crop in eastern Canada. However, ECB resistance to Cry1F corn in Nova Scotia has recently been detected and increased the need to monitor this pest across Canada.

The Ministry of Agriculture participates in the Surveillance Working Group of the Canadian Plant Health Council (CPHC-SWG). This group has developed a harmonized monitoring protocol for European corn borer. This protocol can be used to report ECB eggs, larvae or damage in any host crop across Canada. With the increased importance of alternate hosts in Saskatchewan, we have an opportunity to stay on top of this pest and coordinate with other Canadian jurisdictions in a way that allows direct comparison of populations in most crops.

The protocol can be used to report ECB eggs, larvae or damage in any host crop across Canada. This harmonized protocol has been designed to complement protocols that are already in use to make management decisions in order to generate data to compare ECB presence across all of Canada and across all host crops.

CPHC-SWG is looking to monitor ECB from July to harvest. Whether you are scouting corn, quinoa, hemp, potatoes, apples or other crops susceptible to ECB, we encourage you to try the harmonized monitoring protocol and report the data from your field or research plots using the free Survey123 app, which is available for both desktop and mobile devices.

You do not need a login to use the survey. Simply download the Survey123 app and click on the third option "continue without logging in" once on the login screen. A hardcopy version to take out to the field before entering it into Survey123 is available in English and French.

At the end of the growing season, maps will be made available on ministry and Prairie Pest Monitoring Network websites. Data will be used to answer questions about preferred host crops of European corn borer in Canada and its distribution and relative abundance.

Contact Dr. James Tansey, Ministry of Agriculture at james.tansey@gov.sk.ca with questions or for a printable version of the protocol.

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