Latest News

True Armyworm 5. June 2018

During April and May, true armyworm moths may migrate from southern USA and Mexico on wind currents to parts of Southern Canada including B.C., Manitoba, and Ontario. True armyworm is not known to overwinter in Canada. True armyworm prefers grass crops such as cereals, pasture, grass hay and corn. However, under high populations, true armyworm larvae may also feed on broad leaf plants. Adults feed on flower nectar or other sweet sources. Young larvae will skeletonize grass foliage and eat small holes in leaves. From the third instar and older, larvae will devour entire leaves. Larvae will also sometimes feed on developing seed heads and corn tassels and ears. Once an area is sufficiently defoliated, larvae will move in a group to other grass stands to resume feeding. True armyworms can cause significant but often patchy crop damage in only a few days, and can cause rapid crop devastation when the larvae population is high. In southwest B.C., the first generation of larvae, feeding in June and July, can cause significant crop loss to grass hay and cereals. The second generation of larvae in August and September can be even more destructive, affecting both grass and corn crops. 2017 was the first year damage was recorded for this pest in B.C.

Cows are highly motivated to access a brush (2018)

When cows are allowed access to mechanical brushes they are cleaner and spend about five-fold more time grooming than when brushes are not available, suggesting that these brushes are important for the cow. To better estimate just how important access to an automated mechanical brush is to indoor-housed dairy cows, we conducted a study designed to test the motivation of dairy cows to access a mechanical brush.

PFCA Summer Student 2018

August 31, 2018 - As the forage season slowly comes to an end so do high level if pests. Corn root worm females are getting ready to start reproducing and laying eggs in the soil. These eggs will overwinter and be the start of next years populations. To prevent large populations in crops the following year, rotating crops or even switching varieties can help. Monitoring this years population was done to predict what next season would be like. All traps have been removed as some fields have began to harvest. During the monitoring season things such as weather conditions and temperature was seen to impact the numbers of specimens found. It is unclear if there is a connection at all.