Dry weather keeps insects and plant diseases in check


Farmscape for August 20, 2018

Shannon Friesen – Saskatchewan Agriculture


Full Interview 6:16 Listen

Saskatchewan Agriculture reports the dry weather that’s taken a toll on crop yields across the province has also kept problems with insects and plant diseases in check. Topsoil as well as subsurface moisture reserves have continued to deteriorate on a weekly basis in most of Saskatchewan over the past couple of months. Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly crop report, released Thursday, rates topsoil moisture on cropland as 31 percent adequate, 44 percent short and 25 percent very short with subsurface moisture continuing to diminish. Shannon Friesen, a Crops Extensions Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture, reports, with four percent of the crop combined and nine percent swathed or straight cut, yields range from average to well below average but quality is good.

Clip-Shannon Friesen-Saskatchewan Agriculture:
We certainly have less insect and disease issues than we normally would expect. We’ve had lower numbers of insects like grasshoppers and bertha armyworms, wheat midge and those sorts of things. We’ve always had trouble in the spring time with cutworms and flea beetles but we really haven’t seen a lot this summer and fall. In terms of diseases as well, it’s just really been too dry for a lot of those to thrive. While we do have some pockets that have sclerotinia and we’ve heard a few reports of fusarium head blight as well, certainly those numbers are down. Last year, again, we had very low issues with those but in 2016, even 2015 and previous years we did see a lot of disease out there. While it has been lessened, we still always are on alert for issues such as blackleg in canola and even clubroot.

Friesen says, with harvest underway, even though we still desperately need the rain, as long as the weather remains dry, hopefully we can get the rest of the crop off in good quality.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork