It’s that time of year again when farmers will want to be out scouting fields for wheat midge and other insects.
A good way to check if it is actually wheat midge is to grease up a white paper plate and swipe it through the wheat heads to get a better look.
Barb Thick, a Professional Agrologist says they are starting to see signs now.
She said wheat heads are most susceptible during heading stage, as soon as it starts to emerge from the boot, until early flowering.
"The most susceptible time is when the wheat is just starting to head out, right up until early flowering," Thick said. "Grease up a white plate and swipe it through the heads there just to catch a few and have a look. Because there are other beneficials and other orange insects out there that can look like wheat midges but aren't always. So just be sure that the insect you're scouting for is actually what you're seeing before you head out there and spray."
Reports show that headlands and low lying areas may have higher infestation levels, and along fields margins beside where wheat was grown in previous years.
"Most people are familiar with the damage the wheat midge can cause, with grading losses and yield loss," said Thick. "The threshold is about one midge per eight to 10 head for optimum grade. And then it goes down to one midge for four to five head for up to a 15-percent yield loss."