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Look for wireworms when they start to make their way into your crop – RealAgriculture


With over 30 species of wire in the prairies, the chances of seeing some in the spring are quite high.

For the most part, this narrows down to the three main types of wireworms that seem to cause the most problems in our crops: bicolor, destructor and californium.

Lyle Jensen, an agronomist with AgroPlus Inc., says the destructor is usually the largest of the three, while the California and bicolor tend to be slightly smaller.

If you look for wire damage, Jensen says that before you start digging, you’ll look for mostly terrestrial symptoms.

“In wheat, it will usually either lie on the ground, or it will be wasted compared to others around it, or just dead and shrunken,” he explains. But where things get sticky, these are control options because in this situation it’s pretty hard to set thresholds.

“Before sowing, you probably spend a lot of time digging fruitlessly in the ground and don’t find much. So trying to predict what will happen in any field with wireworms is virtually impossible. So the only tool we really have to deal with is seed treatment. And traditionally we rely on neonics, ”says Jensen. “And they at best give you suppression for 30-35 days, just to allow the crop to go beyond the truly harmful stage of emergence before the wireworm starts eating again.” (The story continues under the video)

Obviously, when the plants come out of the ground, it is too late to process the seeds. Does that mean we don’t need to reconnoiter? No, because knowing what we have and keeping track of it can greatly help us move forward. One way to do this is to pay attention to the nutcracker population, the adult version of the wireworm.

“You can use traps for click beetles that dig into the soil. Beetles just seem to be killed in them and fall into the pit. And if you check them every week and count, you will be able to set a certain threshold for that area. And if the population is really high, you are likely to be at risk next year, ”says Jensen.

As for the final yield, the damage from the wire can be quite significant.

“They can be really devastating,” Jensen explains. “Over the years, I’ve found several fields where the population can sometimes be 6 to eight wires per foot of seed row, and this can reduce plant resilience by 60-80 percent or more. Every year, somewhere in the south of Alberta, there are fields that are replanted because of wire. “

Check out more Episodes of Wheat School are here.

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