Development of Pest Management Decision-making Protocols for the Swede Midge in Canola

Agronomy Research  Insects 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Rebecca H. Hallett - University of Guelph
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, Canola Council of Canada, Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Research Objective

  • To evaluate insecticide efficacy and timing of insecticide applications for reducing swede midge damage in spring canola 
  • To evaluate the use of pheromone-based action thresholds in determining the timing of insecticide applications against the swede midge 
  • To develop decision-making protocols for the timing of insecticide applications against the swede midge, based on crop stage and/or pheromone-based action thresholds 

Project Description

The Swede Midge (SM) is an invasive fly that has become one of the most important pest species for canola growers in Ontario, since its discovery in 2000. Controlling SM can be challenging due to the cryptic feeding habits of damage-causing larvae, their short residency on host plants, and the delayed onset of damage symptoms. Canola crops can experience high pressure throughout the growing season due to the four overlapping generations of SM in Ontario. SM feed on young, fast growing tissue, meaning that canola is susceptible to damage through several growth stages. Therefore, using canola growth stage to time insecticide applications may be an effective method for reducing damage by SM larvae. Due to their short residency on host plants, further refinement of insecticide application could result in greater larval mortality. 

This research will enhance current integrated pest management systems in canola through development of pest management recommendations for the timing of insecticide applications based on pheromone-based action thresholds. This project will increase capacity in the canola sector to address an invasive species that is increasingly problematic in canola and will lead to information and tools that will help maximize canola productivity. To view the results, click on the FULL REPORT link above.

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