Insect update: Cutworm collection, insect traps

Traps: Diamondback moth and aster leafhopper counts in traps are very low at this stage of the season.

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Source: Prairie Pest Monitoring Network
Cutworm cycles by species. Source: Prairie Pest Monitoring Network

Dingy cutworms. Source: John Gavloski, MAFRD

Collect cutworm samples. Cutworm activity has been light so far this year, with a few fields sprayed across the Prairies. We do expect to hear of more cases as crops start to emerge and feeding patches start to show up. Keep an eye out as many cutworm species will feed on canola, and each has its own cycle — as the table shows.  Cutworms can feed well into July. While digging around for cutworms, collect them and send them into the survey.

The Canola Council of Canada, provincial canola growers associations, and researchers, agronomists, and growers across the Prairie Provinces have recognized there is much we don’t know about the identification, biology, and management of cutworms. This is the second year of a 4-year cutworm research program through the Canola Agronomic Research Program (CARP) that aims to develop better decision-making tools and management practices for agronomists and growers in western Canada.

Your participation is essential to the success of this research. First, we need cutworm reports. Fields with cutworm populations, whether they have been sprayed or not, can be reported to the contacts for your province, shown below. Second, we need cutworm samples. Read this letter for collection techniques: Cutworm Letter 2013 final draft

Samples collected by growers, agronomists, or crop consultants can be dropped off at or shipped priority mail (NO collect shipping) to:

Attn: Barb Sharanowski
University of Manitoba
Dept. of Entomology
12 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Phone: 204-474-7485

Attn: Scott Hartley
Cutworm Survey
Crop Protection Lab
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
346 MacDonald St.
Regina, SK S4N 6P6
Phone: 306-787-8130

In Alberta and British Columbia, the best option is to contact your regional person (see below) and request that they come out to collect samples before a field is sprayed for cutworm. Outbreaks can also be reported at the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network. If this is not possible, samples may be collected by the grower and dropped off at or shipped priority mail (NO collect shipping) to:

Northern Alberta and B.C. (Peace River region):
Attn: Jennifer Otani
#1 Research Station Road
Beaverlodge Research Farm
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Beaverlodge, AB T0H 0C0
Phone: 780-354-5132

Central Alberta:
Attn: Jim Broatch or Patty Reid
Lacombe Research Centre
6000 C & E Trail
Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1
Phone: 403-396-2535 (Jim) or 403-782-8619 (Patty)
Email: or

Southern Alberta:
Attn: Jeremy Hummel
4101 22 Ave S
Lethbridge, AB T1K 4Y3
Phone: 403-320-3202 ext. 5347