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Integrating the building blocks of agronomy into an integrated pest management system for wheat stem sawfly Open Access


Other title
Wheat stem sawfly
Integrated crop management
Cropping systems
Integrated pest management
Nitrogen management
Spring wheat
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Beres, Brian
Supervisor and department
Spaner, Dean M (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Dosdall, Lloyd M (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Yang, Rong-Cai (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Evenden, Maya L (Biological Sciences)
Shirtliffe, Steven (External Examiner, University of Saskatchewan)
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The wheat stem sawfly (Cephus cinctus Norton [Hymenoptera: Cephidae]) is a serious threat to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and other cereal grains in the northern Great Plains. Insecticides have proven ineffective for sawfly control and may be detrimental to beneficial insects. The management of wheat stem sawfly, therefore, requires the integration of host plant resistance, agronomic and biological control strategies. Recent studies in Alberta, Canada have assessed the response of wheat stem sawfly and its natural enemies to cultivar selection, residue management, seeding rates, fertility regimes, and harvest management. Solid-stemmed cultivars are usually agronomically superior to susceptible cultivars when sawflies are present. The stubble disturbance associated with residue management and direct-seeding in a continuous cropping system can reduce sawfly populations compared to a wheat-fallow system. Increased seeding rates can optimize yield, but an inverse relationship between pith expression (stem solidness) and higher seeding rates may occur. Positive yield responses are typically observed with N rates > 30 kg N ha-1, but increased insect stem cutting by sawfly occurs with higher N rates. Increasing cutter bar heights during combine harvest will conserve natural enemies, and chopping straw for improved residue management in the spring will not likely affect wheat stem sawfly parasitoids that overwinter in the straw. In summary, an integrated strategy to manage wheat stem sawfly consists of diligent pest surveillance, planting solid-stemmed cultivars, continuous cropping with appropriate pre-seed residue management, seeding rates no greater than 300 seeds m-2, 30 to 60 kg N ha-1, and harvest cutting heights of at least 15 cm to conserve parasitoids.
License granted by Brian Beres ( on 2011-09-23T17:38:08Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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