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A New Canola Pest Has Made its Way to Fields in North Dakota

A new canola pest has been found in canola fields in northern North Dakota. The canola flower midge, or Contarinia brassicola, has been found in survey traps by North Dakota State University Extension.

The canola flower midge, whose larvae can injure developing canola plantscausing swelling that prevents the flower from opening and producing pods or seeds, had previously only been found in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. The extension team had acquired 10 pheromone traps from Canada to scout for the midge for the first time in 2020. At the conclusion of the survey, six of the 10 traps, located across the five counties of Bottineau, Cavalier, Pembina, Towner, and Walsh, were positive for canola flower midge.

Extension entomologist and professor Janet Knodel stated that infestations appear to be worst on the edges of fields, and in early-planted canola (planted in mid-May), suggesting to farmers that shifting the planting date until June may help minimize crop damage.

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