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Prairie Insects: The Good, The Bad, and the Useful (video)

For every dollar invested in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research the industry is getting back about $15 in benefits. Take a look at our video to learn more about the work being done by our researchers in Saskatchewan.

Video transcript

[An image and a maple leaf appear on screen. This is the title graphic for the video.]

[Light, electronic music fades in.]

Text on screen: Prairie Insects: The Good, The Bad, and the Useful

[The video opens with a panning shot of a wheat field on a windy day.]

Dr. Tyler Wist: Entomology is really important to agriculture.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

Text on screen: Dr. Tyler Wist, Post Doctoral Fellow, Environmental Health, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

We look at bad bugs, the ones that can impact yield in your crops.

[Cut to a close up shot of Dr. Wist examing a plant in a lab setting.]

We also look at good insects.

[Cut to a close of shot of Dr. Wist removing a plant from a mesh cage.]

Ones that reduce the impact of those bad insects on the crop.

[Cut back to the shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

I'm Dr. Tyler Wist. I work here at the Saskatoon Research Centre...

[Cut to a pan shot of the exterior of the Saskatoon Research Centre.]

...of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

[Cut to a medium shot of pollinators on an artichoke head.]

So when we're talking about good insects we always have to talk about the pollinators. Things like honey bees, alfalfa leaf cutting bees...

[Cut to a close up shot of bees on honeycomb.]

...and a lot of natural flies and bumble bees as well.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

Other good insects would be insects that eat other insects. So things like ladybugs that eat aphids.

[Cut to a close up shot of a ladybug in a wheat field.]

Or the parasitoid wasps that lay their eggs in aphids.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

Integrated pest management does just that; it integrates all of your possible options for pest management.

[Cut to an extreme close up of bugs on a plant.]

It brings in the good bugs. It uses pesticides as well.

[Cut to a close up of someone pointing at a bug population survey.]

And it uses monitoring.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

An average farmer can spend upwards of $20,000 a year on pesticides.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist and Dr. Owen Olfert working in a lab.]

With the right kind of research we can help to reduce that number, save the producers money...

[Cut to a close up of someone working with a microscope.]

...and save the environment in the process.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Owen Olfert and and another man looking at documentation together.]

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Owen Olfert standing outside, speaking slight off camera.]

Text on screen: Dr. Owen Olfert, Research Scientist, Entomology, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Dr. Owen Olfert: My name is Dr. Owen Olfert. And I'm a research scientist here at the Agriculture Canada Saskatoon research centre. Agricultural economists did a study and estimated that IPM research had a benefit to cost ratio of about 15:1.

Text on screen: Integrated pest management (IPM)

[Cut through a series of shots of Dr. Olfert and Dr. Wist working in a lab.]

So for every dollar invested in IPM research the industry is getting back about $15 in benefits.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Wist working at a computer in a lab.]

Dr. Tyler Wist: One of the projects that I'm working on right now...

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Wist standing with Pat Flaten and a lab assistant. They are all talking.]

...is developing a smart phone application.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slighly off camera.]

So I've got a mathematical formula that predicts aphid populations.

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Wist collecting bugs in a wheat field.]

So you go out to your field and you count the number of aphids that you've got.

[Cut to a close up shot of Dr. Wist examining data on a computer.]

The equation then predicts the population growth of the aphids.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

It takes into account the natural enemies that you have in your field.

[Cut to a series of extreme close ups of aphids.]

It predicts whether or not that aphid population will be able to grow to an economically damaging level...

[Cut to an extreme close up shot of a natural enemy of aphids.]

...or whether the natural enemies are going to be able to control it.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Tyler Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

So it'll put the information right in the hands of the producer.

[Cut to a close up of Dr. Wist holding up their new publication, Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada.]

So we have a recent publication, it's a field guide...

[Cut to a different angle of Dr. Wist holding the publication.]

...to the good insects and the bad insects.

[Cut to a close up shot of Dr. Wist flipping through the publication.]

It's got a lot of good pictures. It's got recommendations.

[Cut back to a shot of Dr. Wist standing outside, speaking slightly off camera.]

So it's an excellent guide for people who are actually out in the field scouting for insects.

[Cut to a shot of the publication being picked up from a table.]

[Cut to a shot of Dr. Wist working at a computer in a lab.]

Without knowledge we can't do anything.

[Cut to an extreme close up of the digital image of a bug.]

We need to know where the insects are. We need to know what stage they're at in the crop.

[Cut to an even closer shot of the digital image of the bug.]

This type of entomological research has real world implications for the farmers.

[Cut to a close up shot of a bug on a plant.]

Entomology is really important for the producer's bottom line.

[Cross dissolve to the end graphic for the video.]

Text on screen: Modern. Innovative. Growing. Discover other agricultural innovations at www.agr.gc.ca.

[Light, electronic music fades out.]

Text on screen: Canada, © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2016).

[Fade to black.]

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