Cereal Aphid Manager Mobile App

The Cereal Aphid Manager is an easy-to-use mobile app that helps farmers and crop advisors control aphid populations in wheat, barley, oat or rye. The app predicts what the aphid population will be in seven days and the best time to apply insecticide.

To download a copy onto your mobile device

The Google Play app only works on an Android operating system equipped device. The Apple Store link only works with an Apple iTunes enabled device.

How it works

Users walk a recommended path through their field. (The path is suggested by the app.)

At points along the path, the user will stop and count the number of aphids and beneficial insects (beneficial insects are insects that eat aphids). To help users identify insects, the app includes a photo guide.

After completing the recommended path, which includes a minimum of five stops, the app will provide a prediction to spray, not spray, or when to sample again.

Each field and date sampled along with the recommendation is stored on the user’s device to keep track of the field’s aphid population over the growing season.

The science behind the app

Aphids can cause significant damage to fields and increase crop losses, but just because aphids are present in grain field doesn’t mean they will have a significant impact on production. This is especially true if there are aphid’s natural enemies (beneficial insects) in the field to keep them under control.

The Cereal Aphid Manager is based on an innovative model, built by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The model treats the grain field as an ecosystem and takes into account many complex biological interactions including:

  • the number of different natural enemies of aphids in the field and how many aphids they eat per day;
  • the lifecycles of aphids and their enemies such as, the developmental stages, egg laying behaviour, population growth rate, lifespan, etc.; and
  • types of non-crop habitats that insects around the field that the different insects prefer.

By taking into consideration factors like these, the app gives a more accurate and precise prediction as to whether an aphid population will grow to such a size that it will significantly impact the productivity of the field or not.

Note

Cereal aphids can blow up from the South at any time which cannot be predicted by the app. As such, farmers and crop advisors should regularly check fields during the growing season regardless of what Cereal Aphid Manager Mobile may recommend.

We welcome feedback to help us improve this app. For more information on the Cereal Aphid Manager please contact aafc.aphid-puceron.aac@agr.gc.ca.

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