Armyworms leveled one Valley farmer’s 10-acre famr in two days. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Pests ravaging Valley farms identified as armyworms

The Ministry of Agriculture positively ID’d the insects on Thursday

The Ministry of Agriculture has positively ID’d the insects that have been eating acres of crops on Valley farms as armyworms.

Phil Croteau and Graeme Fowler from the Ministry of Agriculture visited Valley farms on Thursday to investigate the bug infestation and provide information to farmers.

“These things are ravaging fields,” said Heather Shobe, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) agriculture support worker.

Shobe said while her and the ministry reps were out on farms, they did a quick count on a 17 acre parcel and counted 155 armyworms on a 12 inch square, which would mean 114 million insects on the whole field.

“What’s happening here is major…it’s really important that this gets looked at and addressed,” she said.

Shobe said there is no provincial disaster assistance for crop loss but crop insurance is available for producers for compensation for crop losses/damage, but not retroactively, and no Alberni producers are currently subscribed.

“There are a number of farmers here who are going to be losing tens of thousands of dollars worth of forage in the region. It’s a severe financial loss,” she said.

Phil Croteau, agrologist with the Ministry of Agriculture, said the ministry is advising farmers whose crops are close to maturity to harvest as quickly as possible or let livestock onto them for forage.

The pests have also been identified in the Comox Valley and Ucluelet.

The Alberni Valley Farmers’ Institute directors will be meeting to look at bulk purchase of biological controls as well as options for fundraising for those affected financially.

The ACRD will be compiling a list and map of affected farms.

Inquiries can be made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Service Line at 1-888-221-7141 or email to

Just Posted

LNG project given a traditional Huu-ay-aht name

Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG have announced new name for co-managed project

Port Alberni tackles “big city” problems

City’s compliance staff unable to take on emerging challenges

Alberni Valley soccer players learn Whitecaps Way

Young soccer players in Port Alberni got first-hand lessons from Whitecaps coaches

High Streamflow Advisory issued for Somass River

Storm not letting up anytime soon

Nutcracker performance kicks off holiday season in Alberni

The show will be at the ADSS Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 25

‘Tis the season in the Alberni Valley

Port Alberni gets ready for the holiday season

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Most Read