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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta The Uthbridge Herald LETHBR1OGE. ALBERTA VOL. 1 NO. 13 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1972 PAGES 1-16 i Bertha army worms tackled Density count system will help farmers By RIC SWIIIART Herald Staff Writer Female sex power may help western Canadian rapssced producers out from under the plaque of the Bertha army- worm. Dr. Dean Strublc, organic chemist at the Lethbridge Re- search Station, is working on the theory that the Icmale moth, which produces the army worm, gets her mate by pro- ducing a pheromone or sex at- tract ant. If so, the attract ant can be Isolated, identified chemically and synthesized in the labora- tory in sufficient quantities to be vised under field conditions. It could then be put in special traps throughout the infested regions to allow government and private officials in charge of pest control to make an ac- curate prediction of the extent of the possible outbreak. Dr. Struble feels the method can become a valuable tool in finding population densities of adult motlis and, corresponding- ly the Bertha armyworms. This will permit farmers to be fully prepared to meet Hie out- break and cut farm losses as soon as field techniques are de- veloped. Hie overwintering pupae are brought from fields into the laboratory where Dr. Strublo stucVes the emerging adult moths. He separates them ac- cording to sex to better facili- tate study on his theory. the female motlis are ready, the tip of the abdomen is cut and Hie minute amount of sex attractant extracted. If the attractant arouses the mala moths when presented to them, he knows the chemical is pres- ent. Th apparatus used for the test is a large glass cylinder with an opening in each end. A screen over the openings keeps the mole moths escaping. Tlie attractant is introduced in one end and the air passing tlirough the apparatus carries it to the male moths Inside. If the-y become aroused, the at- tractant works. It takes thousands of female moths to provide enough at- tractant for tlie scientist to do a chemical analysis, which is needed before it can be synthe- sized in the laboratory. Dr. Struble said the Bertha army worm sex attractant may be a relatively simple organic compound and teats to date have shown that the male moths respond very well to tlie extracted pheromone. Since Bertha arymworms mate at night, all of the at- tractancy tests with the male moths are conducted in near dark conditions. The environ- ment of the testing laboratory must simulate mating condi- tions in Hie field for the scien- tists to get the necessary ac- tion and reaction. Dr. Struble has received a number of potential sex at- tractant chemicals from Mar- tin Jacobson of tlie United States department of agricul- ture and has completed tests with male Bertha armyworm moths. One of the cliemicals tested has proven [o be very effective. The next step in tlie plan is to produce a large quantity of tills chonueal which has been proven in the laboratory to evaluate it in the field. Dr. Struble said in past years, officials have used flgM traps at night to attract the motlis but this hasn't proved too effective. It is hoped the sex attraclant will provide a tool necessary to predict tbfl presence of the pest. TESTING PHEROMONE The above apparatus, an olfactortube, is used to test effects of plisromone or sex attrartant of a moth. The chemical is put into the right side and air passing through carries it to the moth. The picture at the extreme top shows two stages of moth reaction. In 1he first instance, there is no reaction. In second part, the claspers on the abdomen tip are a roused, Tndicaling some pheromone present. The last shows two male moths trying lo mate, indicating a strong presence of the sex attraclant. Research Station Photos. Quebec dairy calves selling in Lethbridge By IUC SWIHART Herald Staff Writer Quebec dairy calves were again sold in Lethbridgc today, continuing a new experiment In cattle merchandising. Perlich Bros. Auction, locat- ed three miles east of Leth- bridge on Highway 3, turned 500 HoUtcin dairy calves through the sale ring last month, willi the majority of them from Manitoba. Joe Perlich, co-owner of the business who arranged tlie first shipment from Quebec during an eastern business trip, said the calves are being sold in southern Alberta as replace- Qiwbec and Manitoba dairy calvot ttUiny in nptaaHnent ment stock. The Quebec calves were going to United States markets. The first load of calves, trucked from Montreal in 73 hours, were very light, he said. They weighed in the 200 to range, and the trip was a littlo too hard on Ihem. The next load weighed In the 250 to 400-pound range and, there were very few death loss- es. The calves have been selling at to per head, depend- ing on size and quality. The person buying these calves is one who has limited resources and an excess of feed, he said. They plan to feed them out as feeder cattle on silage or grain rations and tlten sell them to a fecdlot op- erator for final finisliing. Mr. Perlich looked into the possibility of airlifting the calves into Lethbridge but jet aircraft can't land at Kenyon Field due lo landing strip lim- itations. He said to land them In Cal- gary and then truck them to Lethbridge would only odd to the handling ;