Alfalfa Insects

Alfalfa Insects

In our area it is usually not will you need to apply an insecticide to maximize your alfalfa production and protect your stand, it is more a matter of when.

As of "right now" ,in our area, the alfalfa weevil has not hatched in any numbers to warrant an application, but they have, not too far to our south, and they in all probabitiy will soon. It is the  time to start watching and they or their feeding are not that hard to spot.  Look for "holes" in your new growth leaves emerging from the bud.  You can catch them early with this method. If you see the holes you can actually find the worm in a very small size by peeling back the bud.

As soon as I see any significant numbers, I will try to post it.

Aphids are another insect that can adversley affect alfalfa, and they are not as time specific. There are usually 4 types of aphids that we have, and they are Bird Cherry Oat (black), Pea (lime green and usally a little larger), Green Bugs, and last but certainly not least, Spotted Alfalfa Aphids (very small, usually pale green with rows of spots on their back.)

I have recently seen, and heard of others, an allfalfa field in north central Oklahoma, heavily infested with the Bird Cherry Oat aphid.  These insects do not inject a toxin in the plant, but simply dessicate (suck the moisture out of) it.

So far the infestations of this aphid that I have recently seen were at such high numbers that spraying the stand and relieving the pressure was warranted.

Keep an eye on your alfalfa.

 

 

 

 

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