Genetic discovery another tool in battle against wheat pests

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Greenbug and Hessian fly infestations can significantly reduce wheat yield and quality in Texas and worldwide. Breeding for resistance to these two pests using marker-assisted selection just got a new tool from a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study.

Because genetics is the most economical strategy to minimize losses, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist Dr. Shuyu Liu began two years ago searching for breeder-friendly markers for those two insects. This step is a continuation of ongoing genetic work on insect resistance. Continue reading

Tips for Hessian fly control

In Southeast Farm Press

by Dominic Reisig, NC State University

Hessian flies adults are emerging and laying eggs in December. Larvae will hatch from these eggs and will feed throughout the cold months, killing tillers. Here are some bits of information to help you decide whether to spray wheat.

Similar to fall of 2015, Hessian flies adults are emerging and laying eggs in December.  Larvae will hatch from these eggs and will feed throughout the cold months, killing tillers.  Continue reading

Integrate pest management strategies to control Hessian fly

by Donald Stotts, Southwest Farm Press

Hessian fly infestations have been found in southwestern Oklahoma winter wheat this fall, making it important for producers to identify affected fields and strategies that can assist in managing the pest next year.

“Even though there is not a 100 percent effective solution in terms of managing Hessian fly, producers have several options available to minimize the problems caused by this pest,” said Tom Royer, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension integrated pest management coordinator. “It starts with awareness about the pest and detecting its presence.” Continue reading

Insects, diseases are up this year, wheat acreage is down in Louisiana

In Delta Farm Press

by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter

Wheat acreage in Louisiana is at an all-time low of 58,000 to 60,000 acres, LSU AgCenter experts said at the April 20th wheat and oat field day at AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station.

Low prices, scab disease in 2015 and wet weather at planting are the reasons, said Boyd Padgett, AgCenter wheat specialist. In particular, scab disease “left a bad taste in growers’ mouths.” Continue reading

Hessian fly pressure not as bad this year, but growers should still be watchful

In Southeast Farm Press

by Paul L. Hollis, Auburn University College of Agriculture

Climate predictions for the upcoming fall and winter months indicate that Alabama wheat producers will have fewer problems this season with the Hessian fly, but now’s not the time to completely let down your guard.

Results of studies have shown that Hessian fly infestation and yield losses are least during an El Niño climate event—a wetter and cooler phase—which is the forecast for the coming months.

Continue reading

Should North Carolina farmers spray wheat for Hessian fly?

By Dominic Reisig, NC State Extension

in Southeast Farm Press

Historically, most North Carolina Hessian fly wheat problems occur in the eastern part of the state, but damage this year extends into the Coastal Plain region. Dominic Reisig, NC State Extension entomologists, talks about what wheat farmers can do.

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Hessian fly pressure heavy in North Carolina wheat but may not benefit from spray

In Southeast Farm Press, by Dominic Reisig

There are very few people who have the ability to scout Hessian fly eggs, due to their size.

Several consultants who do have this skill have reported finding relatively high numbers of eggs on wheat during the last week. This is not just on early-planted wheat, but on wheat at the two to three leaf stage. It is likely a result of the warm weather.

Continue reading