Detrimental wheat stem sawfly is widening its territory

The wheat stem sawfly continues to be a problem for wheat growers in the Great Plains.

The bug has been a threat to wheat production since the early ‘80s in the Northern Plains. Colorado’s winter wheat also took a hit in 2010 because of the pest. Leaders at Nebraska Extension warn it could be widening its reach, and they suggest keeping a close eye on your crop.

“Probably want to put those earlier maturing weeds in fields, you’re going to get to 1st, so to make sure that some of those sawfly susceptible weeds don’t stand out in the field any longer than they have to,” said Jeff Bradshaw.

There is no cost-effective way to chemically treat for wheat stem sawflies, but tillage might be the most effective rescue treatment.

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