Experts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources have recently offered their thoughts on the recent emergence of wheat stem sawfly. So far this season, very high populations of wheat stem sawfly have been observed, making it difficult for producers looking to maintain their yield.
Experts say that sawflies may now be emerging from deep within fallow fields, not just from field edges – this pattern indicates there is a large population present. As producers walk through wheat-fallow fields, they may be able to find wheat stem sawflies flitting around in residue. The pest typically survives from mid-July through May in the pupal stage.
The experts are working on testing grounds to determine which wheat varieties see the highest level of sawfly infestation. This can potentially give producers insight into which types of wheat are more resistant to the pest.
According to the experts, there is not much that can be done from a production standpoint. With this in mind, they recommend that producers gather information on which acres have the highest levels of infestation. This insight can be helpful in the coming fall or spring to manage crops for sawfly. In addition, it may be a good idea for producers to be timely in harvesting heavily infested fields.
The experts advise keeping an eye on CropWatch throughout the summer to mark the progression of the pest. More information can be found at cropwatch.unl.edu.