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Grasshoppers problems in emerging winter wheat crop


There have been reports of higher grasshopper populations in Colorado. As indicated in a Montana pest alert this year, emerging winter wheat may be vulnerable to grasshopper damage.

Grasshoppers move into emerging winter wheat field margins and consume seedlings. The amount of feeding depends on grasshopper abundance and how soon the killing frost occurs in the area.

Dr. Frank Peairs, field crop entomologist at Colorado State University, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management suggests that the best option is to plant as late as possible and then treat the edge of the field and the surrounding noncrop area just before emergence.

This should provide some protection for the newly emerged seedlings and reduce the source of grasshoppers entering the field. Some pyrethroid insecticides have labels that allow this approach and should be fairly effective, however, due to the size and mobility of adult grasshoppers, treatments may not be as effective as those made earlier in the season.

For details on grasshopper management check the High Plains IPM Guide website, http://www.highplainsipm.org/.

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