Ag experts issue alfalfa weevil warming

April 11, 2007

U.S. agricultural experts expect the past several years of mild winters to increase the populations of many insect species, including alfalfa weevils.

The Purdue University scientists said many growers can expect the weevil to be a nuisance again this year.

"Now is the time for growers to get out and scout their fields for the alfalfa weevil in the larval stage," said Christian Krupke, a Purdue field crops pest management specialist. "With early feedings, the tips of the alfalfa leaves will have a repeating pattern on them from being chewed on before the shoot opened up."

When taking samples from a field, Krupke said it is best to walk in an M-shaped pattern and gather five stems from each touchpoint, totaling 25 stems. Each stem should be examined for evidence of feeding by the alfalfa weevil, maturity of the stem and stem length.

Most damage from the alfalfa weevil is done during the larval stage. A heavy infestation of larvae can consume enough foliage that an entire field may take on a grayish appearance.

The alfalfa weevil larva is a small, light green worm with a black head and three light stripes on its body.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: 'Wicked Weed of the West' waning with effect of weevils, other nontoxic remedies

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.