Great Plains wheat growers looking to keep greenbugs in check have an assortment of information tools at their fingertips, thanks to a website developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and colleagues at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and a private firm.
Among the sites features is a printable version of Glance 'n Go, a sequential sampling form that growers can use out in the field.
Greenbugs, Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), are tiny, light-green aphids that are the key insect pests in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in much of the southern and central Plains. In some years, they cause more than $100 million in losses.
The website, called the Greenbug Management Decision Support Tool, is part of a pest-management system developed by three Stillwater, Okla.-based entities: ARS Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research Unit, OSU, and Site-Specific Technology Development Group, Inc. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology helped fund the system.
According to biologist Norman Elliott, who led ARS efforts in this project, the site helps users make money-based decisions on greenbug control by helping with aphid identification, offering information about the insects natural enemies and registered insecticides. It also features an Economic Threshold Calculator that helps users determine how many greenbugs a field can hold before their crop is impacted.
The easy-to-carry "Glance n Go" forms--developed by the three collaborating groups--include a simplified version of this calculator. The forms give growers a fast, easy way to estimate the level of greenbug infestation by counting the number of infested stalks. The new version also allows growers to determine the presence of beneficial wasps that attack greenbugs.
The greenbug site, which is part of the OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology website, can be accessed at:
The management system is part of ARS Areawide Pest Management for Wheat program, which is dedicated to controlling greenbugs and Russian wheat aphids.
ARS is the U.S. Department of Agricultures chief in-house scientific research agency.