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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF GRASSHOPPERS AND OTHER INSECT PESTS IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: A Survey of Five Stem-Feeding Insect Pests of Wheat in the Northern Great Plains

Authors
item Shanower, Thomas
item Waters, Debra

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2005
Publication Date: January 1, 2006
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/21677
Citation: Shanower, T.G., Waters, D.K. 2006. A survey of five stem-feeding insect pests of wheat in the northern great plains. Journal of Entomological Science. 41(1):40-48.

Interpretive Summary: Insect pests are important constraints to small grain production across the northern Great Plains. Pests such as the wheat stem sawfly, the wheat stem maggot, the Hessian fly, the wheat joint worm, and the wheat strawworm have long been recognized as yield-reducing biotic constraints to production. This paper reports results of surveys for these pests conducted over three years in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. Fields were randomly selected. The percentage of stems infested with each pest was recorded. The percentage of parasitized wheat stem sawfly larvae was also noted. The wheat stem sawfly and wheat stem maggot were the most frequently encountered pests, followed by the Hessian fly. The density of wheat stem sawfly in infested fields was twice that of wheat stem maggot infested fields. Wheat stem sawfly parasitism was low and positively correlated with sawfly infestation. Hessian fly densities were much lower than reported elsewhere in the US. The wheat jointworm and the wheat strawworm were absent from most fields and only occasionally found at very low levels. This information will help to prioritize wheat insect pest management research and extension programs in this region.

Technical Abstract: Insect pests are important constraints to small grain production across the northern Great Plains. Pests such as the wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus, the wheat stem maggot, Meromyza americana, the Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, the wheat joint worm, Tetramesa tritici, and the wheat strawworm, Tetramesa grandis, have long been recognized as yield-reducing biotic constraints to production. This paper reports results of surveys for these pests conducted over three years in 30 counties in parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. Fields were randomly selected and a minimum of 131 stems were sampled from each field. The percentage of stems infested with each pest was recorded. The percentage of parasitized wheat stem sawfly larvae was also noted. The wheat stem sawfly and wheat stem maggot were the most frequently encountered pests, followed by the Hessian fly. The density of wheat stem sawfly in infested fields was twice that of wheat stem maggot infested fields (7% versus 3.2%). Wheat stem sawfly parasitism was low and positively correlated with sawfly infestation. Hessian fly densities were much lower than reported elsewhere in the US. The wheat jointworm and the wheat strawworm were absent from most fields and only occasionally found at very low levels. This information will help to prioritize wheat insect pest management research and extension programs in this region.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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