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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Research Project #445021

Research Project: Great Plains Wheat Stem Sawfly Coalition - Colorado State Univ

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Project Number: 3012-12210-001-021-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2023
End Date: Apr 30, 2026

The objective of this collaborative research is to develop and implement an agroecological survey of wheat stem sawfly (Cephus cinctus) and wheat stem sawfly management in the Great Plains. The Cooperator is leading a regional coalition working to standardize survey methods and coordinate research across multiple states.

Wheat stem sawfly sampling can be highly labor intensive, particularly if calculating life table data. However, an extensive sampling plan can be very efficient and effective in documenting wheat stem sawfly (WSS) population shifts over time, and, if combined with other agronomic data, could be informative for producers and scientists alike. We plan on designing and deploying an extensive sampling plan for WSS near or regionally approximate to localities with established wheat variety trials in Nebraska , Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, and Kansas. The purpose of using proximity to wheat variety test sites as a primary (although not exclusive) selection criteria are that these test sites have a strong regional stakeholder base and future solutions are likely to be tested at such localities; thus stakeholders in these regions likely are a willing pool of participants for Objective 2. This extensive sampling scheme follows a similar sampling plan as has been conducted successfully in Alberta, Canada for WSS since 2009. To wit: From each monitoring field, at least four locations (subsamples) will be selected within a field after wheat harvest (in July or August). At each subsampling location, the number of WSS cut and uncut wheat stems will be counted within one meter of row. A sawfly-cut wheat stem characteristically leaves behind a cleanlycut stub (the remaining stem base, often about 2-5 cm) within which the sawfly prepupae overwinters; the stub is closed distally by frass plug. Additionally, a photograph will be recorded (at 1 meter height) of each subsampling location (with a meter stick laying on the ground to be placed within the frame of the image for scale) to be included with the data. Data will be saved in a common (e.g., Microsoft One Drive), cloud-basedstorage filing system. Data collected will include: cut stub counts (out of total stems per meter), ground coverage estimates (from photographs and tiller counts), and GPS coordinates of subsample locations. Where possible, additional data will be collected; such as variety, pest management practices, fertilizer or soil management practices, crop rotation and yield.