Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379577

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Cropping Systems of Alfalfa for Livestock Utilization, Environmental Protection and Soil Health

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: An integrated approach for managing clover root curculio on alfalfa

item Samac, Deborah - Debby

Submitted to: Forage Focus
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2020
Publication Date: 12/1/2020
Citation: Samac, D.A. 2020. An integrated approach for managing clover root curculio on alfalfa. Forage Focus. (December 2020):14-15.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: An insect pest that is often overlooked but can cause significant losses to an alfalfa stand is the clover root curculio (CRC; Sitona hispidulus). This is also a serious pest of red clover and white clover and can cause minor damage to soybean. Originally from Europe and Asia, it has spread across North America. On alfalfa, CRC damage causes losses in forage yield and crude protein, reduces nitrogen fixation, and results in premature stand decline from directly killing plants and from winter heaving and winter kill of plants with weakened root systems. There are currently no cultivars with resistance, no insecticides labeled for use of the larval stages, and few management methods that can be used to reduce damage from the insect. A concerted integrated approach is needed to address this pest problem, which appears to be causing increased losses to alfalfa stands.