All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Sawfly
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Laura: Sawfly

Laura: Sawfly

Morgan County, Colorado – I thought you may be interested to learn about Sawfly, a pest that has been present in the area we are cutting.  The following is a very brief overview.

The adult female deposits eggs in the developing wheat plant.  Despite laying many eggs, only one larva will survive.  The larva will begin to mature and move down the inside of the stem.  Sawfly activity can hamper the metabolic processes of the plant and may reduce yield.  The damage to the stem also causes lodging creating harvestability issues.  This damage is due to a v-shaped notch larva cut in the stem which is then sealed with frass (also known in this situation as insect poop).  The larva will settle down in the crown region in attempts to overwinter, continuing the cycle for the following season.

If you would like to learn more details about this interesting and destructive pest, I am including links to university websites. The resources provide similar information, but maybe one will be closer to your locale and more applicable. I have also included a video and pictures so you can see the damage in the field first hand.

Resources:

Colorado State

North Dakota State

Kansas State

Laura’s video displaying the damage the Sawflies created. 

High Plains Harvesting 2018 (Laura)
“Sawdust” and frass produced by the Sawfly. Photo credit: Laura

High Plains Harvesting 2018 (Laura)
Here is some of the wheat that has lodged from Sawfly activity. I selected some of the worse damage so you could gain an understanding of how problematic it can be. Photo credit: Laura

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

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