Alfalfa weevils a concern to forage producers | TSLN.com

Alfalfa weevils a concern to forage producers

Alaina Mousel

Forage producers in the region continue to battle alfalfa weevils, an annual pest that plagues not only their namesake – alfalfa – but also a variety of clovers, including: white, red, bur, yellow sweet clover and white sweet clover, to name a few.

“Right now, we’re not in a crisis situation with alfalfa weevils,” said Bob Drown, Perkins County (SD) agronomist extension educator. “There are weevils present, but we’re not in a terrible crisis yet.”

Alfalfa weevils have been around since the 1900s and overwinter as adults, larvae, or even eggs. In the spring, adults resume feeding and egg-lay activities, viable eggs hatch, and larvae begin feeding on new leaves. Small clusters of spring eggs are usually deposited in cavities of dead alfalfa stems and hatch within a few weeks.

Larvae do most of the damage to alfalfa stands. As larvae grow, they feed on leaves of the plant, eventually skeletonizing them. Larvae can be seen curled around stems or leaves. As feeding persists, an infested field takes on a distinct grayish appearance.

Forage producers in the region continue to battle alfalfa weevils, an annual pest that plagues not only their namesake – alfalfa – but also a variety of clovers, including: white, red, bur, yellow sweet clover and white sweet clover, to name a few.

“Right now, we’re not in a crisis situation with alfalfa weevils,” said Bob Drown, Perkins County (SD) agronomist extension educator. “There are weevils present, but we’re not in a terrible crisis yet.”

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Alfalfa weevils have been around since the 1900s and overwinter as adults, larvae, or even eggs. In the spring, adults resume feeding and egg-lay activities, viable eggs hatch, and larvae begin feeding on new leaves. Small clusters of spring eggs are usually deposited in cavities of dead alfalfa stems and hatch within a few weeks.

Larvae do most of the damage to alfalfa stands. As larvae grow, they feed on leaves of the plant, eventually skeletonizing them. Larvae can be seen curled around stems or leaves. As feeding persists, an infested field takes on a distinct grayish appearance.

Forage producers in the region continue to battle alfalfa weevils, an annual pest that plagues not only their namesake – alfalfa – but also a variety of clovers, including: white, red, bur, yellow sweet clover and white sweet clover, to name a few.

“Right now, we’re not in a crisis situation with alfalfa weevils,” said Bob Drown, Perkins County (SD) agronomist extension educator. “There are weevils present, but we’re not in a terrible crisis yet.”

Alfalfa weevils have been around since the 1900s and overwinter as adults, larvae, or even eggs. In the spring, adults resume feeding and egg-lay activities, viable eggs hatch, and larvae begin feeding on new leaves. Small clusters of spring eggs are usually deposited in cavities of dead alfalfa stems and hatch within a few weeks.

Larvae do most of the damage to alfalfa stands. As larvae grow, they feed on leaves of the plant, eventually skeletonizing them. Larvae can be seen curled around stems or leaves. As feeding persists, an infested field takes on a distinct grayish appearance.

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