Leafhopper-resistant alfalfa varieties can reduce losses from the crop’s worst insect enemy. But insecticide treatments sometimes are still needed.

Determining economic thresholds for insecticide applications to these varieties is the goal of new research at Ohio State University.

Leafhopper resistant and susceptible varieties will be seeded at two locations this month and in April 2002. Forage yield and quality will be monitored under several treatment scenarios.

"A combination of control strategies – chemical control, mechanical or agronomic practices and host plant resistance – is required to effectively minimize the damage caused by leafhoppers in alfalfa," says Ronald Hammond, Ohio State entomologist. "The goal of our research is to provide information that will help alfalfa growers reduce their losses and optimize their profits in an environmentally sound manner."