"Significant" alfalfa weevil defoliation is occurring on Ohio alfalfa, according to Ohio State University specialists Ron Hammond, Andy Michel and Mark Sulc.
Because of heavy rains, saturated fields and continued forecast for rain, cutting to control the pest probably isn't possible. Growers will have to decide if they will apply insecticide to stop feeding – if it's possible to get on the field. If so, use the lightest equipment possible to help reduce damage to alfalfa crowns and standing crop, they suggest.
"This is just one of those years where you might be damned if you do or damned if you don’t," the experts write in their C.O.R.N. Newsletter. "Be very careful with soil conditions, as permanent stand loss in the wheel tracks will occur if the soils are too soft when taking a sprayer over the field, which might be worse than losing this one harvest to weevils.
"If weevils are present and you can’t get on the field, once you do cut the crop, be sure to watch the regrowth very carefully, as a rescue treatment may be needed if weevils survive on the stubble," they add.
Reports are also circulating of armyworm at economic levels in wheat. But before applying an insecticide, especially if adding to a fungicide application, first scout your wheat for that insect.