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Pests & Diseases

Diseases and pests diminish crop yields; find out what the current threats are and learn how to battle these yield robbers.

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If you are in the farming and ranching business, a prolonged drought is impossible to ignore. Limited rainfall over the past couple of years has been hard on pastures, rangeland and hay production, as well as on people.

It’s not just minimal moisture that hurts forage production; one of the most aggravating side effects of drought can be a surge in hungry grasshopper populations.

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Although many vertebrate pests cause problems in alfalfa, the most frequent offender is the pocket gopher (hereafter gopher; Thomomys spp.).

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Insect pressure in alfalfa continues to build as the warm weather encourages both plant and insect development. Following is an overview of some of the primary insects growers may see in their alfalfa fields this year, as well as scouting and management tips to address them.

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Although a few weeks early this year, we are entering that time period when potato leafhoppers are being collected and thus, might become a concern in alfalfa.

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Flies are one of the most difficult pests to manage and, although they cannot be totally controlled, it is possible to reduce populations and irritation to livestock.

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This easy three-minute video takes you into the field to show how to scout and manage alfalfa weevil by following IPM practices and University of Wisconsin recommendations.

View the clip at the bottom of the article.

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