Read the current Progressive Forage digital edition

Pests & Diseases

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


Insect development has been delayed in Nebraska due to below average temperatures; however, with temperatures climbing and alfalfa greening up, it is time to begin scouting for alfalfa weevils and the accompanying feeding damage.

Temperatures and conditions in southern Nebraska indicate that some feeding may be visible as tiny pinholes on the leaves of the upper part of the stem.

Read more ...

I reported recently on stunted and yellow alfalfa plants that were being reported in Berks, Dauphin and Lancaster counties (see pictures).

Samples were sent to Dr. Deborah Samac, USDA-ARS alfalfa pathologist, in St Paul, Minnesota, and I received back a report that the culprit is "Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris" or more commonly known as “Witches-broom phytoplasma.”

Read more ...

This key is designed to serve as a guide to identification of the more typical larvae of some of the common insect species found in many alfalfa fields during the mid-to-late season. A 10-power to 15-power hand lens will be most helpful in using this key.

Read more ...

This article describes some common pests and options for their control.


• Description: The sugarcane aphid is a pale lemon-yellow color and prefers pangolagrass. The greenbug is pale green with a dark green stripe on its back.

Read more ...

Potato leafhoppers have the potential to hurt alfalfa every year. This is generally a second-cutting and third-cutting pest and has been more common recently.

These small (one-eighth-inch long), bright green, wedge-shaped insects may cause severe damage to alfalfa by injecting a toxin into the plant as they feed. This feeding results in a distinctive yellow or purple triangle shape at the tip of the leaf.

Read more ...

A natural predator, native insect-attacking nematodes, have proven to overcome the most destructive alfalfa pest in North America, the alfalfa snout beetle. 

Read more ...