Heavy alfalfa weevil, pea aphid populations seen across state
Apr 17, 2012
A big part of the Food for the Future initiative is providing assistance to Missouri farmers and crop growers. This story is offers advice and warning about a destructive bug that could affect them.
From Cooperative Media Group
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The silvered tops of alfalfa around Missouri tell the tale of a bug that just can’t eat enough.
The alfalfa weevil hit the crop hard this spring, eating its way through the leaves of alfalfa with potential to ruin its forage value.
“Alfalfa weevil defoliates the plant, and if populations are high enough they can take all the leaf material off the plant, leaving only the stems,” said Wayne Bailey, a University of Missouri Extension entomologist. “We end up with a field that’s what we call ‘silvered,’ where all the leaf material is gone and we just have remnants of leaf veins that turn silverish brown.”
That’s a big problem for farmers. Since most of the protein is in the leaves, the leftover stems don’t provide much feed value for a herd. More…