Watch early-planted wheat for armyworm, aphid problems

• Scout wheat for possible fall armyworm and aphid infestations. • In some cases, treatment may be necessary.

With a lot of wheat planted in the past few weeks, and considering the relatively warm weather and lack of a killing frost, it is a good idea to scout wheat for a couple of fall pests.

Fall armyworm larvae have caused great irritation to pastures and lawns over the last few months. Without a hard frost, it is possible they will attack recently emerged wheat. 

Treatment is recommended when 4 or more larvae are present per square foot. The usual insecticides of choice are the synthetic pyrethroids such as Baythroid XL, Declare, Karate or Mustang Max.

Aphids may also establish themselves in the fall. If an insecticide seed treatment was not used, early planted wheat is especially likely to have aphids present. 

It is a good idea to scout for aphids beginning about three weeks after emergence.

A foliar insecticide application for aphid control can reduce transmission of barley yellow dwarf virus (assuming an insecticide seed treatment was not used). 

Consider treating if 2-3 aphids are present per foot of row. Applications should be applied before populations exceed 8 aphids per foot of row or you’ve probably missed the opportunity to prevent virus transmission. 

If aphid population are below 2-3 per foot of row, then you can ride these low populations throughout the winter months and consider a treatment in late winter before they begin to reproduce.

2012 Wheat Insect Control Recommendations

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