What to do if you have aphids in your wheat

If you managed to get a good stand of wheat, make sure you scout closely for aphids. There’s a good bet we will have more aphids than usual this fall because of the warm weather.

If you are managing for high-yielding wheat, then protecting wheat from transmission of barley yellow dwarf virus is important. Below are a couple of points to consider.

• Seed treatments such as Gaucho, Cruiser and NipsIt Inside will generally protect against aphids infestations during the fall (and reduce transmission of barley yellow dwarf virus).

• If a seed treatment was not used, consider making an insecticide application three to four weeks after planting. However, I prefer that you scout first and make this application if and when aphid populations reach 3 or more per foot of row but before populations exceed 8 or more aphids per foot.

Barley yellow dwarf virus may already have been transmitted if you have high aphid numbers. We can often ride low aphid populations into winter during a normal/cooler fall and them clean them up in late winter.

That doesn’t work as well on early-planted wheat or for normally planted wheat during an usually warm fall.

One final point for future consideration. Planting before the recommended window can create a Hessian fly problem. If you planted wheat as a cover crop in September or early October, it’s possible that nearby production fields may inherit problems.

When feasible, avoid planting production wheat immediately adjacent to an early-planted cover crop that also contains wheat.

TAGS: Management
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