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Cereal Aphids on Wheat Heads (07/13/17)

IPM scouts and numerous calls/emails from crop consultants, growers and ag dealers have reported increasing cereal aphid population, especially English grain aphids, on heads of wheat. In some cases, the wheat heads have many aphids on the wheat heads (see photo).

Cereal Aphids on Wheat Heads

IPM scouts and numerous calls/emails from crop consultants, growers and ag dealers have reported increasing cereal aphid population, especially English grain aphids, on heads of wheat. In some cases, the wheat heads have many aphids on the wheat heads (see photo). White aphids are casted skins of aphids from molting and not alive. Dr. Philip Glogoza, University of Minnesota, also reported increasing numbers of aphids in the west central region of Minnesota this past week. However, cereal aphids usually impact yield prior to the completion of heading. Currently, the crop stage is well past heading and flowering, near milk stage. Extension Entomologists would regard these aphid populations as non-economic. Typically, after heading the only yield parameter that can be affected is test weight, though research concluded that populations are not sustained long enough to even do that. Drought is probably a bigger factor negatively impacting yield and test weight in most areas of North Dakota. Any late planting wheat that is still heading or earlier crop stages will be at higher risk for cereal aphids now. These fields should be scouting for economic populations of cereal aphids of 85% incidence prior to the completion of heading.

knodel.1

aphids in wheat

wheat growth stages

Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

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