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Sunflower Seed Maggot In Sunflower Heads(8/03/17)

Field reports of a small, golden brown pupae in the face of sunflower heads, usually surrounded by a small number of damaged florets are being reported in south central, north central and northeast North Dakota.

Sunflower Seed Maggot In Sunflower Heads

Field reports of a small, golden brown pupae in the face of sunflower heads, usually surrounded by a small number of damaged florets are being reported in south central, north central and northeast North Dakota. This is the sunflower seed maggot (Neotephritis finalis). Larvae tunnel through the heads earlier in crop development and damage looks like a crease in the head during R5 stage. Planting date was evaluated as a cultural pest management strategy for control of N. finalis in several production regions of North Dakota during 2009 and 2010. Results from the nine site-year study revealed that late planting date (early to mid-June) reduced damage ratings and percentage of damaged heads for N. finalis compared to early planting dates (mid- to late May). Visual observations of adult N. finalis found that the majority of flies were found in the early planted sunflower (78.2 %) compared to the late planted sunflower (21.8%). Yield losses were reduced with late planting date when populations of N. finalis were high enoug to cause damage. In another field study, application timing of different insecticides were evaluated for control of N. finalis in four sunflower production regions of North Dakota during 2009 and 2010. Results of the eight site-year study revealed that different modes of actions and insecticide application timings (R1, R3 and R5)were not effective for controlling N. finalis, and consequently for mitigating yield losses.

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Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

 

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