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Wheat Midge Trapping (07/07/16)

NDSU Extension Entomology is cooperating with Montana State University on the wheat midge pheromone trapping network using the PestWeb system.

Wheat Midge Trapping

NDSU Extension Entomology is cooperating with Montana State University on the wheat midge pheromone trapping network using the PestWeb system. Thanks to the following NDSU Extension IPM scouts who are monitoring wheat midge traps in North Dakota:  Jaime Lundquist (northeast counties), Hannah Kempler, (north central counties), Taheni Gargouri (northwest counties), and Taylor Senger (southeast and east central counties).

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As you can see from the map below, the blue trapping sites indicate low trap counts (below 10 cumulative midge per trap). Trap counts above 10 midge per trap indicate a risk to wheat midge when the wheat crop is in the susceptible crop stage – early heading through mid-flowering. The green, gold, orange and red show ascending numbers of cumulative wheat midge captured. The highest cumulative trap numbers were in near Benson County (gold) last week. Parasitoids were only found at one trapping site in Barnes County. (The north central area also is trapping for wheat midge; however, trap data were not available at the time of this posting.) You can assess PestWeb for updates on trap counts at:  https://pestweb.montana.edu/Owbm/Home

If you are above the 10 cumulative midge per trap, we recommend field scouting to confirm the presence of wheat midge in the field and to determine if populations are at the economic threshold level. The economic thresholds for field scouting are:  one or more midge observed for every four or five heads on hard red spring wheat, or one or more midge observed for every seven or eight heads on durum wheat. However, the recent heat has advanced the wheat crop and it is developing quickly through heading to flowering to the milk stage. Wheat is not susceptible to egg laying by wheat midge females after 50% flowering, because the kernel becomes too hard. Late insecticide applications are not recommended because the kernel damage is already done if wheat midge was present at economic populations and the parasitic wasps that kill wheat midge larvae are active then. Additional research is necessary to refine and validate these trapping data for use in making control decisions for adult wheat midge in wheat fields in North Dakota.

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Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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