Got Weevils? Maybe.

Jun 13, 2023

Treating for alfalfa weevils between first and second cutting protects yields.
“We haven’t gotten a call to spray alfalfa weevils yet this year,” said Rod Gustafson, Federated’s Albertville location manager, but since last year saw heavy weevil infestations, and the bugs probably overwintered well with the minimal frost, it’s very possible there will be weevils this year. Last year was the “first time in quite awhile,” he said, that weevils were a big issue.
Watch your alfalfa crop – especially as second cutting gets growing – to ensure it’s coming back well. “The weevils are hard to spot,” he said. “During the day they go underground and they come out to feed in the cooler parts of the day, early morning or later in the evening.”
Last year’s dry conditions seemed to feed the weevil population and with the current dry spell this year, it’s important to keep an eye on regrowth after first cutting. Slow regrowth could be an indication of weevils. “They have chewing mouth parts,” Gustafson said, so they actually eat at the plant and cut it off (unlike leaf hoppers that only have “sucking mouth parts”).
Federated recommends Declare® insecticide by FMC to control alfalfa weevils at a use rate of 1.54 oz./ac. “A gallon jug will do about 83 acres,” said Gustafson, “so it’s affordable … and it gives you some residual, too.”
As for other troublesome bugs this year, start watching the soybeans for aphids or spider mites in early July!
And talk to your Federated Agronomist with any questions or concerns about crop-eating, yield-robbing insects.

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