Crop pest reports are picking up

Sawflies-Photo: Josh-Kamps-@UWMadisonEx

A University of Wisconsin entomologist says she is getting more reports from farmers about crop pests.

Emily Bick researches crop pests and collects insect reports from farmers.  She tells Brownfield farmers are reporting sawfly problems in many of their forage crops. “It seems to be behaving very similarly to what cutworm would do in terms of topping the crop really early on, and I’ve heard that in a couple of different crops, all forages.”

Bick says sawflies are easy to distinguish from other pests. “It looks like a larvae, like a grub. It can be crawling en mass, all in certain areas. You’re not just going to find one, you’re going to find a couple, and the head capsule is pretty darned distinct from the rest of the body.”

Bick says she has received a few black cutworm damage reports and farmers should be scouting for other pests. “Seed maggots and wireworms are definitely of interest. In soy, you should look for those early aphid flights as well as other seed corn maggot issues and bean leaf beetles.”

Bick says she’s seen Twitter posts about alfalfa weevils in parts of Wisconsin.  She invites producers to report their pest findings by email at and follow her pest reports on Twitter

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