Snowpack protects overwintering alfalfa pests

Pests could be emerging in alfalfa fields in the coming weeks.

University of Minnesota Extension crops educator Nathan Drewitz says while snow cover is great for overwintering alfalfa, it’s also beneficial to insects that overwinter like alfalfa weevil.

“And the last couple three years have been really bad, especially if you’re in the central part of Minnesota, it’s been really bad on that front for alfalfa weevil, even getting down into the southwest corner.”

He’s concerned about high alfalfa weevil populations that will impact the first hay cutting.

“I can’t predict if it’s going to be good or bad, but we do know that the potential is there with the amount of snow that we have.”

Alfalfa weevils only go through one generation per year and Drewitz says scouting should occur in mid-May through June using a sweep net to determine if larvae are present.

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