Blog Post

Overwintered Aphids Active Early in Wheat

The unusually warm winter may prompt aphids to emerge in larger numbers and earlier in the season, compared to previous years. While aphids don’t always pose a problem if they remain below the determined threshold, they can transmit barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), the most widespread and economically important virus disease of wheat.

According to Ohio State University, BYDV infections cause the most damage in fields with overwintered aphids. The virus can reduce tillering, cause sterility and damage kernels. Growers often overlook the early symptoms of BYDV, such as yellowish-green leaf blotches, because those symptoms are often mistaken for mineral deficiencies. Sometimes, symptoms appear 2-3 weeks after aphids are gone, resulting in a failure to associate BYDV with aphids.

Syngenta management solution

  • Protect your crop from the start with a seed treatment.
  • Scout fields early in an “X” or “Z” pattern for pests.
  • Note any predator insects, such as lady beetles, which can help control aphids.
  • Apply an insecticide at locally established thresholds to keep populations to a minimum.

Syngenta recommends choosing a seed treatment like Cruiser®5FS seed treatment insecticide, which protects wheat and barley crops from fall aphid attacks and serves as a first line of defense against BYDV. With Cruiser, protection is in place from the moment seeds are planted, and it works systemically to protect young plants as they grow.

High yields begin with a strong start when your crop needs the most help. Understanding your field history can help you tailor a crop protection program that will be most effective against yield-robbing pests.

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