My Experience with IPM
In 1996 I learned how to:
- Use a sweep net
- Identify insects at different stages of growth
- Raise captured weevil larvae and determine how many of them were infected with the Zoopthora fungus.
- Carry out on-farm research so that the results are useful
Although alfalfa weevils were not a big problem this year, I now feel I can determine when they are a big enough problem to justify action.
ISU entomologist Kris Giles suggested we left a strip of alfalfa uncut at first harvest to attract adult alfalfa weevils and leafhoppers. We found that the leafhoppers were attracted to these strips and basically left the rest of the field alone. I plan to leave strips in the alfalfa fields next year.
During the field day there was discussion of insect pests, alfalfa management, and crop rotations. We toured the farm, and people were interested in my Austree windbreak for the feedlot as well as in our native prairie planting.