Monitoring Insect Populations

Monitoring Insect Populations

Monitoring Insect Populations

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Due to an exceptionally mild winter this year Washington potato growers should be on the lookout for earlier than normal and larger populations of potato psyllids, leafhoppers, potato tuber moth, and aphids. To help growers the Washington State Potato Commission is providing insect monitoring supplies. WSPC's Matt Blua explains.

BLUA: One is a delta trap, which is basically a housing for a sticky panel and a pheromone cap that attracts the tuber moth males. That will give a grower an idea of when tuber moth is in his field, then he can apply treatment as necessary. We also have yellow sticky traps that are designed to catch leaf hoppers and potato psyllid.

Blua says that they have had reports of leaf hoppers being caught now, and growers have seen potato psyllids, but that neither one a really widespread yet. Tuber moths tend to be seen more in late summer.

BLUA: We want to help our growers produce as efficiently and cheaply as possible, and just by monitoring one can reduce the number of insecticide applications one has to make; whereas otherwise you'd have to put on insecticides according to a calendar, but with scouting and monitoring insect populations you have a much better way of pin pointing when the application should be made.

Blua says growers should also be on the lookout for unusual outbreaks of pests like caterpillars and shield bugs. For insect monitoring supplies and further information contact Blua at 509-765-3680.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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