Notes from Your Extension Agent:

Alfalfa: Using the right pattern of sweep net sampling is equally important. After many observations of sweep net sampling in alfalfa, I noticed that different “swing patterns” of the net resulted in different insect pest counts. Currently, all economic thresholds we use to monitor and justify treatments for alfalfa insect pests are based on 180° sweeps. Using other sweeping techniques may give different results and may lead to either spraying too late or unnecessary spraying.
Resistant varieties tolerate aphid damage; and proper irrigation scheduling will eliminate stress on the plant that makes it more susceptible to aphid infestations. Natural enemies can keep the populations of these insects in check. Strip cutting provides a refuge for natural enemies to help combat pests later in the season. With populations of the alfalfa aphid complex on the rise, it is crucial to make pest management decisions based upon positively distinguishing the four different species of aphids that are in alfalfa in the low desert: pea aphid, blue alfalfa aphid, cowpea aphid and spotted alfalfa aphid. It is important to ID these species as each of them has different economic thresholds
Silage Corn: A new planting season is coming up on us. I’m sure you know that variety selection is one of the most important decisions producers can make for their operation. When selecting for silage, growers should look at high forage yields and digestibility. Be sure to check of the 2013 Arizona Silage Corn Variety Trail results HERE

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