NNY CCE Field Crops Specialist Mike Hunter alerts growers to be on the watch for alfalfa snout beetle. Both Jefferson and Lewis County have a lengthy and well-known history of alfalfa snout beetle (ASB). The presence of ASB is more widespread in Jefferson County than it is in Lewis County. Every year we discover new infestations of alfalfa snout beetles on farms. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has funded many alfalfa snout beetle research projects aimed at finding management strategies to control this pest.
In 2015, the NNYADP funded a project that surveys alfalfa fields for the presence of alfalfa snout beetle. We are updating the map that identifies known infestations of alfalfa snout beetles on farms in NNY.
The ultimate goal of this project is to increase persistence and stand of alfalfa fields all across the North Country by reducing ASB populations through expanded nematode applications and more intentional crop rotations.
In many cases the ASB was present on the farm for several years before it was discovered. We find that the decline in the alfalfa stands on these farms is blamed on winterkill, aggressive cutting schedules, and the alfalfa variety. Most alfalfa seedings in NNY do contain some perennial grasses and as the alfalfa dies out the grasses fill in the voids. Growers many not notice a decline in yield but will begin to notice that the alfalfa is thinner each year.
If your neighbor has alfalfa snout beetle on their farm and you also grow alfalfa, there is a high likelihood that ASB is present on your farm as well.
If you are not sure if you have alfalfa snout beetle infestations on your farm and have alfalfa fields that just don’t last as long as they used to, please contact CCE to schedule a field visit in Jefferson or Lewis County with Mike at 315-788-8450, firstname.lastname@example.org, or in Clinton, Essex, Franklin or St. Lawrence County with NNY Field Crops and Soils Specialist Kitty O’Neil, 315-379-9192, email@example.com.
Kitty notes that the last survey and map of the NNY areas affected by ASB is now 8 years old and there have been some new outbreaks, so she and Mike be covering the NNY countryside looking for ASB during the fall which is peak ASB hunting season.
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