Wheat (Montana)
Coordinated by David Weaver (weaver@montana.edu) Montana State University, Dept. of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Background

In 2015 around 5.5 million acres of wheat were planted in Montana, worth almost 1 billion dollars. Farms are extremely large, which makes scouting for insect pests difficult. Owing to the size of the farms, scouting and trapping are vital to implementing IPM practices. Due to recent crop diversification in Montana, research on how crops adjacent to wheat affect wheat pests and beneficial insects is of great importance.

wheat
Wheat (Triticum aestivum) L. 
Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Objective

This project focuses on providing timely information to growers about best management practices to control WSS and OWBM. Trapping is a crucial scouting tool that provides information on the level of infestation in a given field. Through the utilization of the iPiPE App for recording trapping data in real time a rapid response to developing and increasing pest issues can be offered. Additionally, the systems allows for data sharing with the existing Pestweb site at Montana State University. 

Montana State University Icon

Situation

Wheat stem sawfly (WSS), a native pest of wheat in the northern Great Plains, is a major threat to small grain production in Montana. Documented reports and observations indicate that sawfly infested acres and losses are increasing in the state. Control of WSS represents a challenge due to the fact that this pest colonizes the interior of the stem, has long flight times, and adults emerge continuously. Because of these factors, pesticides are not an effective means of control. However, with biological control outstanding results are achieved. Cultural practices that improve populations of Braconid parasitoids are the most used control method against WSS. 
Orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) is another major pest of wheat throughout the northern Great Plains. Yield losses of up to 90% have been reported in the Flathead Valley of Montana. IPM practices provide extremely effective control of OWBM.  

Important Pests

Wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus and Orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosselina 

wheat stem sawfly
Wheat stem sawfly (Cephus cinctus) Norton, 
Pest and Disease Image, Bugwood.org