Potato Leafhopper Infestations Are Very Heavy

July 9, 1999
We have written a significant amount of information about potato leafhoppers in both alfalfa and soybeans in several issues of this Bulletin. Unfortunately, no matter how much we write, they won't go away. We continue to receive reports of very heavy infestations and significant yellowing and stunting in damaged alfalfa fields. Much of the crop has been cut within the past 2 to 3 weeks, depending on your location in Illinois, and some alfalfa is in a very susceptible stage of growth. Remember, the most injury caused by potato leafhoppers in alfalfa often occurs immediately after a cutting has been made. Failure of the alfalfa to green up and grow well may be the result of feeding injury caused by leafhoppers that have reinvaded the field.

We will have to deal with potato leafhoppers throughout most of the summer. Their numbers usually don't decline until after the third cutting has been made, so don't relax just yet. If you stay on top of potato leafhoppers in alfalfa, you can grow some outstanding alfalfa.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey