Recent observations indicate very high populations of wheat stem sawfly in Nebraska wheat fields, with emergence not only from field edges but also deep within fallow fields. Documentation on infestations is encouraged for successful fall sawfly management.
This article provides a brief background on how the wheat stem sawfly arrived here, ideas on how we might manage it in Nebraska and thoughts on why we saw reduced damage in some regions while others had the most damage they have ever seen.
University research in the Nebraska Panhandle suggests that changing two management strategies may help significantly reduce wheat stem sawfly pressure in winter wheat. Over the years, the sawfly has become a major pest in wheat with few known control measures.
Sawfly management in wheat requires a diversified approach using a number of tools. Growers who know which fields have greater levels of infestation can help manage the effects of sawfly this year as well as next year. Fields with high infestations should be harvested first, if possible.