Leafhoppers are causing substantial loss in southern California alfalfa, and management practices are limited.
Southern California alfalfa growers deal with leafhoppers every year, and this year in particular. Large populations of the insect feed on alfalfa and the plant’s defense also cuts off its ability to grow. University of California Cooperative Extension Entomologist Dr. Vonny Barlow says management practices are limited however. Barlow said the natural enemies don’t repopulate as fast as the leafhoppers, and the only effective way to manage a yellowing alfalfa crop is to early harvest and cut your losses.