New Resistant Alfalfa Weevil Project Underway

Brian German Industry, Pest Update

Resistant Alfalfa Weevil

The Resistant Alfalfa Weevil (RAW) project is a new multistate collaborative effort to help better understand the level of insecticide resistance in weevils and track the spread of resistant populations.  The hope is to use the data collected through the project to help develop management recommendations for alfalfa producers and stakeholders for mitigating the impact of insecticide resistance.

“Our project is looking at insecticide resistance in alfalfa weevils really across the western U.S.,” said Ian Grettenberger, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist at UC Davis and one of the leads on the Resistant Alfalfa Weevil Project.  “The goal here is to start monitoring and putting numbers on insecticide resistance, particularly as it relates to pyrethroids in terms of products that we already know there is resistance.”

Grettenberger will be working with Kevin Wanner, Associate Professor of Entomology and Extension Specialist at Montana State University, in acquiring data to apply to the development of solutions to help address insecticide resistance.  “We really want to start gathering baseline data so that we can detect resistance as it develops and we’re gathering that baseline data now just to prepare for the future,” said Grettenberger.

The Resistant Alfalfa Weevil project will include the collection of alfalfa weevils from fields and conducting dose-response bioassays to evaluate mortality.  Grettenberger noted that the RAW project will rely heavily on grower collaborators as well, and encourages those with resistant populations in their fields to contact the project leaders.

“Really any issues with resistance we want to hear about it – especially for pyrethroids – but really anything for resistance as it pertains to alfalfa weevil,” Grettenberger noted.  “Basically, we just need access to fields to be able to collect weevils before they’re sprayed with those materials. So, before an application of pyrethroids goes out and then the ability to put that data out there.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West