Newly-revised Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Guidelines for alfalfa have been published and now available on-line with new sections, videos, and decision support tools. These cover all areas of pest management including
- Cultural practices
An overview of all the guidelines can be seen at: UC IPM Alfalfa Pest Management Guidelines.
ID that Leaf Spot!! While the fear of drought may be washed away for the season, waterlogged soils may bring new concerns for growers, including increased risks of certain diseases.
To help identify these diseases, the newly revised UC IPM Alfalfa Pest Management Guidelines include photos to compare common symptoms of pest damage, including one specifically for spring diseases and stem nematode.
Stemphylium Leaf Spot disease in Alfalfa. See: Spring Diseases and Nematodes in Alfalfa for Identification of symptoms.
Cultural Practices Impact Pest Management. Since a key component of an integrated pest management (IPM) program is the use of cultural practices, the updated guidelines now include sections on practices such as irrigation, harvest scheduling and variety selection and how these can affect pest management in alfalfa. There is a new chart on variety section, which shows suggested fall dormancy and minimum pest ratings for each alfalfa growing area to combat diseases, nematodes and insects.
Weed Shifts and Resistance. A new section on preventing herbicide resistance and weed shifts also adds more information on creating a well-balanced weed management approach that reduces reliance on a single product.
What is that bug? To help monitor for common insect pests, the updated guidelines contain three short instructional videos on sampling with a sweep net, aphid identification and monitoring, and identifying parasitized alfalfa caterpillars. For management decisions, try the chlorpyrifos decision support tool, which compares management strategies for several of the key insect pests and shows the effects that different pesticides have on pests, pollinators and natural enemies, and the environment.
Can you Dig rodents? - or not! Rodents are a big problem in alfalfa. Several new sections were added on identifying and managing common vertebrate alfalfa pests: California ground squirrels, pocket gophers, and voles.
For more information on best management practices for managing pests in alfalfa grown for hay, see the newly updated UC IPM Alfalfa Pest Management Guidelines.