Contributed by Jaime Cummings, NYS Integrated Pest Management Program
Many of you in certain parts of NY experience damage and losses to your small grains crops from the Cereal Leaf Beetle. It is considered a primary pest of concern wherever it infests a field. We started a project in 2019 to investigate the potential for biocontrol of this pest, and it yielded promising results, which some of you may have seen shared at various crop congresses and other extension venues this past winter (Fig 1.).
We confirmed the presence of the biocontrol parasitoid wasp, Tetrastichus julis, in a number of fields in 2019, including a high population of them in one location in Tompkins County (Fig. 2). Cereal leaf beetle larvae were collected, parasitism levels were determined, and were then released at the Musgrave Research Farm in Cayuga County. The goal is to build this population of parasitoids and use it as a reservoir for future releases in areas affected by the cereal leaf beetle pest over the next several years.
Based on the success of the first year, we are moving forward with this project, and we need your help. Please help us identify fields infested with cereal leaf beetle larvae. If your field is infested, please contact your local CCE field crop specialist or Jaime Cummings at the NYS IPM program (email@example.com) so that we can come and collect larvae from your fields to determine parasitism levels and potentially use them to build up the population of the parasitoid at the research farm for future on-farm releases. We appreciate your cooperation!