While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.
Activity of alfalfa weevils has been documented in many areas of South Dakota during the last week. At this time, the entire state has accumulated enough degree days for alfalfa weevils to be active.
The 2018 and 2019 alfalfa weevil populations were relatively low, and as a result, we didn’t receive very many calls regarding this pest during those years. However, 2020 has been quite a bit different, and alfalfa weevil populations seem to be much higher.
Of all of the potential early season pests, the seedcorn maggot is rarely an issue in South Dakota. However, we have started receiving reports of soybean fields that have poor emergence or seedling stand reductions occurring.
Recent reports have indicated that pea aphid populations are very large in some alfalfa fields and should continue to be monitored and possibly managed.
False chinch bugs are active yet again in South Dakota. Although they are normally only a nuisance pest, their populations can become magnified during cool, wet springs.
This spring, there have been multiple reports of people seeing large fly-like insects in their yards. These insects are sawflies, and all reports thus far have been the elm sawfly (Cimbex americana).
Over the weekend, South Dakota experienced strong southerly winds, which brought warm temperatures to the state. In addition, these winds also brought insect pests north, which included moths of the western bean cutworm.
A few oat fields that were recently scouted were found to have barley yellow dwarf virus infected plants. The infected plants were few and scattered throughout the oat fields.
A number of ornamentals are in full bloom, ablaze with colors and, in some cases, buzzing with insects. One such insect that you may have noticed in your lawns is the goldenrod soldier beetle or Pennsylvania leatherwing (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus).