Hessian fly outbreak plagues winter wheat growers in Bonners Ferry

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An outbreak of Hessian fly-caused yield losses in winter wheat, the main cash grain crop in our region, is plaguing our wheat growers. The fly lays its eggs in fall or spring, and the larvae feed on the base of the plant, reducing yields and weakening the stems, which causes extensive lodging. Historically, Hessian fly has not been a problem in winter wheat, thus few resistant varieties have not been developed for winter wheat as they have been for spring wheat. Dr. Kurt Schroeder will be discussing this issue, which he’s only observed in this region, as well as other current topics affecting wheat and barley producers at this year’s grain commission-sponsored Cereal School.

The 2020 North Idaho Cereal School will be held at the University of Idaho (UI) Extension Office in Bonners Ferry, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. A main focus of this event is evaluation of the discussion of UI Extension Boundary County Variety Trials, hosted by Tim and Julie Dillin of Houck Farms. Each year, dozens of varieties of spring and winter wheat, spring and winter barley, malting barley, and spring and winter canola are tested on their farm to see how new varieties perform in the unique growing conditions of Boundary County.

Other speakers from the University of Idaho include Jim Davis, who will discuss results of a flea beetle control study as well as results of the 2019 winter and spring canola variety trials. He will discuss new herbicide resistant varieties including TruFlex glyphosate resistant canola.

Doug Finkelnburg, UI Dryland Cropping Systems Area Educator, will discuss how herbicide resistance develops, and how we as a community can work together to integrate our mitigation efforts. Finally, UI Extension Ag Economist Pat Hatzenbuehler will present a new Farm Bill Decision Aid to help producers navigate the current ARC and PLC farm bill options, as all 2019 participants must make a one-time decision among these Farm Bill options by March 15, 2020.

This year’s Cereal School also includes updates from our wheat and barley commissioners on price and trade issues. The commissions sponsor the lunch for this event. Refreshments are provided by two local sponsors, Boundary Tractor and General Feed and Grain. Four pesticide recertification credits will be provided for this event. To sign up, call 208-267-3235 or email kpainter@uidaho.edu by Friday, Jan. 17. You can also download the agenda and send in your registration by mail from this year’s flyer, available at www.TinyUrl.com/2020Cereals.

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