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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Insect sweeps

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Today I was joined by Gina Angelella, a Purdue pHD student who was looking for sites in northern Illinois to collect Spotted alfalfa aphids. I coordinated seven alfalfa fields (thanks to several generous farmers) and joined in sweeping the fields. Our success in finding the Spotted alfalfa aphid was not that great, Gina collected only five. The aphids will have their DNA sequenced as researchers try to learn more about migratory patterns and between crop movements of this insect.

While the Spotted alfalfa aphids were scarce, there was no shortage of other insects in the alfalfa. Potato leafhoppers,Tarnished plant bugs, Pea aphids, Ladybird beetles, grasshoppers AND lots of corn rootworm beetles. Take your pick, Northerns, Westerns and even Southerns were easily found. It made sense that they would be in the alfalfa, the corn and soybeans in this area are quickly senescing and the alfalfa is virtually the only green crop around.

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