Got hoppers? Get sweeping!

June 28, 2024 10:13 AM
Blog Post

I've noticed potato leafhoppers in soybean this week (nymphs and adults), plus several notable observations are coming my way. It's time to get out a sweep net to  alfalfa and soybean so you can make timely treatment decisions. Depending on where you are in the state, you might be close to the second cutting or a few weeks away. It is important to distinguish leafhopper injury, sometimes called hopperburn, from other issues in the field. 

potato leafhopper injury
Field-wide feeding injury from potato leafhopper can be misdiagnosed. Photo by Rebecca Vittetoe, Iowa State University.  

Economic thresholds in alfalfa are based on leafhopper density, plant height, market value, and control costs. As the market value of hay increases, the economic threshold decreases. Conversely, as control costs or plant height increases, the economic threshold also increases. Read more about potato leafhopper biology and review treatment tables here.


Erin Hodgson Professor

Dr. Erin Hodgson started working in the Department of Entomology, now the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology, at Iowa State University in 2009. She is a professor with extension and research responsibilities in corn and soybeans. She has a general background in integrated...