Potato leafhopper is an occasional soybean pest and is most often noticed in early-vegetative fields (Fig. Potato Leafhopper. Damage. There are numerous reports of alfalfa fields with … The storms also brought potato leafhoppers along with the rain. Infestations in later cuttings can stunt growth … Potato leafhopper (PLH) is the most damaging alfalfa insect pest in Ontario. A third option for control is planting PLH-resistant alfalfa. Potato leafhopper uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to remove plant juices. However, potato leafhoppers can stress alfalfa in 2 ways–removing plant fluids due to their feeding with the simultaneous injection of a toxin (see fig 2 of “hopper … Damaging numbers must be determined before symptoms appear. In alfalfa, sample using a sweep net and treat based on a combination of potato leafhopper number per sweep and average plant height. … Other small leafhoppers found in alfalfa are brown or gray in color and do no apparent damage. The tips of leaves will turn bright yellow in a characteristic “v” shaped pattern. This is the ideal type of weather pattern that favors high potato leafhoppers feeding and damage in both alfalfa and dry beans. Established fields should be sampled after first cutting, while new fields (fall- or spring-seeded) should be sampled beginning about May 25. The most common damage symptom is a yellow, wedge-shaped area at the tip of the leaf … The potato leafhopper is an important insect pest of alfalfa, fruits, and vegetables. Obviously, it is a little late for this season’s crop but something to consider for future seedings. Both potato leafhopper adults and nymphs feed on alfalfa, but the most serious damage is caused by the nymphs. Damage symptoms first appear as wedge … Other green leafhoppers may be present in alfalfa, such as the threecornered alfalfa hopper, but they are much larger in size. The treatment threshold for potato leafhoppers is variable as the economics of hay production is so dynamic depending upon the end use of the hay. Regrowth (plants under 3 inches) is particularly vulnerable to potato leafhopper damage. The threshold values are: Research has shown that potato leafhopper resistant alfalfa is consistently higher in quality than susceptible alfalfa varieties with or without potato leafhopper … The amount of damage that potato leafhoppers cause is related to the size of insect population and height of alfalfa. An early symptom of leafhopper damage is a triangular or V-shaped yellow or purple area at the tip of alfalfa leaves. As the crop grows, it can handle a greater number of leafhoppers. If alfalfa is more than seven days from a cut and plants are under normal stress, a good rule of thumb for a treatment threshold is: when the number of leafhoppers in a 10-sweep set is equal to or greater than the height of the alfalfa. Damage is most severe in new seedings and young regrowth. Younger alfalfa is more susceptible to damage at lower leafhopper numbers. Potato leafhopper is more sporadic in our peanut fields than threecornered alfalfa hopper, but the “hopper burn” that is caused by its feeding can be dramatic. 7). While the damage created is not as dramatic as an alfalfa weevil outbreak, leafhopper damage is more chronic and widespread. Figure 6. Also, first-year alfalfa fields should be monitored closely, as they tend to be more susceptible to potato leafhopper injury. Hot, dry weather is high risk. Though its host range extends to over 100 plants including alfalfa, soybean, beans, apples, potatoes, and grapes, the potato leafhopper causes the most significant amount of injury to alfalfa and … This discoloration is caused by a toxin the leafhopper injects into the alfalfa plant as it sucks out plant juices. It does not normally impact the first cutting of established alfalfa stands. 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