CSI Agronomy – Crop Scene Investigation – 30 Solved: What’s clipping Wilson’s wheat?


The pest that was clipping the heads off Wilson’s wheat was a grass sawfly.

It is extremely rare for this pest to be found in wheat. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs entomologist Tracey Baute consulted her colleagues across North America to help determine why the pest migrated to the crop in Ontario in 2010.

These pests have been observed clipping heads in wheat in Oregon, Delaware and in Michigan. In these cases, the grass sawflies fed on wheat plants during extremely warm spring weather conditions, just as occurred in Ontario in 2010. Baute says the pests were initially difficult to identify because they were hard to find.

Better Farming - February 2011