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News, events, and happenings in Colquitt County agriculture.

 I am getting a lot of questions about bermudagrass stem maggot and how to manage it from Colquitt County hay producers. According to Dr. Dennis Hancock, UGA Forage Agronomist,  low levels are being monitored around the state.  In Colquitt County bermudagrass fields, me and Amber Arrington, Colquitt County Extension agent, are also monitoring low levels of BSM. It is suggest to closely monitoring the current regrowth of bermudagrass for damage. It is usually late in the second cutting or early in the third cutting when damaging levels first begin to appear. Spraying an insecticide as a preventative/prophylactic application is NOT recommended at this time. However, if significant damage is spotted within the last week or so of growth prior to harvest, then the use of the suppression technique outlined on below.   Bermudagrass Stem Maggot (BSM) management strategy is contingent upon timing.   Below are a few points to consider about managing BSM.

  • If signs of BSM damage occur when the bermudagrass is 6-8 in. tall, then harvest (remove if possible) and implement chemical suppression technique. The bermudagrass is unlikely to grow out of this damage. Delayed action can rob yield from future growth.
  • If signs of BSM damage occurs late (~3 wk after prev. cutting/grazing), then harvest or graze as soon as possible.
  • Chemical suppression technique requiring 2 applications:
    1st App: 7-10 d after hay cutting.
    2nd App: repeat 7-10 d later (or 14-20 d after cutting)
    Growers should apply a labeled rate of an insecticide.  Examples include pyrethroids, such as Baythroid, Karate, Mustang Max,  Sevin, malathion, Tracer or Prevathon.


Colquitt County Bermudagrass Stem Maggot Survey

In order to understand how much BSM affects area forage producers please take the 2 question survey. All the results are confidential and will be used for educational purposes.  This survey should take less than a minute.  Thanks for the help.