The primary purpose of our aphid monitoring efforts in southeast Idaho is to inform seed potato growers when aphid flights are occurring. Seed potato growers are interested in this information because many aphid species can vector Potato virus Y (PVY), an economically impactful virus for the seed potato grower since seed potatoes becomes ineligible for re-certification if they have more than 1% PVY. With knowledge of aphid flights, seed growers can initiate or continue mitigation efforts such as mineral oil applications. It’s important to emphasize that using insecticides alone is generally not an effective tool for managing this particular virus, and the practice can sometimes make the problem worse.
A cooler June in 2023 generally led to a slow rise in aphid numbers across many of the locations monitored. Numbers of winged aphids captured continued to slowly climb through July. An unusually large and extended peak occurred over about two weeks in August. The University of Idaho Extension & Research Seed Potato team is investigating how such late-season timing of winged aphids influences incidence of PVY in the seed potato crop.
Aphid monitoring in 2024 will resume in early June. Please email Kasia Duellman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in participating in this aphid monitoring program.