Wireworms: The Devastating Pests of PNW Wheat

Dr. Arash Rashed, Jae Ryu, Patrick Hatzenbuehler
This research is funded by Idaho Wheat Commission grower check-off dollars

An objective assessment of economic loss due to wireworm damage in Idaho wheat. Remote-sensing technologies can provide efficient analyses of crop stress and damage in large-scale farming. This project uses field-scale imaging to identify spatial and spectral signatures associated with wireworm damage in wheat fields. Combined with ground-sourced data on yield and wireworm count, these measures can help with early pest detection and estimate yield and profit losses.

Wireworms are the immature stage of all click beetle species (Coleoptera: Elateridae). In the recent decade, wireworms have been resurging as devastating pests of a wide range of crops in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), USA. Wireworms can stay in the soil for several years (up to 10 years) and infest crops in almost any rotation. Idaho Wheat Commission has provided support to the University of Idaho researchers to study wireworm ecology, management, and the expected yield loss to this pest.