Grower-based selection of varieties and systems for wheat stem sawfly control

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2007: $125,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Montana
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Luther Talbert
Montana State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: wheat


  • Crop Production: double cropping
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display
  • Pest Management: biological control, field monitoring/scouting, trap crops


    The wheat stem sawfly is the major insect pest for wheat in Montana. We developed a trap crop system using two different mechanisms of resistance. The first is solid-stems, which kills sawfly larvae in the stem. The second is a trait whereby females avoid laying eggs in certain varieties. A solid-stemmed variety is paired with a high-yielding unattractive variety. The sawflies lay their eggs in the solid-stem trap. This allows growers to choose higher yielding varieties for most of their acreage, providing both sawfly control and increased production.

    Project objectives:

    1) Assess the potential of solid-stemmed Choteau spring wheat as a trap crop for control of wheat stem sawfly.

    2) Select solid-stem lines from a Reeder/Choteau cross that have high end-use quality and vary in volatile production and stem solidness.

    3) Determine the relative ability of the solid-stemmed Choteau/Reeder lines to trap wheat stem sawfly.

    4) Provide meaningful outreach to growers regarding sawfly control in general and use of trap varieties specifically.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.