Aphids were found in wheat fields located in Richland County, IL.   When scouting for aphids, you want to look for small, soft bodied, pear-shaped insects that can vary in color. They can damage wheat plants by feeding, but also by transmitting the Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV).

When trying to make the decision on whether to spray for these pests, one should consider university established thresholds. Aphid infestations have been described as slight (less than 50 aphids per row), moderate, and severe (greater than 100 per ft of row). This field in Richland County, IL consisted of a moderate infestation of aphids, which warranted an insecticide treatment.

I used a DJI Agras T40 that is capable of carrying 10.5 gallons of payload when equipped with the spray tank. The drone flies autonomously upon entering flight perimeter data for each mission. Typical patterns for spraying range from 28 to 32 feet in swath width.

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About the Author: Matt Herman

Matt Herman is a 2020 graduate of Southern Illinois University and majored in crop, soil, and environmental management with a minor in agribusiness economics. While attending SIU, he conducted undergraduate research on precision nitrogen management. Upon graduation, Matt was employed at Wabash Valley Service Company as a crop specialist where he earned his CCA certification. As a crop specialist, Matt managed growers' acres by recommending seed, chemical, fertilizer, and specialty products. After a year and a half, he decided to follow his passion in the seed industry and took a job with Burrus Seed as the Account Manager for Southeastern IL. Matt and his wife currently reside in Mt. Carmel, IL and farm with his grandfather in Claremont, IL. His passion lies in agronomy, and he thoroughly enjoys working with growers to help them achieve goals and ultimately increase their return on investment. He strives to continue to learn about new products and practices in order to stay up to date with the ever-changing agriculture industry. Matt is a certified commercial aerial applicator where he plans to use new drone technology to research various products on corn, soybean, and wheat acres.

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