Topics

Agriculture
Bug wars: In Utah farm fields it's ladybugs vs. a plague of aphids
Bug wars: In Utah farm fields it's ladybugs vs. a plague of aphids

James Barnhill has had a front-row seat to a tense natural battle in the farm fields of central Utah. Due to a drought and record warm winter here, invasive insects called aphids have survived the usually frigid months to ravage alfalfa and wheat crops this spring. Their ravenous opponents: legions of ladybugs. Take a walk with Barnhill through any Utah alfalfa field and you’ll see them, sometimes 10 ladybugs to a plant. But they are canaries in Utah’s farming coal mine: such numbers suggest that a plant is infested with dozens of aphids. “We have zillions of them,” Barnhill, a Utah State University agriculture extension agent, said of the ladybugs....

Loading