The wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus Norton (Hymenoptera: Cephidae), has reached outbreak status at most locations in the southern Canadian prairies. Solid-stemmed wheat, Triticum aestivum L., cultivars, which are less susceptible to damage, remain the primary management option. This article quantifies the effect of wheat stem sawfly damage on grain yield and quality at harvest and determines how cultivar selection affects harvest losses. Solid-stemmed cultivars were compared with hollow-stemmed cultivars and with blends of a 1:1 ratio of each. The hollow-stemmed cultivars with the exception of ‘McKenzie’, which had intermediate levels of stem cutting, were all significantly more susceptible to stem cutting than solid-stemmed cultivars. Cultivar blends had lower damage but were still significantly higher than the solid-stemmed cultivars. The solid-stemmed ‘AC Eatonia’ and ‘AC Abbey’ had the lowest levels of stem cutting and ranked second and third overall for yield in 2001 and 2002. McKenzie ranked first, which reflects its yield potential in combination with its partial resistance to stem cutting. Lower cutting in AC Eatonia, AC Abbey, McKenzie, and the blend of AC Abbey/McKenzie was significantly correlated with lower grain losses. Grain lost at harvest has major economic implications if sawfly pressure is moderate to high and susceptible cultivars predominate.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1