Above: (Click on the photos to enlarge.) Barley thrips, tiny, black bugs that suck the juice out of developing barley kernals, have infested some of our fields. We are busy spraying to stop them from ruining our crop.
Above: The thrips are hard to find in the plant. Peeling away the outside layer of the stalk reveals the pest.
Above: According to Farmer Fred, this is the first time we have had barley thrips in our fields. The late season and warm weather last week contributed to their appearance.
Above: According to NDSU, one barley thrips per plant will result in a loss of 1.25 bushels per acre. Some of our plants had 20 thrips on them. In central North Dakota last year, some barley fields were a total loss as a result of thrips damage.