Peanuts exhibiting hopper-burn symptoms. Credit: Josh Thompson

Earlier this week I visited a farm in Jackson County that had considerable damage from leafhopper insects, a condition usually called hopper-burn.

There several different species of leafhoppers that feed on peanut, one of the most common is the potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae). See the picture below.

leafhopper uga

Potato Leafhopper. Credit: Steve Brown

The damage occasionally occurs in mid to late season peanuts when the plant-sucking insects move in from other hosts. Leafhoppers leave a distinctive yellow triangle-type pattern on the tips of peanut leaves. This is occurs after the leafhoppers suck the plant juices from the underside leaf mid-rib, causing the tips of the leaves to yellow.

Since the burned leaves are often not noticed until sometime after the damage has already been done, it is important to determine if insects are still in the area before making an insecticide application.

There are several effective chemicals to choose from for leaf hopper control. See the UGA Peanut Insect Control Guide for products and rates.

For more information on other insect pests, see Identification and Monitoring of Insect Pests in Peanut or contact you’re your local extension agent for assistance.


Josh Thompson
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