Luana Machado Simão is a DWFI-supported student whose research revolves around the wheat stem sawfly in Western Nebraska and its destructive ability to eat wheat from the inside out.
Solid-stem wheat is less susceptible to sawflies than hollow-stem wheat. Through observation, this research found that solid-stem wheat varieties stood longer after harvest, with the added benefit of holding snow, which provided extra soil water content for the next season.
In their study, Simão and her advisor, DWFI Faculty Fellow Cody Creech, found that solid-stem wheat yielded less during dry conditions than other varieties and it did not stand any longer. As a result, they advise using solid-stem wheat only if the risk of impacts from the sawfly is high.