This paper reports the results of extensive pest surveys conducted on farmers' fields and pest population studies at two national research stations between 1979 and 1981 in Burkina Faso. Major findings indicate that, under normal planting conditions, infestation of the sorghum shootfly, Atherigona seccata is very low in farmers' fields. This pest appears to be restricted to research stations. Stem borer infestation is caused by a complex of species, and species predominance varies with rainfall. South of latitude 12°N, Busseola fusca is the predominant species but further north it is replaced by Acigona ignefusalis, which is a primary pest of pearl millet. Panicle damage caused by the sorghum midge, Contarinia sorghicola, varies with season; is usually very low in the dry northern Sahelian zone but severe south of latitude 13°N. Maximum midge populations occurred between mid-September and early October.