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Scout Soybean Fields Now For The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

The brown marmorated stink bug makes its home in all soybean-producing areas in the United States, however, they present especially severe problems to farmers in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Stink bugs migrate into soybean fields at the R4 or full-pod stage, usually from July through October. This timeframe is ideal for these insects to feed on soybean seed, which they prefer.

These shield-shaped insects are attracted to the Tree-of-Heaven, a foul smelling, invasive tree, commonly found in tree-lines along fields. This makes the outer edges of soybean fields near this tree the ideal location to find this stink bug. The benefit of knowing where they tend to reside can help farmers to find and combat this insect.

To scout soybean fields for stink bugs, look along field edges for these symptoms:

  • Undeveloped or flat pods
  • Punctured or deformed seed
  • Delayed maturity

Ames Herbert Jr., Ph.D., professor of entomology at Virginia Tech University, recently offered insect-management tips for stink bugs in a recent webcast. The soy checkoff sponsors these webcasts through a partnership with the Plant Management Network, and all U.S. soybean farmers have access to this full presentation for free until Nov. 30.

According to Herbert, treating only the perimeter of the soybean field proved to be a highly successful stink bug management tactic in field trials in Virginia, Delaware and Maryland.

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