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Wide range of insects can infest soybeans

Green stinkbugs are the number one pest in Tennessee soybeans.

Forrest Laws

September 15, 2020

Many farmers have asked the question: “What’s this bug (or worm or moth) in my beans?” But it’s not always easy to get an answer given the wide range of insects that can be found in row crops in the Mid-South.

That’s why a video presentation by the University of Tennessee’s Sandy Steckel during the No-Till Soybean Tour at the virtual Milan No-Till Field Day earlier this summer, could be must-watch TV for many growers.

In this first segment from her presentation, Steckel, an Extension assistant at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson, discusses the numerous types of stinkbugs that can be found in Tennessee soybeans and what differentiates them from other pests in the same family.

Green stinkbugs are currently the number one pest in Tennessee soybeans, she said. The green stinkbug adults are large, showy, robust green insects. “I like to think of them as kind of the incredible hulk of the stinkbug world,” she said.

“All stinkbug pests are seed feeders, and populations tend to build throughout the growing season and often peak around R-5 or R-6 when those seeds are developing in the pods. It is important to correctly identify the kinds of stinkbugs that are being found in our beans because some species are more difficult to control with insecticides than others.”

Steckel also referred viewers to two other videos featuring Scott Stewart, Extension entomologist with the University of Tennessee, on the nuts and bolts of scouting soybeans and identification of some more common insect pests in crops.

“I want to encourage y’all to watch them as my presentation is meant to supplement that material,” she said. “I’d also like to recognize that Dr. Stewart took the great photographs we’ll see today.” (Steward was recently named director of the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.)

Click on order&list=UL and to see those videos.

Next: Caterpillar 'legs' could aid in pest identification

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Stink Bugs

About the Author(s)

Forrest Laws

Forrest Laws spent 10 years with The Memphis Press-Scimitar before joining Delta Farm Press in 1980. He has written extensively on farm production practices, crop marketing, farm legislation, environmental regulations and alternative energy. He resides in Memphis, Tenn. He served as a missile launch officer in the U.S. Air Force before resuming his career in journalism with The Press-Scimitar.

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