What is in this article?:
- Kudzu bug expected to be statewide in Alabama by 2014
- Threshold questions
- Check fields closely
- Kudzu bugs could be a statewide issue for Alabama soybean producers in 2014.
- Heavy pest pressure this year was limited to the central part of the state.
- Research has found a wasp parasite that does a good job on the insect pest.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY EXTENSION Entomologist Tim Reed scouts a soybean field in northeast Alabama for kudzu bugs. Reid expects the insect pest to be statewide on Alabama soybeans in 2014.
Check fields closely
Reed advises growers to look at their fields closely, having a good idea about insect densities. “Keep tabs on the disease situation. When disease starts showing up and is spreading to a wider area, you need to spray for soybean rust if you haven’t already. Before soybean rust was detected, fields were going to be sprayed anyway because the yield potential was so good at R4 or R5. Go by a field-by-field situation, and if you’re making good sweep net counts and have a good grasp on the insect populations, then use that to make your determination. If you just look down the plant, you can see them, and if you see a lot of them, then you need to spray.”
Auburn University researchers have found a wasp parasite that is doing a good job on the kudzu bug, says Reed, and that might be part of the answer to this pest.
“In South Carolina, they’ll have a problem one year and not the next, so hopefully we’ll have that same situation. Kudzu bugs feed mainly on the stem, but they’ll feed on any part of the plant. In 24 Georgia studies, the average yield reduction from this pest was five bushels per acre. When I started spraying for them during the last week of June in Prattville, they would build back up in two weeks. You’ll see that until the first week of August. They continue to move around and get on beans that are in the early vegetative stage.”
(A couple other items of interest on this subject include Soybean growers might as well get acquainted with the kudzu bug and Discovery of parasitic wasp could be game changer in kudzu bug battle).