While high heat and drought conditions last year controlled some yield-robbing insect populations, including soybean aphids, this season may reveal a different story, caution DuPont Pioneer experts.  Moderate temperatures and delayed planting, combined with aphids’ ability to overwinter, could increase the risk of this insect’s infestation.

Insect specialists recommend scouting for aphids this season and taking action to prevent the pest from impacting soybean yields.  While scouting, you may also find new soybean pests in your fields. 

“Identified as strong fliers with the ability to hitchhike, both brown marmorated stink bugs and kudzu bugs continue to migrate and increase populations,” says Paula Davis, DuPont Pioneer senior manager for insect and disease resistance traits. “Along with soybean aphids, these pests will challenge growers to closely monitor their fields and keep tabs on current threat levels.”

Brown marmorated stink bug have already been detected in a number of states, up to 40 in total, including every state east of the Mississippi. Kudzu bugs have rapidly spread across 10 southeastern states since the first detection four years ago.

 

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Soybean yields are reduced as a result of feeding damage from brown marmorated stink bug and kudzu bugs. Kudzu bug infestations in Georgia and South Carolina show an average soybean yield loss of 18%, with ranges up to 47%. Growers in Maryland have estimated yield losses greater than 50% at field edges as well as delayed maturity due to early feeding by BMSB.