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Issue No. 13, Article 11/June 17, 2005

Add Japanese Beetles to the List of Concerns

Our first report of significant numbers of Japanese beetles came, not surprisingly, from Ron Hines, Senior Research Specialist at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Research Center. Ron set up Japanese beetle traps at his five trapping locations toward the end of May and early June, and not a moment too soon. He captured Japanese beetle adults at three of his locations (Jefferson, Massac, and Pope counties) during the week ending June 7. But the big captures occurred during the week ending June 14--429 in Pope County, and 152 in St. Clair County. And then to make matters really interesting, Ron captured 425 Japanese beetle adults in one day (June 15) in Pope County. These types of numbers were not exceeded in Pope County in 2004 until July 7.

425 Japanese beetle adults captured in a trap in Pope County on June 15, 2005 (photo courtesy of Ron Hines).

To add to Ronís findings, others have reported finding Japanese beetles for the first time in 2005. Duane Frederking, with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, observed Japanese beetle for the first time in 2005 on June 15 in Christian and Moultrie counties. G. Kelly Robertson, with Robertson Farms, found Japanese beetles in soybean fields in Gallatin and Saline counties on June 15 and 16. Numbers were not large, but the beetles were concentrated (>4 per plant) in some areas of the fields. On these plants, the beetles had already completely chewed up at least one soybean leaf. Ria Barrido, with Syngenta Crop Protection in Bondville (Champaign), observed Japanese beetles in her area on June 16. She observed mostly males (smaller than the females) perched at the tops of crop plants.

So, now we will be watching for Japanese beetles to threaten corn production (silk clipping during pollination) and soybean production (defoliation in excess of 30%). Keep scouting.--Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey

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