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Issue No. 8, Article 2/May 19, 2006

An Inventory of Field Crop Insect Issues in the Midwest

On May 16, a handful of extension entomologists participated in a teleconference to share information about the field crop insect situation and associated issues in their respective states. The teleconference was initiated by Dr. Mike Gray, University of Illinois, and we hope to continue these teleconferences as long as there is interest. Although attendance for the first teleconference was small, we anticipate greater participation when field crop insect issues heat up. We also remind you that you can access weekly newsletters from the north-central states by clicking on the "Resources" tab on the Bulletin Web site. However, here we will provide a snapshot of the field crop insect situation in the north-central states.

Overall, the reports from Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio were similar. The relatively widespread cool, wet weather has field crop insect activity mostly in a holding pattern. There has been considerable anticipation of injury caused by armyworms and black cutworms, but thus far the participating entomologists have received only a limited number of reports of injury caused by these two pests. Following are synopses of reports from three midwestern states:

Illinois (Mike Gray, Kevin Steffey)

  • Alfalfa weevils are causing noticeable injury in fields of alfalfa in central Illinois. The wet weather has delayed harvest.
  • Brown stink bugs and southern corn leaf beetles have been observed in some cornfields in southwestern, western, and west-central counties.
  • People are still encountering considerable numbers of white grubs, although reports of injury to corn are still few and far between.

Nebraska (Robert Wright)

  • There were widespread reports of pea aphids in alfalfa this spring, although few fields required insecticide applications.
  • Alfalfa weevil injury is beginning to show up.
  • Phyllophaga white grubs have been observed in bromegrass pastures.

Ohio (Ron Hammond)

  • Alfalfa weevil injury is beginning to show up.
  • Significant numbers of flea beetles have been found in some cornfields.
  • Slugs are developing to the stages at which injury caused by their feeding will be noticed soon.

Depending on participation in future teleconferences, coverage in the Bulletin may require some truncating to forgo redundancy. However, we will attempt to provide these synopses for quick review. You should be able to obtain more detail and follow-up in the respective states' newsletters.--Kevin Steffey and Mike Gray

Kevin Steffey
Mike Gray

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