No. 13 Article 3/June 19, 2009

Insect Activity Sporadic and Variable Across the North-Central Region

During a teleconference on June 15, extension entomologists from the north-central region shared with each other some observations and reports of insect activity in field crops. The pest continuing to generate the most interest this spring has been the soybean aphid. In Michigan, Chris DiFonzo, extension entomologist, reported on June 11 that some soybean research plots near campus have 5% to 20% infestation levels. Entomologists at Purdue University indicated June 12 that soybean aphids have been found in northern Indiana, with some plants having 40 aphids per plant. Infestations in Minnesota (south-central and southwest areas) have been relatively low so far. Ohio entomologists have reported soybean aphids in northwestern areas of the state and more recently near Wooster, with some plants infested at 40 to 50 aphids per plant. I've had no confirmation of aphid infestations in Illinois soybean fields to date, but no systematic survey has been conducted. Today we will have a research team sample some plots near DeKalb, and I will share their findings with the Bulletin readers.

Other insect infestations reported across the north-central region include sporadic infestations of white grubs and wireworms in corn, occasional black cutworm damage, bean leaf beetles (infestations appear to be light), potato leafhoppers in alfalfa, and armyworms in some wheat fields. Entomologists in Iowa and Nebraska also reported finding more European corn borer moths in action sites and traps than they have observed in recent years. The hatch of corn rootworms is well underway across central Illinois and is very likely in its early phase across northern areas of the state. I look forward to sharing more reports of insect activity and management recommendations throughout the summer.--Mike Gray

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