As our soybean begins to develop flowers and pods, we need to be aware of stink bugs that will begin feeding. Although more common in the southern US, we have been noticing more stink bugs in soybean the past few years, even some fields where economic damage was seen. There are several species, including the green, the brown, the red-shouldered and the brown marmorated stink bug.
These insects have piercing/sucking mouthparts similar to aphids, and will pierce through the pod to feed on the developing seed. Damaged seed are often flat, shriveled, wrinkled or completely aborted. Over the next few months, we will begin to see stink bugs move into soybean, and now is a good time to begin scouting. To sample for stink bugs, take 5 sets of 10 sweeps.
An average of 4 stink bugs per set of 10 indicates an economic population. We are interested in gathering information on stink bug species distribution across the state and will begin our surveys this week. Please let us know of any fields that might have a high number of stink bugs.