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Early-Season Bean Leaf Beetles Have Arrived

May 18, 2017
This agronomic image shows a bean leaf beetle.

Caption: Bean leaf beetle

In light of the mild winter and wet spring, University of Arkansas extension entomologist Gus Lorenz predicts 2017 will be a “bug year.”

Lorenz told Syngenta Pest Patrol that he’s already seen multiple reports of bean leaf beetles in young soybean fields across the Mid-South.

One report was from Angus Catchot, extension entomologist at Mississippi State University – he tweeted that bean leaf beetle populations have already reached the economic threshold in his area.

According to The Ohio State University, late-planted soybeans typically miss first-generation bean leaf beetles; but, may experience second-generation pressure during their early, vulnerable stages of development.

Purdue University highlights some of the damage caused by bean leaf beetles:

  • Overwintering adults feed on stems and leaves of early-emerging soybeans – stand losses are possible at this stage of growth.
  • Once maturing leaves become less attractive, beetles feed on the green tissue of pods, leaving a thin membrane over the seed.
  • During pod maturation, the pod membrane often cracks, leaving an entry hole for airborne plant pathogens, resulting in discolored, moldy, shriveled, and/or diseased beans.

Lorenz advises growers to begin scouting for bean leaf beetles now, before they contribute to damage and yield loss.

Once bean leaf beetles and other insect pests reach the economic threshold specific to each region, growers should consider applying Endigo® ZC insecticide for quick knockdown and extended residual control to grow more soybeans and maximize profit potential.

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