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Posted 30 July 2015. PMN Crop News.

Kudzu Bug Coming Soon to a Field Near You

Five best management practices to protect yields this season

Source: United Soybean Board Press Release.

Chesterfield, Missouri (July 14, 2015)--Native to Asia, kudzu bugs were first found in nine counties of Georgia in 2009. Six years later, they’ve made themselves at home across the entire southeastern part of the United States, spreading across more than 1,000 miles, from Atlanta to Louisiana in the West, all the way to Delaware in the North. They’ve made their way across the Mississippi River and the Mason-Dixon Line.


“We don’t know any way to stop it,” says Blake Layton, a Mississippi State University entomologist, in an interview with NBC Washington.

Ultimately, cold winters and lack of kudzu plants probably will decide just how far kudzu bugs spread, says Wayne Gardner, an entomology professor at the University of Georgia.

When left unchecked, kudzu bugs can cause up to 60 percent yield reduction in soybean fields, according to soy-checkoff-funded research. These stem feeders keep nutrients from the pods, hindering plant maturity, number of seeds per pod and seed size, especially in early-planted soybeans.

Here are five best management practices to stay on top of this pest

• Scout by using a threshold of one nymph per sweep with a 15-inch-diameter sweep net.

• Insecticide applied during the nymph stages will generally provide season-long control.

• If the application is made when adults are flying around in search of reproductive host plants, they can re-infest a field within one week.

• Many of the insecticides recommended for use on stink bugs can be used to control kudzu bugs.

• In some cases, where infestations haven’t spread throughout a field, cost savings are available by treating only field borders since that’s where populations first develop.