Be on the lookout for damaging stink bugs


This has certainly been a different summer. Just a few weeks ago, we were all hoping the rains would stop and the sun would shine more than 1½ days, as most every field around had some flooding.

But now the cool and wet weather has turned to hot and dry. We are now getting the “real” summer weather and heat units that we need for the crops. Most farm fields have dried out and a few farmers are wondering what the weather will be like the rest of the summer. As one area farmer told me, “I want it to rain, just to prove it still can.”

The crops are stressed, and as the soybeans begin to develop flowers and pods, we need to be aware of stink bugs that will begin feeding. Andy Michel, OSU Extension entomologist, cautions farmers that although stink bugs are more common in the southern U.S., Ohio producers have been noticing more stink bugs in soybeans.

Over the past few years, some of the population of stink bugs in Delaware County fields have been large enough to cause economic damage. Farmers need to be on the lookout for several stink bug 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 seeds are often flat, shriveled, wrinkled or completely aborted.

Michel suggests that over the next few weeks farmers check their fields to watch for these stink bugs before they move into the soybean. To sample for stink bugs, take five sets of 10 sweeps. An average of four stink bugs per set of 10 indicates an economic population. OSU Extension is interested in the level of stink bug populations in Ohio, so let me know if anyone finds fields that have a high number of stink bugs.

2015 Pumpkin Field Day

On Aug. 20, Ohio State University Extension will host “Pumpkin Field Day” at the Western Agricultural Research Station. Information at the meeting is geared toward pumpkin growers, crop consultants and chemical representatives.

The program will be led by Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension educator. He says the Pumpkin Field Night will focus on recent changes to pumpkin production and pest management. Topic included are:

• Current and under testing fungicides control powdery mildew.

• Use of aerial imagery to advance early.

• Impact of insecticides and fungicides on squash bee and honey bee populations.

• Late season pest management in cucumbers and pumpkin.

• Disease identification on different species of cucurbits.

• Using row covers and trap crops to reduce cucumber beetle pressure on the crop.

Speakers for the event will include Jim Jasinski, Dr. Sally Miller of Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center plant pathology, Dr. Celeste Welty of OSU entomology, and Dr. Reed Johnson of Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center entomology.

This workshop is a good opportunity for Delaware County producers, no matter their experience level, to keep up with the rapid changes in insect and disease management. The Western Agricultural Research Station is at 7721 S. Charleston Pike, South Charleston. There is no cost to attend the field day but pre-registration is encouraged.

Please pre-register for the Pumpkin Field Day by sending an email to Jasinski at [email protected] by Aug. 13 or call the Western Agricultural Research Station at 937-462-8016.

For more information regarding the 2015 Pumpkin Field Day, call the Delaware County OSU Extension office at 740-833-2030.

Rob Leeds is the Ohio State University Extension educator for agriculture and natural resources in Delaware County.

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