In this weekly Pest Watch update, learn why soybean producers should start scouting for little spotted beetles
Bean leaf beetles are starting to appear on the newly emerged Illinois soybean crop. Those fields that were planted earliest are at highest risk, says Mike Gray, crop science professor at University of Illinois-Urbana.
But fortunately for producers, he says, it takes a lot of bean leaf beetles to cause serious damage.
According to the AgWeb Online Field Guide, bean leaf beetles can cause damage to soybeans all season long, and they feed mainly on the leaves and pods of plants. The beetles can vary in color from green to reddish-brown, but always have a distinctive black triangular marking on the front edge of each wing, making them fairly easy to identify.
Crops Catch a Break from Cutworms
Gray also says that despite heavy populations of black cutworm and armyworm moths being spotted this spring, little damage has been done by the larvae so far. He says that early planting may have actually worked against the moths, as they are attracted to weedy fields. Working soils early might have prevented good establishment of larvae populations.
Listen in as Gray discusses the pest situation in Illinois: