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Stink bug poses major threat to soybean crop

By JACK WEATHERLY

Mississippi’s largest and most valuable row crop, soybeans, is under attack by a pest that can significantly reduce production of the crop.

And so an emergency forum on the redbanded stink bug will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Capps Center of the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Data will be provided by academicians and consultants from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

To access the live stream of the forum, go to https://www.uaex.edu/live/. During the forum, participants may text their questions to (662) 394-1919.

For more information, contact Angus Catchot, Mississippi State University Extension entomologist, at (662) 325-2085 or (662) 418-8163.

The crop in Mississippi was valued at $1 billion in 2016. It constitutes two-thirds of all row-crop acreage in the state this year.

“We have had well over 150 calls [last] week alone on insecticide efficacy, thresholds, and insecticide termination,” Cachot wrote in a blog post Saturday, according to Delta Farm Press. “With any new pest that has such high damage potential and changes traditional management considerations, naturally there are lots of questions being asked from areas of Mississippi and Arkansas where this pest has not commonly occurred.”

Cachot said in another report that “redbanded stinkbugs are a lot more difficult to control and more damaging than our traditional stinkbugs. Particularly south of Highway 82, we have a lot of redbanded stinkbugs in our system that are being treated.”

When the early-planted soybeans mature and begin to dry, late-planted soybeans are among the only green plants left on cropland, Catchot said.

“I’m anticipating we’ll have a lot more pressure from redbanded stinkbugs then,” Catchot said. “We need to make sure we’re on top of scouting for these pests in the coming weeks.”

He said in yet another report that “cold winters typically kill them back to the coastal areas of [Louisiana]. Unfortunately, [they] have overwintered well north of Hwy 82 this year.”

“The situation is pretty serious in Mississippi right now,” the Farm Press quoted Gus Lorenz, Extension entomologist with the University of Arkansas as saying. “They have thousands and thousands of acres that are being treated for redband and they’re having trouble getting them all treated with all the rain showers.”

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