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Crop eating insects worry Missouri soybean producers

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

ST. LOUIS, MO – Soybean producers in northern Missouri are trying to control a large population of tiny pests that can potentially destroy the plants.

The soybean aphid is a tiny light green insect that sucks the fluid from the plant. A large population of aphids has migrated down from parts of Iowa and Minnesota and is invading fields in Missouri.

Bruce Burdick, superintendent of University of Missouri Hundley-Whaley Farm in Albany says they've experienced infestations high enough to show economic damage, so they've begun insecticide control.

"Normally you have to reach an economic level of about 250 aphids per plant to justify using an insecticide and we're past that at this point," said Brudick.

Burdick is advising producers to let beneficial insects, like lady bug beetles control the population before using insecticides.

Producers are hopeful that the hot, humid weather forecast for the next several days will also kill off some of the aphids.


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