New invasive insect hurting Missouri soybeans


New invasive insect hurting Missouri soybeans

A University of Missouri entomologist says gall midge is in at least two Missouri counties.

Kevin Rice tells Brownfield the small fly-like insect can be devastating to soybean fields.

“The first 100 feet of soybean [field] edges, you can experience 100 percent yield loss,” he said. “And then up to 20 percent yield loss up to 400 feet into the field.”

While the insect’s origin is unknown, he says it was found in Atchison country last year and has spread to Holt country this year and will likely continue to spread.

“It’s highly likely that it’s an invasive species so it likely doesn’t have a lot of natural enemies here to knock it down,” Rice said.

He says gall midge is also in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. Rice says if farmers believe their crops are infested with the insect to report it to their local extension office.  

Kevin Rice Interview

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