An extension agronomist in southwest Iowa has spotted an uncommon pest in soybean fields.
Aaron Saeugling with Iowa State University says Dectes stem borer bores into soybean stalks where it hatches larvae that feed on the vascular tissue of the plant.
“Obviously that is feeding that we don’t appreciate, and so therefore will kill the petiole of the stem. That’s the structure that holds the leaf, and essentially what happens is we see a plant that starts wilting and eventually will die.”
He tells Brownfield there’s not much farmers can do to manage the pest, but it is easy to identify.