Friday, April 8, 2011

More bean leaf beetles this spring?

Not all insects can survive our cold winters in Iowa, but many have found adaptations to make it through the cold months. Some will go deep in the soil, hide under leaf litter, or are protected by snow cover. Bean leaf beetle adults rely on the latter two options to protect themselves from extreme temperatures. The last couple winters have been exceptionally cold and the state has experienced good “winter kill” for bean leaf beetle and other overwintering insects. Harsh temperatures combined with an increased use of insecticidal seed treatments have made these beetles almost hard to find in some areas of Iowa. But according to a temperature survival model created by ISU entomologists in 2000, last winter was more mild. We would expect higher survival in the lower half of the state compared to the last couple years. However this prediction is complicated by the lack of snow cover throughout most of the state, which can increase winter kill. So bottom line is to scout emerging soybean with a little bit more intensity this year, especially those early-planted fields. Find more details about this prediction in a recent ICM News article 

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