Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More bean leaf beetles predicted this summer

Iowa's warm winter and lack of moisture has generated a lot of talk about corn and soybean production lately. Some of the discussion is centered around insect survival and what a mild winter may mean for increased numbers this summer. I addressed some of these issues in a recent ICM News article with Laura Jesse, but specifically talked about bean leaf beetles in an article released today.

In general, overwintering bean leaf beetle adults are susceptible to cold temperatures and are more likely to survive a warm winter. Predicted mortality around the state is low compared to most years, ranging from 30-53%. But lack of insulating snow cover may actually increase mortality. With those factors in mind, I am estimating overwintering beetles may be out in greater numbers compared to the last few years. Early-planted fields should be scouted for adults, especially food-grade soybean.

Predicted overwintering mortality of bean leaf beetle based on accumulated subfreezing temperatures during the 2011-2012 winter.

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