New Pest Has Capability Of Decimating Soybean Fields

Mon 8-20-2018

(Undated)-- Iowa soybean growers have a new threat to worry about, the soybean gall midge...which has been confirmed in 16 western Iowa counties including Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Ida and O'Brien counties.

The pest is very destructive. Professor Erin Hodgson, an extension specialist in entomology at Iowa State University, says there are still many unknowns about the new bug and they haven't yet confirmed its species.

Hodgson says it starts off as kind of a clear, almost translucent larvae and when it matures it gets darker. Once they reach the fly stage, the midges are small, just two to three millimeters in length. They have long antenna and unusually hairy wings. 

Hodgson says the larvae feeds on the base of soybean stems on the inside. Hodgson says when it consume the plant tissue, basically the plant doesn't have anything to stand on so it collapses. 

Hodgson adds there is no practical solution yet on how to erradicate the pest.