Biotech Updates

New Pest Found in Ohio Soybeans

September 18, 2009

Soybean plants in Ohio which exhibit yellowing similar to potassium deficiency were recently found to harbor mealy bug egg masses by Ohio State University Extension specialists. Potassium deficiency was ruled out as the cause of the yellowing after soil tests were conducted. Trochanter mealybug (Pseudococcus sorghiellus) is a sap-sucking root feeder which has been found in some soybean fields in Midwest states such as Ohio and Iowa.

Ron Hammond, an Ohio State University Extension entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, will be leading efforts over the next year to determine how this pest will cause any damage to soybean plants. He is asking soybean growers who detect potassium-like deficiencies in their crop to examine the roots with hand lens to confirm the presence of the mealy bugs and report any findings to him at or (330) 263-3727. These information will be vital in devising strategies to control the pest and its spread.

See press release at