Biotech Updates

Field Crops Insects Respond to Strange Weather

March 23, 2012

Entomology and crop science extension coordinator Mike Gray has published in the University of Illinois' College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences News the list of insect pests that would be affected by the wild winter and high temperatures in the Corn Belt of the United States this March. Gray said that insects would be affected depending on whether the insect pests spend the winter in Corn Belt or whether they migrate into the Midwest from more southerly latitudes.

Gray said, "The mild winter will very likely improve the survival of some insect species, such as corn flea beetles, bean leaf beetles, soybean aphids, and white grubs that overwinter in Illinois." For other overwintering species, the mild winter may be a neutral factor. "Many insect species, such as European corn borers and western corn rootworms are superbly adapted to survive even the most severe winters, especially if snow cover is present," he added. Predicting insect behavior before the planting season can help plan strategies for their control.

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