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Missouri crop insect outlook normal at this stage

Missouri field crops are on tap for the usual insect suspects this year, according to MU entomologist Kevin Rice tells Brownfield Ag news, “Our most numerous pests will probably be Japanese beetles and stinkbugs.”

Rice says last year’s flooding did not wash Japanese beetles away, “Unfortunately, a lot people were hoping the flooding may have reduced Japanese beetle survivorship. That’s highly unlikely and historically that has not been the case in other parts of the country.”

But, Rice says Mother Nature can throw a curve ball at any time, like she did last year with thistle caterpillars, “That was unexpected. They just sort of showed up. So, we always have to be on the lookout. And that’s the reason why we need to scout our fields on a weekly basis.”

Rice says thistle caterpillars migrated from southern states and are not a normal player in Missouri crops. He says they reached economic levels in some soybeans last year and growers had to spray.

Rice says they’ve started to see an increase in true armyworms in pastures within the last week.

^ Interview excerpt with Kevin Rice ^

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