Kudzu bug

(ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND) – June 1, 2017 – Kudzu bug, an invasive insect, has been identified in nine Maryland counties and growers should be vigilant, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Kudzu bug, originally from Asia, has been found in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Talbot counties, the department said.

Soybean growers are advised to scout for the pest, which can reduce yields, but can be controlled with appropriate pesticides.

“Kudzu bugs are invasive species that can have a significant impact on crop yields,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “It is very important that farmers are aware of this insect and plan accordingly. Luckily, the kudzu bug is easily controlled with proper pest management planning.”

Kudzu bug is about the size of a pea and a distinctive olive green with brown speckles. It is broad and flat across the back end.  Kudzu bug is a “true bugs” with piercing-sucking mouthparts. According to the department, kudzu bug typically feeds on kudzu vines and then may migrate to soybeans and other types of available beans. Excessive kudzu bug feeding can reduce soybean yields by reducing pods per plant, reducing beans per pod, and/or reducing seed size. In Maryland, the pests have mostly been collected on kudzu, however, some have been found on soybeans in Dorchester County this spring.

To report a sighting or collected sample of kudzu bugs, contact the department’s Plant Protection and Weed Management section at 410-841-5920.

More information on identification, treatment thresholds and approved insecticides may be found here: http://mdkudzubug.org/

Additional material may be found at the United Soybean Board site at http://unitedsoybean.org/article/scouting-key-to-managing-kudzu-bug

The Maryland Soybean Board administers soybean checkoff funds for soybean research, marketing and education programs in the state. It is funded by farmers through an assessment of one-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans at their first point of sale. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Maryland for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board.

In Maryland, farmers grow about a half a million acres of soybeans, producing more than 20 million bushels of beans each year. With a value of $173 million to the state’s economy, soybeans are one of Maryland’s top crops. For more information on the Maryland Soybean Board, visit www.mdsoy.com.

(Photo courtesy of USDA.)