From the Farm: Bean Leaf Beetles

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ILLINOIS (WCIA) — With newly planted crops emerging, farmers have barely had time to go from planting to crop scouting. WCIA 3’s Ag Reporter Stu Ellis is covering Bean Leaf Beetles in his report, From the Farm.

For example of what people might find, let’s say scouting early, those curious little Bean Leaf Beetles, they are probably hungry by now; they have not been fed for a long time, the early beans are going to get hit pretty hard.

“Yeah, that’s right and we found that a few years ago and we planted some beans in early April, and they were up before anything else a week or two before anything else around was up,” said Jason Carr, CCA Envoy- Illinois Soybean Association. “I think every bean leaf beetle within 200 miles found us and they did some serious damage.”

The target for Bean Leaf Beetles are those soybean fields that were planted before the cold weather, and with the help of 70-degree weather the past couple days have emerged and ready for the Bean Leaf Beetle onslaught.

Carr said they are most likely to be a serious problem when the first generation appears and attacks the earliest emerging soybean fields. However, neonic seed treatments provide early season protection, and by the time treatments have lost their effectiveness, there generally are enough leaves to make up for any foliage lost due to feeding. It is extremely rare for the second generation to cause economic impact because by the time it emerges, the plants have plenty of leaves and can withstand quite a bit of feeding.

But if a large second generation of beetles emerges, soybean agronomists said that is when economic damage results from Bean Leaf Beetles feed on soybean pods as beans are maturing.

Illinois Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter said Bean Leaf Beetles also spread bean pod mottle virus that reduces yield and that is the more concerning problem caused by Bean Leaf Beetles.

Carr will be featured in Saturday night’s Farm Showcase with Stu Ellis at 6:30 p.m. on WCIA 3.

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