Commodity involvement in addressing emerging production issues: The kudzu bug in soybean

Tuesday, November 17, 2015: 9:05 AM
212 AB (Convention Center)
Richard Joost , United Soybean Board, Chesterfield, MO
When first identified in the United States in 2009 kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria Hemiptera:Plataspididae) was viewed as a potential solution for controlling kudzu (Puraria lobata). The new pest quickly spread from its initial point of introduction and established itself as a potential major stress-inducing pest of soybean.  The United Soybean Board (USB), a commodity checkoff organization established by the 1990 Farm Bill, focuses its research program on issues that improve the profitability of the United State soybean farmers who contribute to the checkoff.  Strategic planning during 2010 identified stink bugs (Hemiptera:Pentatomidae) as key soybean pests that required further study to develop better management strategies to reduce their yield and quality impacts.  A workshop hosted by USB in March 2011 in Atlanta GA developed a strategic plan for yield-limiting pests of soybeans entitled "A Strategy for Prioritizing Losses Caused by Stink Bugs and Related Soybean Pests".  In that report, kudzu bug was listed as one of several new yield-limiting soybean pests that requried attention.  Early studies in 2010 determined that, left uncontrolled, kudzu bug could reduce soybean yields by 20%.  Research funded by USB led by Dr. Jeremy Greene at Clemson Univ. and Galen Dively at the University of Maryland determined described the biology of the kudzu bug, determined efficacy of a number of insecticides for controllin the pest, developed treatment thresholds and determined that field edge treatments were effective in controlling the pest.  This effort is an excellent example of how a commodity organization can work with the academic community to arrive at managment solutions for an emerging production problem.