I had never heard of the soybean gall midge until a few years ago. It was a problem farther south in the corn belt. Unfortunately, I learned more about the pest when it was found last summer in southwestern Minnesota! Robert Koch is an entomologist at the University of Minnesota. He said this is a brand new species just discovered. You mean with modern science and all our technology we are still discovering new pests? In a soybean field in the Midwest?

Robert said it was very exciting for a "bug Geek" to find a formerly unknown pest. However, if a "bug geek" gets excited farmers are likely to get concerned. The gall midge larvae tunnel into the soybean stem at ground level and can cause wilting and even kill the plant. How can an insecticide kill an insect if it is protected inside the stem?

When the gall midge is a small flying insect maybe insecticides would be effective. But the catch is we do not know much about the life cycle to time the insecticide application. Click on the link above and listen to Robert talk about the soybean gall midge.

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