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  • New Bug to contend with

    'Kudzu bug' threatens to eat US farmers' lunch------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I ran across this this morning this is a serious bug the *******s that brought this Kudzu sh^t over need shot now the bug to control it the dumb asses now their goig to introduce a wasp to control the bug well duaaa ! whats going to control it I rember spraying cotton every seven days for bollwevels in the sixtys very costly and time comsuming this is what we will be facing if not controled long reed but wort it-----------------------------------dave





    BLACKVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Kudzu — the "plant that ate the South" — has finally met a pest that's just as voracious. Trouble is, the so-called "kudzu bug" is also fond of another East Asian transplant that we happen to like, and that is big money for American farmers.

    Soybeans.

    "When this insect is feeding on kudzu, it's beneficial," Clemson University entomologist Jeremy Greene says as he stands in a field swarming with the brown, pea-sized critters. "When it's feeding on soybeans, it's a pest."

    Like kudzu, which was introduced to the South from Japan in the late 19th century as a fodder and a way to stem erosion on the region's worn-out farmlands, this insect is native to the Far East. And like the invasive vine, which "Deliverance" author James Dickey famously deemed "a vegetable form of cancer," the kudzu bug is running rampant.

    Megacopta cribrari, as this member of the stinkbug family is known in scientific circles, was first identified near Atlanta in late October 2009. Since then, it has spread to most of Georgia and North Carolina, all of South Carolina, and several counties in Alabama.

    And it shows no signs of stopping.

    Kudzu and soybeans are both legumes. The bug — also known as the bean plataspid — breeds and feeds in the kudzu patches until soybean planting time, then crosses over to continue the moveable feast, says Tracie Jenkins, a plant geneticist at the University of Georgia.

    On a recent sunny day, Greene and doctoral student Nick Seiter visited the 10-acre test field at Clemson's Edisto Research & Education Center in Blackville, about 42 miles east of Augusta, Ga.

    Starting in the middle of the field, Seiter walks down a row, sweeping a canvas net back and forth through the bean plants as he goes. Bugs cling to his pants and shirt, dotting his face like moles.

    "I feel like I'm wearing a bee beard over here," he says. "It tickles."

    At row's end, Seiter pushes his hand up through the net. Bugs cascade over the edge and pool on the sandy soil at his feet.

    The writhing pile makes a fizzing sound like a freshly opened soda.

    "Wow. It's a couple of inches thick," Greene says. "That's just shy of a standard sample that we use to evaluate soybean insects ... and we're looking at a couple of thousand bugs, easy."

    The bugs secrete a caustic substance that smells like a cross between a commercial cleanser and an industrial lubricant. Greene says it's unclear whether this is a defensive device, a way of locating each other in a field, or serves some other purpose.

    Whatever it's for, the secretions are potent enough to etch the bottoms of the plastic tubs he uses to ship samples to colleagues — and to stain the skin on Seiter's blistered right palm a pale orange that can't be washed off.

    "Self tanner," he quips.

    These insects are what entomologists call "true bugs," meaning they have needle-like mouth parts that they use to suck on the plant. So rather than feeding on the pods or leaves, as corn ear worms and common stinkbugs do, kudzu bugs attack the stems and leaf petioles, literally draining the life out of the soybeans.

    "It's reducing the ability of the plant to produce or to send photosynthate ... the food that the plant makes from the sun, to the fruit, to the seed," says Greene. "So we're going to have ... a reduced number of pods per plant, reduced number of seed per pod, and reduced seed size as well — all the above," he says. "It's not showy in terms of the damage that it does to the plant ... but it's going to cause yield loss."

    University of Georgia researchers have recorded losses as high as 23 percent in untreated fields.

    "If you add up all our insect damage put together of different pests on soybeans, it probably would total maybe in an average year maybe a 5 percent yield loss," says North Carolina State University pest specialist Jack Bacheler, who has been warily watching the bug's spread through his state. "And sometimes, with agricultural crops like soybeans, 20 bushels an acre at $10 to $13 could be the difference between profit and loss."

    One thing that concerns Bacheler and others is the bug's hardiness.

    Jenkins says they may be able to respond to temperature and other environmental changes by turning a gene or genes on or off, making them particularly adaptable. They've been found on the windows of Atlanta skyscrapers, from the mountains to the coast.

    "And these are pretty resilient little suckers," she says. "They can get on your car, and you can be going 60, 70, 80 miles an hour down the road, and then you stop, and they're still there. And they're alive. So they can take a pretty good lot of abuse."

    Studies of climate data in the bug's native land are not encouraging.

    "I think it's going to be able to dwell anywhere in the United States that we grow soybeans," says Greene. "So that should be concerning for some of the states that produce millions of acres of soybeans."

    That seems to be where they're headed.

    In 2010, Georgia produced 6.8 million bushels of soybeans, South Carolina 10.5 million and North Carolina more than 40 million, according to the American Soybean Association. Jenkins says there have been unconfirmed sightings in Tennessee, which produced 44 million bushels of soybeans last year.

    From there, it's just a hop, skip and a jump to states like Illinois and Iowa, where production is measured in the hundreds of millions of bushels.

    "They're moving north and west," Jenkins says. "And I think they'll keep going."

    Especially without an effective way to control them, says Bacheler.

    "Its opportunities to spread seem to be unlimited right now," he says.

    Researchers are experimenting with a tiny Asian wasp that lays its eggs inside the kudzu bug eggs. So far, the wasp doesn't seem to have any effect on native insects, Greene says.

    Jenkins is trying to pinpoint the country of origin by studying the DNA of a bacterium, or endosymbiont, that lives in the bug's gut. She is comparing DNA from the U.S. bugs with samples sent to her from India, Japan and China.

    The samples she's analyzed from the various states have all so far been traced back to the same maternal line — meaning this infestation could have begun with a single gravid or egg-bearing female that hitched a ride here on a plant or in someone's luggage.

    Jenkins is hoping a weapon might emerge from her DNA analysis.

    "If there's a gene that's allowing it to adapt really well, if it has the insect gene, then I might be able to pull that out and use it against it," she says.

    For now, farmers are having to rely on chemicals. So far, the results have been mixed, at best.

    Insecticides that work on other stinkbugs have shown promise. But a couple of days after an application, the fields are re-infested.

    "We basically spray, we get kill on what we touch with the spray, and then we get decent activity for a couple of days," says Greene. "And then it's pretty much gone."

    "The problem with this insect is its sheer numbers," says Bacheler. "It's not that this thing can't be controlled. But it's probably going to be costly to do so."

    Greene says the bug is still too new for experts to have come up with the most effective spraying regimen. He hopes data from this season's tests will help solve the problem.

    Farmers like Jack Richardson here in Blackville are counting on it.

    He has been farming for about 30 years and has about 200 acres of soybeans under cultivation. He buys some of his chemicals from a dealer in Georgia, but a year's more experience hasn't imparted any special wisdom.

    "He says, 'If you get too nervous, spray 'em,'" says Richardson, standing waist-deep in a field speckled with bugs. "Well, I've sprayed 'em twice, and it doesn't seem to kill 'em."

    Rumbling across the field in his sprayer, Richardson stares at the bugs clinging to the windshield and sighs.

    "We don't need any new pests," he says. "We've got enough now."

  • #2
    this is one those new fangled super bugs imported from Japan by some Idiot now it will turn out to be the scurage of soybeans and end up costing us out the *** to controll--------------------------dave

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    • #3
      Will these little suckers chomp thru alfalfa and clovers too? R7

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      • #4
        Yes Roger , everything I have read on them say that one of there favorite plants are alfalfa and clover ! It also seems that they like colder weather as in MN and WI. The only way to controll them is to spray once a week from early May to the end of October .

        Glad I live in IN ! Good luck up there , Ken

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        • #5
          The article at the only mentions the south, so have they have yet to spread outside of the region?

          Originally posted by ECI View Post
          It also seems that they like colder weather as in MN and WI. The only way to controll them is to spray once a week from early May to the end of October .
          Glad I live in IN ! Good luck up there , Ken
          ECI, I think it would reach IN before WI and MN as you would be in their expanding path first... :-) You can let us know how it goes ;-) There are some predators or parasitoids so you can bet they will be introduced... not that it won't lead to unintended consequences.

          If all else fails, perhaps we need to just start self tanner businesses and plant the legumes to harvest the bugs' juices, after all, it would be all natural and we all know how much people love crap like that!
          [URL="http://www.facebook.com/DiederichFarm"]DiederichFarm[/URL]
          "You are only as good as your next success, not your last" Sir Jock Stirrup

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          • #6
            dr it's to hot and dry here in IN for them to live , we live in the heart of the US desert here , dryer than even KS , it gets so hot and dry here that the grasshoppers leave !

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            • #7
              If I remember right and I always do Ken , it was't too long ago when you were talking about living in the heart of cold country !!!!! Now , when warm suits you better , you live in hot country!! Some where along the line you have to make up your mind just where in hell you actually live.... John

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ECI View Post
                dr it's to hot and dry here in IN for them to live , we live in the heart of the US desert here , dryer than even KS , it gets so hot and dry here that the grasshoppers leave !
                Howdy Ken, I have to agree with John. I just checked your forcast, I think this is almost tropical!! JHF lmao

                Today Tonight Tomorrow

                Light Rain Showers Showers Showers / Wind
                46°F 50° 38° 49°
                Feels Like: 41°
                Get FREE weather on your desktop High Low High
                Past 24-hr:
                Precip: 0.61 in (est.)
                Snow: 0 in Chance of Rain:
                60% Chance of Rain:
                70% Chance of Rain:
                70%
                Wind:
                From N at 10mph Wind:
                NNW at 15 mph Wind:
                W at 15 mph Wind:
                W at 23 mph
                Through 6pm: Rain showers, becoming steadier by 4pm. Cloudy with temperatures steady near 48F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 75%. Cloudy with occasional rain showers. High around 50F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Showers this evening becoming a steady light rain overnight. Low 38F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rain showers along with windy conditions. High 49F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
                Last edited by JDMax; 10-19-2011, 11:46 AM.

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                • #9
                  Oh --------------- OK you two just go ahead and gang up on me huh ????? LMAO this is sad ! A buckeye and a badger , never thought I'd see that !

                  Damn it guy's they say if you don't like the weather in Indiana just wait for a minute and it will change ! As jjc said we were in the heart of cold country but in a few minutes it was 95 and no breeze no rain no nothing and today were in the heart of a tropical rain forest ! LMAO
                  Last edited by ECI; 10-19-2011, 12:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Ken : You think you have wild weather......I just checked the Badger forecast....its supposed to clear up cloudy with a warm frost tonight and if the air is moving fast enought , it will be windy also!!!! Its just so hard to plan any Fall tillage with conditions like this!!! LMAO..... John

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                    • #11
                      ECI you dipdtick!!! You don't live in hot weather country nor the desert!!! I live in the heart of hot weather country, well it may be a local heat but we had seferal days of over 118 degree heat index this summer. And why to day the heat index is a balmy 34 degress! And there anit no place drier than here right now. Haven't had any rain since July. Why even the pond scum have packed their bags and moved to wetter climates like those found in W and NW KansA$$. I mean those friggin water hogs. They outta be takin out back and roasted. Those kudzu bugzu bug thingy stand no chance in MN. I did read some place though, that they are attracted to areas with lots of beer and cheese......guess those poor ol' Sconny *******s are SCREWED!!!

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                      • #12
                        ROTFLMAO: ECI does one of his typical BS off the wall stunts, and readers post serious replies. lol. Make that a double ROTFLMAO!

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                        • #13
                          ECI: I'm kinda thinkin' that when these guys figger u out, u gonna be in sum surious do do. lol.

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                          • #14
                            Dave: BTW, excellent post. Hope these SOB's don't come out here. lol.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dairyfarmmn View Post
                              Haven't had any rain since July. Why even the pond scum have packed their bags and moved to wetter climates like those found in W and NW KansA$$. I mean those friggin water hogs. They outta be takin out back and roasted. Those kudzu bugzu bug thingy stand no chance in MN. I did read some place though, that they are attracted to areas with lots of beer and cheese......guess those poor ol' Sconny *******s are SCREWED!!!
                              I give you permission to take all of my rain until march. I am done with it for now anyway, and you gophers like taking whatever we badgers will give you anyway. If they like cheese and beer my house is screwed and my crops will be fine. That is all I have in it besides beef, wine and brandy...
                              [URL="http://www.facebook.com/DiederichFarm"]DiederichFarm[/URL]
                              "You are only as good as your next success, not your last" Sir Jock Stirrup

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