With the corn crop in shambles from drought, many Midwestern farmers placed their hopes on soybeans. Now, spider mites, a dry weather driven pest, threaten to drive some soybean yields below even that of corn.
Populations of spider mites first began to increase in the end of July, but the mites affects can be minimized if caught early.
"It really depends on the timing of the crop and the stage you're in with the crops to whether you need to control them any longer," says Steve Huntzicker, Agriculture Agent for the UW Extension. "Most of the time once we get through the flowering stage into that reproductive where they're setting pods for example in soybeans, we don't necessarily need to continue to control them because the damage they would do is already passed."
The spider mite's impact on crops can mimic the affects of drought, making them difficult for farmers to detect. Spider mites feed on the nutrients of soybean leaves and often damage soybean pods.
"Hopefully they're not going to have a major impact if we were on them early and actually got those populations to decrease," says Huntzicker. "Because now we're reaching a stage with that plant where it really doesn't become economical to deal with them and our populations with some of the rain showers that we've got more recently will help to decrease that population."
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.