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Catchot, A.

Stink Bug Numbers Increasing in Heading Wheat

I am starting to get numerous calls about stink bugs in heading wheat. It is not uncommon to find stink bugs in wheat after head emergence.  However, it takes extremely high numbers to cause economic damage to heading wheat. With this in mind, seeing high numbers of stink bugs while walking a wheat field may seem alarming, but it takes a lot of stink bugs to cause economic damage. Research from the early 80’s showed that the milk stage of development is most susceptible to damage from stink bugs by reducing grain weight and germination, but again, its takes incredible numbers.  Current stink bug thresholds for wheat are 1 stinkbug/5-10 heads in the milk and soft dough stage.  Once wheat reaches the hard dough stage the likelihood of damage from stink bug is diminished greatly. At this time the predominant stink bugs being found in Mississippi are rice and brown stink bugs. Because we do not generally treat a lot of wheat for stink bugs, wheat can actually harbor lots of stink bugs that will eventually move out into corn and group IV soybeans when the wheat begins to hit hard dough.  Likelihood of stink bugs hitting threshold if they do will be confined to on field borders but populations tend to be lower away from field edges. Currently consultants are reporting brown stink bugs and rice stink bugs being found. Be sure and scout adjacent corn fields closely for sting bugs and remember the rice stink bugs will not be a problem in the corn.

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