Stink Bugs and Wheat

Whitney Crow, Extension Entomologist
By Whitney Crow, Extension Entomologist and Don Cook, Research Entomologist May 5, 2022 07:44

Stink Bugs and Wheat

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After head emergence in wheat, it is not uncommon to find high number of stink bugs. The predominant species in Mississippi wheat, is the rice stink bug and brown stink bug. It is important to remember that it takes extremely high populations to cause to economic damage to heading wheat. While the number of stink bug may seem alarming, be sure to properly evaluate the situation before making a management decision. Wheat at the milk stage is the most susceptible to stink bug damage. Damage at this stage tends to reduce grain weight and germination. The threshold for stink bugs in wheat are 1 stinkbug per five to ten heads in the milk and soft dough stage. There is no established sweep net threshold but with the given visual threshold, it would take well over 50 stink bugs per 25 sweeps to reach threshold. To reach such a high number of stink bugs is not impossible, but it is very unlikely. Rarely are stink bug populations high enough to justify an insecticide application. By the time wheat reaches hard dough, damage is less likely to occur, and the risk diminishes greatly. Since most wheat fields aren’t treated for stink bugs, these populations will migrate from wheat once it has reached hard dough into adjacent corn fields. Be sure to watch field edges that are adjacent to small corn, scouting closely if the corn is less than 24 inches in height.

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Whitney Crow, Extension Entomologist
By Whitney Crow, Extension Entomologist and Don Cook, Research Entomologist May 5, 2022 07:44
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