Dr. Justin McMechan, assistant professor and crop protection and cropping systems specialist at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, shared recent research on soybean gall midge during the October “Pests and Progress” webinar.
Soybean gall midge is a relatively new problem for soybean growers. While it was first identified in 2011, it did not cause widespread issues until 2018. Crop rotation can help reduce populations, but it is important to also watch for areas where corn and soybean rotations are near each other because the adults can move between fields.
Typically, soybean gall midge is an edge-of-field pest so this is the best area to scout for adult activity. Larvae were found after six to nine days after an adult was found at a site, with peak larval numbers in Late July. Cracks in soybean stems are necessary for infestation, and these cracks typically develop around V2 in soybeans.
Soybean gall midge numbers did not seem to be affected by plant canopy. The majority of cocoons were found in the top six centimeters of soil and within 16 cm of soybean plants. Pheromone development is underway to support future trapping efforts.
Stay informed about the latest soybean gall midge information on the Soybean Gall Midge Alert Network website.
Justin McMechan is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been with UNL since 2016. His research focuses primarily on soybean gall midge, a new species causing injury to soybean in the Midwest. Other research areas include cover crops management tactics and arthropod interactions as well as hail damage in row crops.