Kansas State University


Extension Entomology

Month: September 2016

Kansas Greenhouse Growers Association 2016 Biological Control Workshop

–by Dr. Raymond Cloyd


Kansas Greenhouse Growers Association 2016 Biological Control Workshop

OCTOBER 18, 2016




8:00 to 9:00 AM         Registration

9:00 to 10:00 AM       Fundamentals of biological control (Dr. Raymond Cloyd)

10:00 to 10:45 AM     How to succeed using biological control (Chris Fifo)



10:45 to 11:30 PM      The challenges associated with rearing natural enemies (Brian Spencer)

11:30 to 12:15 PM      Panel Discussion: Why we use biological control (Tim Sullivan, Karen Pendleton, and Eric or Evan Nelson)

12:15 to 1:00 PM        Lunch

1:00 to 3:00 PM          Demonstrations and samples of beneficial insects, mites, and nematodes (Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Brian Spencer, and Chris Fifo)

3:00 to 3:30 PM          Conclusion and Evaluation





Kansas Greenhouse Growers Association

 Biological Control Workshop

October 18, 2016



1710 Avery Drive

Manhattan, KS 66503





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Please send a check made out to: “The Kansas Greenhouse Growers Association” OR pay with a check at the registration desk at the workshop.



Return to:            Dr. Raymond Cloyd

Department of Entomology

Kansas State University

123 Waters Hall

Manhattan, KS 66506-4004

Plant Bugs

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Plant bugs, i.e. tarnished and alfalfa plant bugs, are numerous in alfalfa fields and are causing concern.  However, they typically overwinter as adults in alfalfa without causing any damage and therefore should not be of concern.




Alfalfa Pest Update

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting


Potato leafhoppers are still numerous in most alfalfa fields around north central Kansas.  They are causing ‘hopper burn’ which can limit the plant’s ability to translocate nutrients to the roots prior to winter.



Swathing should help but if you have already cut your fields for the last time this year, monitoring should continue to ensure these little pests don’t cause too much plant stress, especially this time of year.  Hopefully, they will head south to overwinter soon!


Soybean Pest Update

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Many beans have passed the stage that is attractive for bean leaf beetle adult pod feeding.  However, later planted beans are still tender enough to attract these beetles and they are feeding on the pods.




This can reduce yield quickly so monitoring needs to continue until the last pods have turned yellow.  Please refer to the 2016 Soybean Insect Management Guide available at: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF743.pdf for management recommendations.

Volunteer Wheat

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Frequent rain over the last few weeks has played havoc with volunteer wheat control.  Each rain seems to bring another flush of volunteer.



This is an ideal situation for most wheat pests, i.e. Hessian flies, winter grain mites, wheat curl mite, and the wheat aphids (mainly greenbugs, bird cherry oat and English grain) as well as the pathogens they may vector.  Thus, please remember to destroy all volunteer at least 2 weeks prior to planting to help manage these pests.

Fungus Gnats in Sorghum

— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

We have had several calls this past week about large numbers small black flies/gnats on and around sorghum heads.  These are not a pest of sorghum but a type of fungus gnat and are probably attracted to the fecal material left behind from sorghum headworms.  In general, fungus gnats thrive in damp conditions and the larvae typically dwell in the soil where they feed on algae, fungi, and plant roots.



Soybean Pest Update

— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Green Cloverworms in Soybeans

Remember a few weeks ago when there was considerable concern relative to all the green cloverworms causing irregular holes in leaves? Even skeletonizing some areas of some fields until treated with an insecticide and/or and entomopathogenic fungus started decimating the larval populations?   Well, the surviving larvae pupated and now are annoying little aerodynamically shaped dark brown moths flying around lights at night or trying to get in through doors and windows.





These moths will mate and then begin ovipositing in soybean and/or alfalfa fields.  Eggs hatch in approximately 10-14 days and the larvae will again start feeding on leaves of either crop.  By this time of year, the larval feeding is usually of little consequence relative to yield.  However, really late planted soybeans, and all alfalfa fields, should be closely monitored to ensure leaf feeding in either crop does not affect pod fill in soybeans or leaf area in alfalfa.


Soybean Podworms

These insect pests seem to be on about the same developmental schedule as green cloverworms.  So, late planted soybeans may be at risk for bean feeding within the pods.




Adult bean leaf beetles, while probably not as numerous as in past years, may still be feeding on the pods themselves.  This can cause yield reductions.  For more information on bean leaf beetle biology and control, please visit: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2824.pdf



Woollybear Larvae

Another leaf feeder that can cause concern this time of year is woollybear caterpillars.  There are several different species but all are foliage feeders although they rarely cause any economic problems.




Stink Bugs

Hopefully, most soybeans are past the stages that are succulent enough for stink bugs to be feeding on.  However, there are still some late planted beans setting pods with seeds that may be vulnerable to stink bug feeding.  So, until pods are turning yellow or brown, fields probably should continue to be monitored for soybean podworms, adult bean leaf beetles, and stink bugs.