— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting
Soybeans seem to be growing well throughout north central Kansas. Not too many pests have been noted. However, there seem to be some spider mite populations building throughout the south central and north central parts of the state. These need to be monitored, especially if adequate moisture is not forthcoming. Mite populations can expand very quickly and really add stress to plants that are already moisture stressed.
Also, blister beetles are starting to swarm, especially in alfalfa and soybean fields. This swarming behavior is primarily for mating purposes and may involve anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of individuals. They may feed a little while swarming and actually cause plant loss, but only in small areas where the swarming occurs. Thus, treatment is rarely warranted.