Grasshoppers in Argentina
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Started by wglassfo - June 24, 2020, 9:50 a.m.

Always something

Swarms of grasshoppers/locusts are currently in Argentina

This is not a new event as this is winter in Argentina and also Argentina has battled grasshoppers for a long time

Still a warm and wet winter will result in larger waves to come

It just seems strange that locust infestations could happen in the same yr is such a widely separate location

Makes a person wonder when we will be the victim of locusts in NA

Once the locus descend on your farm it is too late for chemical control

So do you spray the neighbour to save your farm. That would be interesting to see an airplane spraying on my farm, over top of my house and livestock and I did not call for the airplane. And then the sweet corn and other fresh veggies which would be of no value to the customer. Heck I can't even use pond water to irrigate melons, lettuce etc. Sweet corn does have a protective husk, so maybe

Lawyers would love the law suits if locust invaded NA

By metmike - June 24, 2020, 12:27 p.m.
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A locust infestation like this could never happen in the US. We have too much chemical warfare and machinery on farms from coast to coast and border to border.

There will always be regions that see an uptick in the population of pests (in 2003, I think it was, there was a massive soybean aphid infestation in the Midwest from cool dry weather and most producers never experiencing it.

An agronomist that I knew with dozens of farmers was on top of it and advised them to aggressively spray. The ones that did, had great yields. The ones that did not, allowed the aphics to suck alot of energy out of the plants and suffered significant yield losses.

In 2004, EVERYBODY was spraying for aphids at the first sign of more major aphid outbreaks.

Soybean Aphid Story: 2003

After a notable absence in 2002, the soybean aphid made itself known in soybean fields across Illinois in 2003. In fact, aphid densities were at their highest since the insect was first observed in 2000. Let's recap how things transpired this past summer.

During June, reports of spotty aphid infestations made their way to our desks by e-mail or phone. One very important recurring theme in these messages was the noted absence of natural enemies such as lady beetles. During this time, Drs. David Voegtlin and David Onstad (entomologist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences) and crew began their township surveys. Kendall Township in Kendall County and St. Joseph Township in Champaign County are the two townships sampled in this ongoing survey. Sampling in Kendall Township began on June 24 this year, compared to early July the previous two years. Even though sampling began earlier than the two years before, 100% of the fields examined were infested with soybean aphids. Approximately 29% of the soybean plants were infested with soybean aphids in Kendall Township, compared to 3% in early July 2002. 

For the next few weeks the numbers of soybean aphids in northern Illinois continued on the increase, with no sign of slowing down. Reports that filtered in had similar findings--low densities across many fields, with "hot spots" embedded throughout the area. Our neighbors to the north (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan) all echoed similar findings. As the densities of aphids increased and infestations became severe, aphids began moving from the top of the plants to lower within the canopy. The aphids distributed themselves on stems and lower leaves deeper in the canopy. While aphid populations were widespread across northern Illinois, the presence, or should we say absence, of natural enemies was still a concern. 

By metmike - June 24, 2020, 12:31 p.m.
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 China not only gave us COVID-19 but they gave us aphids(first in 2000) too!

 August 7, 2003

Tiny aphids becoming big problem for Indiana soybean farmers


The soybean aphid, a leaf-attacking insect no larger than twice the size of a period ending a sentence, is reproducing at an

alarming rate in fields across northern and east-central Indiana. Purdue University Extension entomologists have been tracking the pest's burgeoning numbers the past few weeks, said Bob O'Neil, a research entomologist. He advised farmers in high infestation areas to check their fields for aphid activity.

"In the last couple of weeks we've been seeing some significant increases in aphid numbers," O'Neil said. "We traditionally sample about a half dozen fields along U.S. 30, and we've noticed numbers increasing to 10, 50 or 100 aphids per plant. The increase in numbers got us concerned.

"Then we initiated some sampling along U.S. 20, a little farther north, and began finding numbers closer to 50 to 100 aphids per plant, and some plants with over 500 aphids. The significant aphid numbers are most common in the northern third of the state."

Entomologists are unsure why aphid populations are exploding this year. Aphid numbers were down in 2002, after increasing in 2001 and 2000, when the pest was first discovered in Indiana.

One possible reason for the higher aphid numbers is the low number of the pest's natural predators. Among them are minute pirate bugs, Asian lady beetles and fungal pathogens, O'Neil said.

Aphids are native to Asia, where the pests have caused severe crop damage. The insects infiltrated Midwestern states in 2000, with the greatest infestations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The insect's rapid reproduction, along with its feeding and disease-carrying characteristics, makes the aphid an especially dangerous pest, O'Neil said. As many as 15 aphid generations can be birthed in a single crop season, he said.

"The aphid, although small, builds up large numbers," he said. "It's that buildup of large numbers that is the problem. The aphid has piercing, sucking mouthparts. They have what you might call a little sharpened straw, and they jab it into the plant and start sucking out plant sap."

A soybean plant with low aphid numbers should survive, O'Neil said. As numbers increase, however, the plant's grain-making ability becomes impaired, or it dies.


By metmike - June 24, 2020, 12:36 p.m.
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The soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) is an insect pest of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) that is exotic to North America.[1] The soybean aphid is native to Asia.[2] It has been described as a common pest of soybeans in China[3] and as an occasional pest of soybeans in Indonesia,[4] Japan,[5] Korea,[6] Malaysia,[2] the Philippines,[7] and Thailand.[8] The soybean aphid was first documented in North America in Wisconsin in July 2000.[9] Ragsdale et al. (2004) noted that the soybean aphid probably arrived in North America earlier than 2000, but remained undetected for a period of time.[1] Venette and Ragsdale (2004) suggested that Japan probably served as the point of origin for the soybean aphid's North American invasion.[10] By 2003, the soybean aphid had been documented in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.[10] Together, these states accounted for 89% of the 63,600,000 acres (257,000 km2) of soybean planted in the United States in 2007.[11]

Scientific cl
Soybean aphid


Soybean aphid life cycle

Eggs begin to hatch into fundatrices when temperatures in the spring reach 10 °C (50 °F).[3][citation needed] Colonization of buckthorn by soybean aphids in the spring can lead to curling of leaves and twigs.[3] Near the blooming stage of buckthorn, fundatrices reproduce parthenogenetically to give viviparous birth to alatae.[3] These winged soybean aphids begin the spring migration to their secondary host, soybean.[1] Soybean aphids go through approximately 15 generations on soybean, all of which are primarily composed of apterous females produced through viviparous parthenogenesis.[3][10] Each generation passes through 4 instars and can range from 2 to 16 days in length, with higher temperatures increasing development and decreasing generation time.[13]


Soybean plants

Feeding by soybean aphids injures soybean by interfering with photosynthetic pathways—more specifically, biological mechanisms responsible for restoring chlorophyll to a low energy state are impaired.[14] This restoration process is known as quenching and is important for plants to execute light reactions properly. Reduction in photosynthetic capacity of soybean may occur before plants begin to display symptoms of injury.[14]

By metmike - June 24, 2020, 12:37 p.m.
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Have you ever had many aphids in SW Ontario?

By metmike - June 24, 2020, 12:40 p.m.
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Previous discussions on bugs and crops....Wayne, you often bring up great new topics here that really take off.........thanks man!

                Mass Starvation            

                            13 responses |           

                Started by wglassfo - June 9, 2020, 12:18 p.m.    

                Swarms of locusts            

                            3 responses |          

                                            Started by wglassfo - April 11, 2020, 7:59 p.m.    

By wglassfo - June 24, 2020, 2:57 p.m.
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I remember the 1st yr aphids made an appearance in NA. I forget what yr but I think the USA and Ontario had the 1st attack the same yr.

We were told to not spray as the damage would not be severe due to a low infestation and the spray would kill the natural enemies. In fact a lot of growers had never seen aphids and knew nothing about this pest

Well that was poor advice as fields affected with aphids experienced very low yields

After that the farmers disregarded the no spray advice and yields were normal

Today if aphids appear, we spray, no question

One pest that can destroy a crop before the grower is aware of a problem and can round up the resources to fight back, is the army worm

However, after a field or two is destroyed the word spreads and then the problem is on the watch list of surrounding fields

By metmike - June 24, 2020, 4:40 p.m.
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Soybean aphids were unknown here prior to 2000, when they came from Asia and multiplied big time.

Interestingly, Asia doesn't have a problem with them. 

That's because Asia has aphid predators, like the parasitic wasp, whose babies hatch and eat aphids for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I had a huge, huge problem with aphids, especially on my bell pepper plants for years. I tried washing them off the plants with a fairly strong stream of water but that just knocked the population down temporarily.

The main problem is that they live on the UNDER side of the leaves. Anything that you spray will hit the top side of the leaves and they can hold on below.

I tried spraying from underneath and very thoroughly but they would be back just as bad in a few days. 

I'm an environmentalist but when it comes to gardening,  I'm working my arse off out there to make yummy vegetables for my family not insects, so I used all sorts of chemicals to maximize that hard work and yields.

The first time that I sprayed aggressively(with a 3 gallon sprayer), it still didn't get most of them  because the spray hits the tops of the leaves and the aphids are safe on the bottom of the leaves.

So I had ended up having to get as low to the ground as possible and spray upward and use massive amounts of spray. The amount was no big deal but its impossible to do this without getting tons of spray all over you.

It might take me 45 minutes to do a good job and I would be pretty wet/covered with the chemical that I was spraying............then take a shower to wash it off. Not very smart from a health perspective but it killed every aphid.

A couple times after doing that and the aphids were all dead, I washed the plants with an intense water shower.

If the plants were young and weeks from bearing fruit, I used a systemic insect killer(that shouldnt be used for edible crops). Maybe not the smartest thing to do but it worked great and probably resulted in me being exposed to less chemicals.

Soybean Aphids: An Invasive Pest

By metmike - June 24, 2020, 4:50 p.m.
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Speaking of grasshoppers.

I remember growing up seeing them all over the place as a kid.............and I grew up in Detroit, not the country. 

The last few decades, here in S.Indiana I almost never see them. I don't remember that last time seeing just 1 grasshopper here.

Not that I miss them but its strange.

Where have all the grasshoppers gone?  

By wglassfo - June 25, 2020, 12:46 a.m.
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I remember grasshoppers yrs ago when I was in school

About the only thing that has changed is the absence of hay and pasture with a lot of weeds

We still have hay and pasture in a lot of the country

Either the food supply disappeared or pesticides killed the grass hoppers but that is purely guess work

Re: the aphids

We had to crank up the boom pressure to approx 90 psi if the pump was capable of that much boom pressure and hoses didn't start to blow apart. The idea was to create a fog so the pesticide would sort of flow upward or swirl around a bit with the air currents

It was a really hit and miss thing

Seems to me we also sprayed in the evening as that might be when they came out to feed but that is a long time ago and memory may not be so good