Stalk borer: Injury and damage

Stalk borer in a soybean stem: A late-stage stalk borer inside a soybean stem. (Photo Marlin E. Rice)Stalk borer in a soybean stem: A late-stage stalk borer inside a soybean stem. (Photo Marlin E. Rice)

Stalk borer injury: An entry hole and dead growing point on a soybean seedling caused by a stalk borer. (Photo Marlin E. Rice)Stalk borer injury: An entry hole and dead growing point on a soybean seedling caused by a stalk borer. (Photo Marlin E. Rice)

Stalk borers can kill a soybean plant by boring through the stem. Plants infested with this insect will suffer from top die-back. The tunnels made in the main stem by these caterpillars is maintained free of frass which is passed through a hole in the side of the stem. These tunnels may extend 15 in (38 cm) within the main stem.