Today, Matt is back from vacation and talks with Erin about the latest insect activity in Iowa. Soybean aphids can be found in northern Iowa, but at very low numbers. Japanese beetles are feeding in corn and soybean in central counties, and a mixture of caterpillars are feeding in soybean.
Today, Matt and Erin comment on a recent letter to the editor about too many "bees" on the ISU campus (see letter here: http://bit.ly/1LNbQGS). They talk about the real culprit, yellowjacket wasps, and why they may seem more abundant this year. Matt and Erin review the differences between bees and wasps, and why we probably don't have too many bees.
Due to technical difficulty, this is a second take at the podcast today. Matt and Erin start by sharing highlights from the recent International Congress of Entomology (ICE) meeting in Orlando last week. Erin talks about pest resistance issues for corn rootworm and western bean cutworm. Matt summarizes some work on rapid resistance development in agro-ecology systems. Fall nuisance invaders were also briefly discussed, including minute pirate bugs, boxelder bugs and lady beetles. Matt got excited by a recent aphid find on ISU campus this week - aphids and parasitized aphids were on collected from buckthorn. They don't understand the implications for these finds yet, but it is certainly not a common find. Lastly, Matt and Erin are speaking at the upcoming ICM Conference in Ames. Registration details will be posted soon.
Minute pirate bug adult feeding on white fly nymphs. Photo at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthocoridae.
It's unusually warm this February episode. Like Bugs Bunny cartoon said - Gosh, it's hot! Matt and Erin talk about accumulating degree days for the state so far in 2017. Northern counties have accumulated between 16-22 degree days, while southern counties have accumulated 50-53 degree days. Erin uses the ISU Agronomy Mesonet to estimate temperatures. Matt also shared that the Toth Lab is noticed honey bee foraging already this year. There may not be much to feed on right now, which is concerning to beekeepers. Matt also shared some information on pyramided host plant resistance options for farmers in Iowa. Finally, Erin encouraged new agronomists to attend the Crop Scout School in Ames on March 25.