EASTON — The Maryland Department of Agriculture is asking soybean farmers to keep an eye on their crops after an invasive bug from Asia was found in several counties around the state.
The MDA wants soybean growers, especially organic soybean growers, to watch out for the kudzu bug, which can reduce yields, but can be controlled with appropriate pesticides. It was found in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Saint Mary’s and Talbot counties.
“Kudzu bugs are invasive species that can have a significant impact on crop yields,” Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder said. “It is very important that farmers are aware of this insect and plan accordingly. Luckily, the kudzu bug is easily controlled with proper pest management planning.”
The kudzu bug typically feeds on kudzu vines and may migrate to soybeans and other types of available beans. Excessive kudzu bug feeding can reduce soybean yields by reducing pods per plant, reducing beans per pod and reducing seed size.