Insect pressure could be intense following mild winter

Insect pressure during the growing season could be higher than normal in parts of the Midwest experiencing mild winter conditions.

University of Minnesota Extension integrated pest management specialist Bruce Potter says temperatures haven’t been consistently cold enough to knock back insect populations.

“Especially stuff that’s wintering in the soil. These temperatures have been really mild, and up to this point I don’t think there’s been much mortality from cold temperatures.”

He tells Brownfield the timing of migratory pest pressure will be determined mostly by weather in the south.

“Or when these insects start getting active and moving about with respect to planting. In other words, if we have things like army worms or black cutworms move in and we’ve got late planting, that’s going to increase the risk.”

Potter says an approaching weather system featuring freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, could help reduce the number of insects susceptible to freeze thaw cycles.

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