- Agronomic: soybeans
- Pest Management: biological control
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys, Stål) is a serious invasive pest of agriculture in the Northeast. BMSB feeding damage is economically injurious in a multitude of crops in this region including tree fruit, vegetable crops, and row crops. Many growers in the MidAtlantic have abandoned longstanding IPM programs in response to BMSB pest pressure in favor of weekly spray programs. Sustainable management options are being explored to combat this trend including the potential impact of natural enemies. Current research indicates that native predators and parasitoids are ineffective at providing natural control of this pest in the egg stage however, little is known about the predator complex affecting the nymphal stage. The goal of the research proposed here is to identify rates of predation on brown marmorated stink bug nymphs in greenhouse mesocosm experiments using soybean as a host plant. Stink bug nymphs will be exposed to either Nabis spp. or Coccinella septempunctata (L.), while the plants mature from the R4 to the R7 stages of soybean development. Additionally, the realized rates of predation on BMSB will be determined in the presence of alternate hosts: soybean aphid (Aphis glycines, Matsumara) and the brown stink bug (Euschistus servus, Say), common soybean herbivores. Understanding how predators affect host plants is especially important in agroecosystems, so metrics of plant health and yield including pod count, seed health and biomass and plant biomass will be assessed as indices of successful natural control.
Project objectives from proposal:
The objectives of the proposed experiment are to:
1. Quantify the rate of predation experienced by BMSB nymphs on soybean plants in greenhouse mesocosms
2. Quantify rate of predation of BMSB in the presence of alternate prey
3. Determine the effect of predator presence on soybean yield