From Wayne Flanary, Regional Agronomist, University of Missouri Extension.
Last week, I was in a field with a grower looking at soybean pod damage. Damage ranged from eating the seed to the outside layer of the pod being removed. His question was what caused this feeding?
Pod damage by bean leaf beetle generally occurs by feeding on the outside layer of the soybean pod, leaving a thin layer of tissue covering the seed. Typically, they do not eat the developing seed. As food becomes scarce, they will become more aggressive in feeding and damage.
Grasshoppers will generally eat through the pod and eat the developing seed. Grasshoppers have chewing mouthparts so they can easily feed on the seeds.
Stinkbugs prefer seeds. They have piercing sucking mouthparts. When feeding on the seed, the seed will be shriveled and fail to mature.
Soybean pod worm will consume the seeds in the pod. Generally, they will eat through the side of the pod and consume the seed.
Most of the damage in the field was caused by bean leaf beetle and grasshoppers. These insects were readily found in the field which confirmed the injury.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724