Pests of the Rare and the Familiar at Farm Science Review

August 6, 2008

LONDON, Ohio -- Pests of both the rare and the familiar will be part of the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic activities during Ohio State University's Farm Science Review.

The event will take place Sept. 16-18 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio. Specialists from the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic will be on hand throughout the show to analyze submitted samples of insects, pests and diseases; answer questions related to field crops and landscape and garden plants; and share information on the identification and management of a variety of pests. The C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic will be located at the diagnostics tent on Friday Avenue of the FSR exhibit grounds.

Soybean cyst nematode and the brown marmorated stink bug will be specifically emphasized, said Barbara Bloetscher, the clinic entomology diagnostician for Ohio State University Extension.

"With soil sampling required in the fall to test for soybean cyst nematode, Farm Science Review is the perfect venue to remind farmers that soybean cyst nematode is out there and needs to be managed," said Bloetscher.

SCN is a severe pest of soybeans that damages the crop by feeding on plant roots and robbing the plant of nutrients. It also opens the doors for infection as it provides wound sites for fungi to enter. The severity of crop damage and yield loss is dependent on crop rotation and the soybean variety planted. The most effective means of managing SCN is to conduct soil samples for nematode eggs, and adjust crop management depending on the number of eggs present.

Deemed the "silent robber of yields," SCN is the No. 2 soybean pest in Ohio.

SCN may be an all too familiar pest, but the brown marmorated stink bug is still new to Ohioans.

The brown marmorated stink bug is an insect that was first introduced in Pennsylvania from southeast Asia in 2001. It is considered a serious pest in several states (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, California, to name a few), but few specimens have yet to be found in Ohio. Acknowledging its presence is still important, said Bloetscher.

"The insect attacks crops, mainly those that produce fruit, like peaches, cherries, pears and crabapples. They also feed on vegetable crops like green beans and fields crops, such as soybeans," said Bloetscher. "They are also pesky residential bugs, as they will accumulate inside houses, much like the multicolored Asian lady beetle."

The brown marmorated stink bug looks just like the more common brown stink bug, but has a black and white-banded antennae and black and white bands around the edge of its body. To learn more about the insect, log on to http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/pdf/FS_3824_08.pdf

Visitors to Farm Science Review are invited to submit samples of pests or plants suspected to have diseases to the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic during the show. For more information on the clinic and how to properly submit samples, log on to http://ppdc.osu.edu.

The clinic, located on Ohio State's campus of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in Columbus, is a state-of-the-art facility that specializes in diagnosing a myriad of pest and plant health problems. Clinic diagnosticians test over 2,500 plant samples a year.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.

Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-17 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18.

For more information, log on to http://fsr.osu.edu.

Author(s): 
Candace Pollock
Source(s): 
Barb Bloetscher