By Andy Michel, Professor, and Kelley Tilmon, Field Crop Entomologist
As soybean harvest progresses, a few growers are noticing poor yields in otherwise nice-looking plants and pods. While a visual inspection might lead to high estimations of seed quality, the inside may contain shrunken, shriveled or, even worse, missing seed. Stink bugs can often cause this type of injury to soybean seed. They have piercing sucking mouthparts that poke through the pod wall, and then feed directly on the seed. Because their mouthparts are small, damage to the pod is often undetected. However, opening a few pods may reveal poor seed quality evident of stink bug feeding. We have seen increasing issues with stink bugs in Ohio. This past season was no exception and we will likely continue to see issues in the future. For more information on stink bug identification, scouting and resources, see our agronomic crops insects webpage.