We received the following photo (Figure 1) taken in an alfalfa field in south central Nebraska, asking us "What is this insect". These are aphid “mummies,” caused by a small parasitic wasp which has killed these pea aphids — a common early season alfalfa aphid in Nebraska. The wasp lays an egg inside the aphid.
High numbers of woolly bear caterpillars are reported in some soybean fields in south central Nebraska. Pay particular attention to late maturing soybean fields. These act as a magnet for woolly bear caterpillars and many other insects.
We are expanding the N Field Observations & introducing “N Field Chat” sessions starting this Tuesday August 18 at 7 pm. N Field Chat is a live question & answer session on-line with experts from Nebraska Extension including both specialists & educators from throughout the state.
We are starting to get more reports of spider mites damaging corn and soybeans in Nebraska. Because many other things can cause similar discoloration, it is important to check leaves closely to make sure mites are actually causing the damage.
Recommendations for managing spider mites in corn and soybean, including treatment thresholds, insecticides as well as discussions on the potential impact of beneficial insects, diseases, and insecticide applications.