The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is conducting surveys for new and emerging pests in some of Minnesota’s key agricultural crops. The surveys help Minnesota farmers identify pest infestations in their early stages, when they are easier to control or eradicate. Accurate pest surveys also help ensure access to domestic and foreign trade markets for Minnesota commodities.
“Conducting surveys for new and emerging pests is an important service we provide for Minnesota farmers,” said Geir Friisoe, MDA’s Plant Protection Division Director. “Not only does it help farmers by alerting them to potential pest problems, but it also helps reassure our international customers that our farm products are free of destructive pests.”
The brown marmorated stink bug, a new arrival in Minnesota, will be included in all crop surveys due to its ability to feed on and damage a variety of plant species. Beyond that general pest, this year’s Agricultural Pest Survey will have three areas of focus: small grains, corn and soybeans.
In small grains, target pests include the cereal leaf beetle, which can reduce yields by feeding on leaves and is a concern for trade markets. In corn, target pests include two moths, a beetle and a fungal disease not known to occur in the U.S. that could impact yields and trade access. The corn survey will also include Goss’s wilt, which is a new disease spreading through the state. In soybeans, target pests include the kudzu bug, which is a new soybean pest in the southeastern U.S., and sudden death syndrome ‑ a new plant disease spreading through the state.
In addition to these large surveys, staff will assist with surveys for plum pox virus in plums and thousand cankers disease in walnut trees.
The Agricultural Pest Survey is conducted by field staff stationed throughout the agricultural regions of the state, and is coordinated through MDA’s St. Paul office. Surveys information is gathered through traps, visual survey, and sweep nets. The surveys will be conducted through August. Questions about the surveys and the targeted pests can be directed to MDA at 1-888-545-6684 (voicemail) or email@example.com.