U.S. soybean farmers spend approximately $73 million annually to control stink bugs, according to a 2007 grower survey. And those figures don’t include actual crop losses from the widespread, damaging pests.

Actual crop losses are difficult to determine accurately but remain significant, even after multiple insecticide applications.

Jim Heitholt, a crop physiologist with Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas AgriLife Research, coordinates a stink bug team that recently circulated a follow-up survey to see if grower observations have changed drastically since 2007.

The 2010 survey is a lean version of the 2007 survey and asks growers about stink bug spray practices, relative importance of pests, and recommendations for allocation of research dollars. Outcomes of the 2007 survey analysis included the $73 million annual control cost figure which was calculated based on growers claiming spray costs of $7.50 per acre per year. 

The link to the 2010 survey is:

Click here to take survey

In addition to conducting the grower survey, Heitholt’s team has been active for four years and has screened experimental lines for tolerance to stink bug.

“We started the process in late 2006 and early 2007,” Heitholt said. “Prior to that, the United Soybean Board did not have a project specifically geared toward identifying stink bug tolerance.   He said efforts were needed especially in the Mid-South, including the Upper Gulf Coast, Louisiana, and Arkansas.