Several K-State Research and Extension publications on crop pests in Kansas have been updated and are available to order or download for free. A short introduction about each crop pest is listed below with a link to the corresponding publication. MF2999 – Alfalfa Weevils - https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2999.pdf
The alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Gyllenhal), is the major perennial defoliator of early season alfalfa in Kansas. Alfalfa weevils originated in Asia but were probably introduced into the United States from southern Europe. First reported from Utah in 1904, they are now established in all contiguous states. There are thought to be two strains of the alfalfa weevil, an eastern strain that ranges as far west as Kansas, and a western strain that infests as far east as Nebraska and North and South Dakota. MF2823 – Bird Cherry-Oat Aphids - https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2823.pdf
The bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), is a common inhabitant of Kansas wheat. It is more often associated with yield losses from barley yellow dwarf virus than any other aphid species. One of the largest aphids found on wheat, it is common in the fall and is the first aphid to be active in the spring. Aphids cause little direct feeding damage on wheat, but populations of 20 or more per tiller at the boot to heading stage may reduce yields. MF3047 – False Chinch Bugs - https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3047.pdf
False chinch bugs, Nysius spp., occur in weedy pastures, fields, or other non-crop areas throughout Kansas. They typically feed on plants in the mustard family. When preferred foods dry up because they mature or are killed with herbicide, the insects migrate en- masse to succulent plants nearby. They usually attack soybeans and sorghum but also feed on cotton, canola, and corn. In canola fields, nymphs can be found under decomposing wheat stubble during the day. Large numbers of insects present in or adjacent to agricultural crops can be problematic. MF2954 – Black Cutworms - https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2954.pdf
The black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel), may infest field crops anywhere in Kansas. But economic infestations occur most commonly in eastern Kansas and especially in the southeastern fourth of the state — south of I-70 and east to Highway 177. Black cutworms have a wide host range but are of most agricultural concern to corn producers. They can also be problematic for vegetable growers and in turf grasses. MF2582 – Soybean Aphids - https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2582.pdf
The soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura), native of China and Japan, was first identified in the United States during the summer and fall of 2000. By 2001, infestations were confirmed in several Midwestern states from Ohio to West Virginia, and west into Missouri and Iowa. In August and September of 2002, low numbers of aphids were confirmed in five eastern Kansas counties.
The soybean aphid has caused severe damage in some areas of the United States where it has become established. Its detection in Kansas means soybean producers in eastern and central Kansas need to learn how to identify this pest and monitor fields for its presence and signs of damage. MF2891 – Stink Bugs - https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2891.pdf
Kansas crops can be infested by several stink bug species, but it is usually the green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare, and to a lesser extent, the brown stink bug, Euschistus servus, that cause problems. Both immature (nymphs) and adults are polyphagous, meaning they feed on many types of plants including crops.
Information provided by Jeff Whitworth, Extension Entomology Specialist.