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Bat disease could allow insects to destroy crops

April 27, 2011 Comments off

dispatch

A deadly disease to bats could become a major financial headache for agriculture, costing Ohio farmers as much as $1.7 billion a year.

A new study is the first to tie a dollar value to the millions of crop-damaging insects that bats routinely devour each year. Now, the night-flying hunters face the threat of a fungal disease that kills most of the bats it infects.

White-nose syndrome, named for the fungus that spreads over bats while they hibernate, has killed at least 1 million bats in 15 states and Canada since it was discovered in New York in 2006.

On March 30, Ohio officials announced that they found the disease among bats hibernating in an abandoned limestone mine in the Wayne National Forest. They fear it will march through Ohio as it has Read more…

Stink bugs hit fruits, vegetables, field crops, also go into houses

April 14, 2011 1 comment
Lansing, Mich. —

A female version of the brown marmorated stink bug.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) reported the coming of Asian stink bugs in January, and a report Monday morning said they are confirmed in Ingham, Eaton, Genessee and Berrien counties.

They do not bite or sting, but well, they do stink.

And, as is a big concern to the MDA and producers, they ruin fruit and other crops.

“Exotic pests such as the brown marmorated stink bug pose a serious threat to the economic health of Michigan’s $71.3 billion agri-food industry and our 53,000 farmers,” said Keith Creagh, MDA director. “MDA and Michigan State University researchers will work in concert to both identify control recommendations for our agriculture community, as well as monitor this pest’s spread in the state.”

For those who like to get technical, they are the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) or Halyomorpha halys (Stål).

The complete story appears in the Tuesday, April 12, 2011 edition and is available at coldwaterdailyreporter.mi.newsmemory.com.Report Asian stink bugs

BMSB superficially resembles several common species of stink bug native to Michigan. To distinguish them from other stink bugs, look for lighter bands on the antennae and darker bands on the membranous, overlapping part at the rear of the front pair of wings. They have patches of coppery or bluish-metallic colored punctures (small rounded depressions) on the head and pronotum. Those who believe they may have the pest should contact the local Michigan State University Extension office at (517) 279-4311.

For more information on brown marmorated stink bug, one can visit http://www.michigan.gov/mda.